How to Achieve True Greatness

How to Achieve True Greatness

by Baldesar Castiglione

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From the 100-part Penguin Great Ideas series comes an excerpt from the famous Book of the Courtier.
In his witty and perceptive discourses on the ideal virtues of a Renaissance courtier, Baldesar Castiglione sets out values that continue to offer illumination in questions of leadership and government—espousing such qualities as prudence, courage, loyalty, affability, and style, and even encouraging the playing of sport as one of the best ways to gain influence and power.

Penguin Great Ideas:
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war, and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked, and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them. Now Penguin Great Ideas brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals, and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. Other titles in the series include Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, and Charles Darwin's On Natural Selection.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101651001
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/30/2006
Series: Penguin Great Ideas
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 112
File size: 241 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Baldesar Castiglione was born in 1478, a member of an ancient Italian aristocratic family. He received a thorough humanistic education, acquiring a refined appreciation of art. He was essentially a courtier, and his literary activities were spare-time occupations. In 1504, after an unhappy period in Mantuan employ, he entered the service of Guidobaldo of Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. The ensuing years were the most satisfying of his life. He enjoyed the confidence of the Duke, who frequently entrusted him with important missions, and in his leisure moments he participated in the literary and intellectual activities of the court, then one of the most brilliant in Italy.After Guidobaldo's death in 1508, he remained in the service of the new Duke, Francesco Maria della Rovere, becoming, in 1513, resident ambassador in Rome. In 1515 the expulsion of Francesco Maria from Urbino deprived him of a job, and in the years 1516 to 1519 he lived quietly on his estates near Mantua. His major work is The Book of the Courtier. He also wrote a small number of excellent poems both in Latin and Italian. In 1519 he returned to Rome, as Mantuan ambassador, and after further activities on behalf of his Mantuan masters entered Papal service in 1524. From that date until his death in 1592 he was Papal Nuncio in Spain.

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