MACHIAVELLI - MACHIAVELLI: THE PRINCE Niccolo Machiavelli...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
MACHIAVELLI: THE PRINCE Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was one of the most important thinkers of the Renaissance. He was for a time in the employ of the government of Florence, but when the republican government was overthrown and the Medici restored to power, Machiavelli lost his job. Finding himself unemployed, he turned to writing. He wrote comedies, poetry and histories. But the work for which he is most famous is The Prince (1512/1513). It was originally dedicated Lorenzo de'Medici, but was not published during his lifetime. (Note: Chapter XVII is of special significance, be sure to read at least that section.) Chapter XIV That Which Concerns A Prince On The Subject Of The Art Of War A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only upholds those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank. And, on the contrary, it is seen that when princes have thought more of ease than of arms they have lost their states. And the first cause of your losing it is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art. Francesco Sforza, through being martial, from a private person became Duke of Milan; and the sons, through avoiding the hardships and troubles of arms, from dukes became private persons. For among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, as is shown later on. Because there is nothing proportionate between the armed and the unarmed; and it is not reasonable that he who is armed should yield obedience willingly to him who is unarmed, or that the unarmed man should be secure among armed servants. Because, there being in the one disdain and in the other suspicion, it is not possible for them to work well together. And therefore a prince who does not understand the art of war, over and above the other misfortunes already mentioned, cannot be respected by his soldiers, nor can he rely on them. He ought never, therefore, to have out of his thoughts this subject of war, and in peace he should addict himself more to its exercise than in war; this he can do in two ways, the one by action, the other by study. As regards action, he ought above all things to keep his men well organized and drilled, to follow incessantly the chase, by which he accustoms his body to hardships, and learns something of the nature of localities, and gets to find out how the mountains rise, how the valleys open out, how the plains lie, and to understand the nature of rivers and marshes, and in all this to take the greatest care. Which knowledge is useful in two ways. Firstly, he learns to know his
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
country, and is better able to undertake its defense; afterwards, by means of the knowledge and observation of that locality, he understands with ease any other
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 12

MACHIAVELLI - MACHIAVELLI: THE PRINCE Niccolo Machiavelli...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online