The Prince, by Machiavelli

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“It is much safer to be feared than loved.” This quotation was just a specimen of the harsh and very practical political annotation of the legendary historian, Niccolò Machiavelli – philosopher, patriot, diplomat, advisor and statesman. He was born as the son of a poor lawyer in 1498, but he never let boundaries restrict him. He still received an excellent humanist education from the University of Florence and was soon after appointed as the Second Chancellor of the Republic of Florence.2 His political importance to Florence would soon give him the opportunity to write what is disputed as one of the most significant works in history, The Prince.

For fourteen years Machiavelli engaged in a bustle of diplomatic activity on behalf of his country, Florence. He was at the prime of his life while “traveling to major centers in Italy, as well as to the royal court of France and to the imperial curia of Maximilian.”3 Contrariwise, he was about to face the most prevalent trial in his existence. He soon fell as a direct target to the administrative modification when the republican government disintegrated to an external revolution to reinstate the wealthy Medici Family.4 Yesterday’s men soon became today’s enemies. The Medici’s wrongly accused Machiavelli of conspiracy and had him thrown into prison for several weeks, in what he later called a “dainty hospice.”5 While imprisoned, he was crudely tortured. After his release, he soon moved outside of Florence and began writing The Prince in such a haste which was directly meant to be presented to the Medici family.6 Imagine, in the scorching summer, exactly 500 years ago, a 44 year old man at this time, whose arms and shoulders were still sore from the strappado, 7 sat down to write what ...

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