How to judge the strength of principalities Chapter 10 [ edit ] The way to judge the strength of a princedom is to see whether it can defend itself, or whether it needs to depend on allies.
More importantly, and less traditionally, he distinguishes new princedoms from hereditary established princedoms. They assign a leader who can be popular to the people while the great benefit, or a strong authority defending the people against the great.
Xenophon also, as Strauss pointed out, wrote a dialogue, Hiero which showed a wise man dealing sympathetically with a tyrant, coming close to what Machiavelli would do in questioning the ideal of "the imagined prince".
Gaining honours Chapter 21 [ edit ] A prince truly earns honour by completing great feats. He claims that "being disarmed makes you despised. Ultimately, the decision should be made by the prince and carried out absolutely.
Machiavelli gives three options: In this way, his subjects will slowly forget his cruel deeds and his reputation can recover. Normally, these types of works were addressed only to hereditary princes. The work has a recognizable structure, for the most part indicated by the author himself.
He cited Caterina Sforzawho used a fortress to defend herself but was eventually betrayed by her people. Men have imagined republics and principalities that never really existed at all.
How to win over people depends on circumstances. Because they are strong and more self-sufficient, they have to make fewer compromises with their allies. However, Machiavelli went far beyond other authors in his time, who in his opinion left things to fortune, and therefore to bad rulers, because of their Christian beliefs.
The Court of Rome sternly prohibited his book. Xenophon however, like Plato and Aristotle, was a follower of Socratesand his works show approval of a " teleological argument ", while Machiavelli rejected such arguments. When it looked as though the king of France would abandon him, Borgia sought new alliances.
In fact, he must sometimes deliberately choose evil. Machiavelli compares two great military leaders: For intellectual strength, he is advised to study great military men so he may imitate their successes and avoid their mistakes.
All their opinions should be taken into account. Machiavelli says this required "inhuman cruelty" which he refers to as a virtue. Machiavelli cites Cesare Borgia as an example of a lucky prince who escaped this pattern.
Machiavelli discusses the recent history of the Church as if it were a princedom that was in competition to conquer Italy against other princes. Machiavelli asserts that there are three types of intelligence: One "should never fall in the belief that you can find someone to pick you up".
Xenophonon the other hand, made exactly the same distinction between types of rulers in the beginning of his Education of Cyrus where he says that, concerning the knowledge of how to rule human beings, Cyrus the Greathis exemplary prince, was very different "from all other kings, both those who have inherited their thrones from their fathers and those who have gained their crowns by their own efforts".
At his signal, his soldiers killed all the senators and the wealthiest citizens, completely destroying the old oligarchy. Machiavelli used the Persian empire of Darius IIIconquered by Alexander the Greatto illustrate this point and then noted that the Medici, if they think about it, will find this historical example similar to the "kingdom of the Turk" Ottoman Empire in their time — making this a potentially easier conquest to hold than France would be.
Therefore, a prince must have the means to force his supporters to keep supporting him even when they start having second thoughts, otherwise he will lose his power. Differences of opinion amongst commentators revolve around whether this sub-text was intended to be understood, let alone understood as deliberately satirical or comic.
The choice of his detestable hero, Caesar Borgiaclearly enough shows his hidden aim; and the contradiction between the teaching of the Prince and that of the Discourses on Livy and the History of Florence shows that this profound political thinker has so far been studied only by superficial or corrupt readers.
This is not necessarily true in every case. According to Machiavelli, a risk taker and example of "criminal virtue. External fears are of foreign powers. Machiavelli gives a negative example in Emperor Maximilian I ; Maximilian, who was secretive, never consulted others, but once he ordered his plans and met dissent, he immediately changed them.
Internal fears exist inside his kingdom and focus on his subjects, Machiavelli warns to be suspicious of everyone when hostile attitudes emerge.
But he lost to someone, Scipio Africanuswho showed the weakness of "excessive mercy" and who could therefore only have held power in a republic. The final sections of The Prince link the book to a specific historical context: Xenophon wrote one of the classic mirrors of princes, the Education of Cyrus.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes The Prince Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Niccolo Machiavelli (–).
The Prince. The Harvard Classics. – Introductory Note NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, one of the most brilliant and versatile intellects of the Italian Renaissance, was born at Florence, May 3, He entered the public service as a young.
Customarily, the name ‘Machiavelli’ was a synonym for the devil. The myth of the corrupt immorality of Niccolo Machiavelli () has lasted for many centuries, the description ‘Machiavellian’ being used today for anyone who is seen slyly to manipulate a given situation to their own advantage by means of shrewd political insight.
Machiavelli outlines and recommends the following: The rulers of Italy have lost their states by ignoring the political and military principles Machiavelli enumerates.
Fortune controls half of human affairs, but free will controls the rest, leaving the prince free to act. However. Machiavelli's The Prince was one of the first humanist works of the Renaissance. Indeed it is a work of art, a literary masterpiece of sorts. Yet this work has been vehemently debated over the centuries and remains one of the most controversial pieces of writing today.
In Redeeming "The Prince," one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars puts forth a startling new interpretation of arguably the most influential but widely misunderstood book in the Western political tradition.
Overturning popular misconceptions and challenging scholarly consensus, Maurizio Viroli also provides a fresh introduction to the work.Download