Delve into the mind of Niccolò Machiavelli, one of history’s most controversial thinkers. Immerse yourself in his unpopular values and compare them with your own.
The hidden cost of power
In 1513, the new Florentine authorities accused the Republic’s 44-year-old secretary of conspiring against the government. In the blink of an eye, this man went from power to prison and from treasured to tortured. Luckily for world philosophy, he survived and moved out of the town that no longer valued his services. Stripped of his influence, the man dedicated himself to writing one of the most controversial works in history. This man was Niccolò Machiavelli, the advocate of cynical rule and means over morals.
Machiavelli’s upbringing was interesting. He was born in Florence in 1469 to a devout mother and a skeptical father. Niccolò’s younger brother, Totto, chose his mother’s religious piety and became a priest, while Niccolò decided to ascend the social ladder at any cost. Used to womanizing and other vanities along the road, living on a farm felt like another form of torture for him. Since he had little left to do, he put his shrewd mind to use and onto paper.
Fame is a fleeting concept, second only to time. Approach it with caution.
This is a story about the world as Machiavelli witnessed it during his time. He dissects the people above and beneath him to vividly represent a true ruler. Cynical, ruthless, and unstoppable form the defining characteristics of a Machiavellian hero. Centuries later, we still refuse to accept a leader with such a triad on their resume, as it touches on the most delicate part of the soul — our conscience.
Simultaneously, we have the chance to delve into Machiavelli himself to understand his reasoning behind the merciless Prince — a portrayal of an ideal leader and a “rulebook” for royals and rulers. If you’re still here, it means you’re interested, so why not continue our journey one step further into the Machiavellian darkness?
Opportunities fall into the hands of the willing
Machiavelli was born in Florence in 1469 during the reign of Lorenzo de Medici. At the time, the ruler
was just 20 years old, and many considered him too young to hold power in a newly formed republic like Florence. Just a century earlier, the people of Florence had rejected noble rulership in favor of a republic, which hints at democracy in Medieval times with elections and rotation of rule. Imagine the tediousness of such a system — it was never going to last.
Niccolò Machiavelli was a prolific Italian thinker, diplomat, and historian who became the father of modern political science and philosophy. His straightforward ideas established him as a leading advocate of realism.
"The Prince" is a political treatise written by an Italian author during the Renaissance period. This influential book explores the nature of power and the strategies rulers should employ to maintain and expand their authority. Drawing from historical examples and Machiavelli's own experiences, it offers practical advice on leadership, diplomacy, and the manipulation of public opinion. Controversial for its ruthless approach, "The Prince" remains a thought-provoking guide to the complexities of governance.
Who should read The Prince
Aspiring politicians seeking insights into the art of leadership.
History enthusiasts interested in Renaissance political philosophy.
Individuals curious about the dark realities of power dynamics.