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Niccolò Machiavelli

Subject: Literature

(1469–1527) Italian statesman and political philosopher The Art of War [Dell'Arte della guerra] (1521) Non-FictionThe Prince [Il principe; first Eng. translation, 1560] (1532) ...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Writers and their Works (3 ed.)

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Italian statesman and political philosopher The Art of War [ Dell'Arte della guerra ] ( 1521 ) Non-Fiction The Prince [ Il principe ; first Eng. translation, 1560 ] ( 1532 ) ...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
80 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) An influential Florentine political theorist and humanist . Believing human nature to be essentially selfish, Machiavelli advocated the need for strong government, notably in The Prince and Discourse (written between 1513 and 1521 ). His work has been most influential in political science , but a number of sociologists have also been intrigued by his theory of statecraft, for example Stanford M. Lyman and Marvin B. Scott (see A Sociology of the Absurd , 1970...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
136 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Florentine political philosopher , and a major presence in subsequent political philosophy. His works Il Principe ( 1512/13 , first trs. in its entirety as The Prince , 1640 , although excerpts circulated much earlier) and the Discorsi ( c. 1516 , trs. as Discourses ) brought a new realism into the study of politics. Machiavelli’s shocking contention was that although the Prince or ruler was supposed to be an embodiment of virtue and honour, yet given the way of the world, the successful ruler is only the one who acts...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

....] Bibliography Primary Sources Machiavelli, Niccolò . L’arte della guerra e scritti politici minori . Edited by Jean-Jacques Marchand , Denis Fachard , and Giorgio Masi . Rome: Salerno, 2001. Machiavelli, Niccolò . Art of War . Edited and translated by Christopher Lynch . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Machiavelli, Niccolò . Scritti inediti risguardanti la storia e la milizia (1499–1512) . Edited by Giuseppe Canestrini . Florence: Barbèra, Bianchi, 1857. Secondary Works Cassidy, Ben . “ Machiavelli and the Ideology of the Offensive:...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

..., Niccolò The celebrated Florentine statesman ( 1469–1527 ) and author of Il Principe (‘The Prince’), a treatise on the art of government addressed to Lorenzo de medici , putting forward the view that only a strong and ruthless prince could free Italy from devastation by foreigners. In view of the distracted state of the country, he held that terrorism and deceit were justifiable means of achieving a peaceful and prosperous Italy. Hence the use of his name as an epithet or synonym for an unscrupulous politician, and ‘Machiavellianism’ or...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Religion
Length:
422 words

...and less on the next. Machiavelli shared with Protestant leaders a lively antipapalism, owing partly to the immorality of Rome but mainly to the papacy's having kept Italy divided. This comes through in Discorsi but not in Il principe , a pamphlet-length work written around 1513 in hopes of winning employment from the newly restored Medici, whose current head was Pope Leo X . Machiavelli's writings, like those of his Protestant contemporaries, consistently appeared on the Index of Prohibited Books. Primary Source Machiavelli, Niccolò . Chief Works and...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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Ronald D. Milo

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
157 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ). Italian statesman and political theorist who turned political thought in a new direction. Whereas traditional political theorists were concerned with morally evaluating the state in terms of fulfilling its function of promoting the common good and preserving justice, Machiavelli was more interested in empirically investigating how the state could most effectively use its power to maintain law and order (political science). His famous claim that the end justifies the means also seems to advocate the use of immoral means...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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Stewart Wood

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
937 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Florentine political adviser and historian , often regarded as the first modern political theorist. After the fall of Savonarola’s administration, Machiavelli became head of the Second Chancery of Florence at the age of 29. As a member of Florentine diplomatic delegations, Machiavelli became acquainted with the chief political actors of his region and time—notably, Cesare Borgia, Maximilian (the Holy Roman Emperor), and Pope Julius II . Following the invasion of Florence and restoration of the Medici family, Machiavelli...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
78 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Florentine statesman and political theorist . From 1498 to 1512 , he served as an official in the republican government of Florence, but lost his post when the Medici family regained power. His most famous work, The Prince ( 1513 ), offered advice on how the ruler of a small state might best preserve his power, including judicious use of force. The term Machiavellian, to describe immoral and deceitful political behaviour, arose from misunderstandings of his...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ). Florentine political thinker, writer, and historian, and also military thinker. Although he is popularly known as a scheming political spin doctor of satanic cynicism and subtlety, an examination of Machiavelli's work in the context of the brutal politics of the Italian city states and emerging nation states of the time suggests he was merely an accomplished practitioner and advocate of realpolitik. His best-known works are The Prince ( 1513–16 ), and The Discourses ( 1513–19 ). His Art of War ( 1519–20 ) seems to...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò   Reference library

