The Prince: medieval realpolitik and the timeless mechanics of power (Aziloth Books)

Overview

Niccolo Machiavelli ((1469-1527) lived in turbulent times. Serving in high positions in the Florentine Republic for 14 years, he was cast from office, tortured and imprisoned when his party was defeated in 1512 and the Medicis returned to power. He retired from public life and spent his time writing. The Prince is his most famous work: a treatise on power, shorn of all illusion and any hint of high ideals, it is nevertheless an honest attempt to describe the mechanics of power, and the various strategems by which...
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Overview

Niccolo Machiavelli ((1469-1527) lived in turbulent times. Serving in high positions in the Florentine Republic for 14 years, he was cast from office, tortured and imprisoned when his party was defeated in 1512 and the Medicis returned to power. He retired from public life and spent his time writing. The Prince is his most famous work: a treatise on power, shorn of all illusion and any hint of high ideals, it is nevertheless an honest attempt to describe the mechanics of power, and the various strategems by which a ruler can maintain, and increase, his domains.
Once so infamous that its author was identified with Satan himself,
The Prince is now admired as the herald of modern-day realpolitik.

Described as a practical rule-book for the diplomat and a handbook of evil, this work provides an uncompromising picture of the true nature of power.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The translation is lively and readable and makes the pithy, bracing, and forceful aspects of Machiavelli's thought accessible to nonspecialists. --Michael C. Downs, Indiana University

The best edition of The Prince that I have ever read. Wootton's translation is lively and easy to read, and his introduction is provocative and engaging. --Angelo Louisa, University of Nebraska, Omaha

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907523038
  • Publisher: Aziloth Books
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author


David Wootton is Anniversary Professor of History, University of York.
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Read an Excerpt

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Seventeenth Chapter: Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than Feared

...Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed, they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince, who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or by nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails....

Twenty-First Chapter: How a Prince Should Conduct Himself So as to Gain Renown

...A prince is also respected when he is either a true friend or a downright enemy, that is to say, when, without any reservation, he declares himself in favour of one party against the other; which course will always be more advantageous than standing neutral; because if two of your powerful neighbours come to blows, they are of such a character that, if one of them conquers, you have either to fear him or not. In either case it will always be more advantageous for you to declare yourself and to make war strenously; because, in the first case, if you do not declare yourself, you will invariably fall a prey to the conqueror, to the pleasure and satisfaction of his who has been conquered, and you will have no reasons to offer, nor anything to protect or to shelter you. Because he who conquers does not want doubtful friends who will not aid him in the time of trial; and he who loses will not harbour you because you did not willingly, sword in hand, court his fate....

Translation by: W.K. Marriott

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Table of Contents

Chronology
Map
Introduction
Translator's Note
Selected Books
Machiavelli's Principal Works
Letter to the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici 1
I How many kinds of principality there are and the ways in which they are acquired 5
II Hereditary principalities 5
III Composite principalities 6
IV Why the kingdom of Darius conquered by Alexander did not rebel against his successors after his death 13
V How cities or principalities which lived under their own laws should be administered after being conquered 16
VI New principalities acquired by one's own arms and prowess 17
VII New principalities acquired with the help of fortune and foreign arms 20
VIII Those who come to power by crime 27
IX The constitutional principality 31
X How the strength of every principality should be measured 34
XI Ecclesiastical principalities 36
XII Military organization and mercenary troops 39
XIII Auxiliary, composite, and native troops 43
XIV How a prince should organize his militia 47
XV The things for which men, and especially princes, are praised or blamed 49
XVI Generosity and parsimony 51
XVII Cruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse 53
XVIII How princes should honour their word 56
XIX The need to avoid contempt and hatred 58
XX Whether fortresses and many of the other present-day expedients to which princes have recourse are useful or not 67
XXI How a prince must act to win honour 71
XXII A prince's personal staff 75
XXIII How flatterers must be shunned 76
XXIV Why the Italian princes have lost their states 78
XXV How far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposed 79
XXVI Exhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians 82
Glossary of Proper Names 86
Notes 99
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