The Life of Castruccio Castracani of Luccaby Niccolo Machiavelli
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A charismatic warlord of the early fourteenth century, Castruccio Castracani came from humble beginnings as a foundling, and rose to become the most powerful man in Italy. In this Life, Machiavelli extols Castruccio's acute understanding of warfare and statecraft, and, whilst sparing no detail of his shrewd and often bloody tactics, he overturns our moral prejudice, depicting Castruccio as a popular centralising force. Machiavelli's hero is an ideal, a foreshadowing of the perfect leader established in his greatest works, The Prince and Discourses. The account is biased and glamorised, but selected passages from Machiavelli's Florentine Histories here contribute to providing a powerful, rounded portrait of the 'abandoned child' who became Italy's first unifier. Set amid the ferment and factionalism of early modern Italy, Life of Castruccio Castracani is a vivid, readable and action-packed account of the rise and fall of a very 'Machiavellian' Prince.
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