Richard Andrews

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
158 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Florentine political theorist and playwright. A devoted student of classical literature, Machiavelli was the author of two original prose comedies in the new humanist style, and one translation from Terence . The Mandrake ( c. 1518 ) is regarded by many as the masterpiece of commedia erudita : it deals in single-minded fashion with a plot to seduce a virtuous wife with the cooperation of her incredibly stupid husband and a corrupt friar. The wife herself is not a willing collaborator (unlike the heroines of most...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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The Companion to Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
147 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Florentine political theorist and playwright . A devoted student of classical literature, Machiavelli was the author of two original prose *comedies in the new humanist style, and one translation from *Terence . The Mandrake ( c. 1518 ) is regarded by many as the masterpiece of commedia erudita : it deals in single-minded fashion with a plot to seduce a virtuous wife with the cooperation of her incredibly stupid husband and a corrupt friar. The wife herself is not a willing collaborator (unlike the *heroines of most...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
Length:
534 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ), Italian political philosopher and dramatist, born in Florence, where in 1498 he entered the service of the republic as secretary to the Ten of War ; his duties included diplomatic missions to France ( 1500 and 1510 ), a visit to the camp of Cesare Borgia ( October 1502–January 1503 ), where he witnessed the execution of Vitellozzo Vitelli, and missions to the court of Pope Julius II and the Emperor Maximilian I . On the restoration of the Medici in 1512 Machiavelli was abruptly dismissed because of his loyalty to...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
209 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Political theorist , dramatist , and historian of Florence, and perhaps the most notorious Italian writer outside Italy. After holding various offices in the restored Florentine republic and discharging various missions abroad, he was exiled on suspicion of conspiracy on the return of the Medici in 1512 , but was subsequently restored to some degree of favour. He turned his political experiences to advantage in his writings, including the Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (written 1516–17 ; printed in 1531 : ...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1526)   Reference library

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
408 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1526 ) The first major political philosopher of the Renaissance and still a primary source for arguments in favor of political realism . Unlike much of the classical and modern tradition of political thought, Machiavelli was less concerned with theorizing the legitimate basis of political power than with exploring the methods of effective statecraft. His justification of amoral state power—including the use of deceit and violence when it serves the interest of the state—made him notorious in both his time and ours, although the...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Reference library

Jane Kingsley-Smith

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ), Italian political philosopher who became notorious for his ruthlessly pragmatic ideas. Machiavelli served as assistant secretary of state to the Florentine republic until the return of the Medici caused him to be exiled in 1512 . Nevertheless, it was to the Medici that Machiavelli dedicated Il principe ( The Prince ), which he wrote in 1513 urging them to unite the country against the French invaders. As the chance of this happening became remote, Machiavelli decided not to publish this treatise or his Discorsi (...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

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A Dictionary of Sports Studies

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Social sciences, Society and culture
Length:
251 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) An Italian statesman and writer on politics whose works are among the foundation texts of political science. His most famous work, The Prince ( 1513/14 ), comprises a series of statements and commentaries on the nature of statecraft as required for survival in the ruthless and calculating world of politics among the Borgias. The term ‘Machiavellian’ has become a byword for brutal and decisive use and disposal of individuals and colleagues in political and organizational contexts lacking in representative structures and...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
2,014 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ). Probably the most famous Italian writer on politics, whose very name later became a byword for duplicity and evil intent. Niccolò di Bernardo Machiavelli's life spanned one of the most tumultuous periods in the peninsula's history. Born in the year that Lorenzo de' Medici succeeded his father Piero as leader of the Medici family in Florence , he died shortly after the Sack of Rome in 1527 . In the intervening years he witnessed four changes of regime within Florence, the invasion of Italy by both French and then...

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
454 words

..., Niccolò ( 1469–1527 ) Political theorist , dramatist , and historian of Florence, and perhaps the most notorious Italian writer outside Italy. After holding various offices, from 1498 , in the restored Florentine republic and discharging various missions abroad, he was exiled on suspicion of conspiracy on the return of the Medici in 1512 , but was subsequently restored to some degree of favour. He turned his political experiences to advantage in his writings, which include the Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (written 1516–17 ; printed...

Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (14691527)   Reference library

Brewer's Famous Quotations

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
161 words

...Niccolò Machiavelli 1469 1527 Florentine politician and philosopher There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, nor perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. The Prince , Chap. 6 (1532). Marmaduke Hussey, a beleaguered Chairman of the BBC, admitted in an interview with the Independent on Sunday (16 December 1991) that he clung to...

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