Summary On Niccolo Machiavelli 's ' The Prince '

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Chastity Kolmorgan
History 111 The World: Antiquity-1500
Dr. Christopher Levesque
Primary & Secondary Source Evaluation Assignment - April 19, 2015

Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and Ian Johnston’s Lecture on Machiavelli’s The Prince

Niccolò Machiavelli, a Florentine, lived between the years of 1469-1527. In 1513, Machiavelli wrote The Prince and gifted it to the Medici family with the original title of About Principalities. He first dedicated the work to Giuliano de’ Medici and later to Lorenzo de’ Medici. It was a political critique that was later printed under the title of The Prince in 1532. The treatise was controversial due to Machiavelli’s lack of regard for the morality behind his advice. In his composition, he
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Politics played a significant role in his life. They not only provided him with the experience, but the character and will, with which he wrote. Evidence of his republican attitude are prevalent in his other works on principalities and republics (Strauss 182). In Ian Johnston’s Lecture on Machiavelli’s The Prince, he asserts his belief that Machiavelli wrote his treatise with satirical intent.
“...The book is, first and foremost, a satire, so that many of the things we find in it which are contradictory, morally absurd, and specious are there quite deliberately in order to ridicule two things-first, the Medici family itself and, second, the very notion of tyrannical rule embodied in the government of the Prince (hence, the satire has a firm moral purpose-to expose tyranny and promote republican government)” (Johnston Lecture on Machiavelli’s The Prince).
Due to the immorality advocated for in Machiavelli’s writing, along with what is known of Machiavelli’s politics, individuals often succumb to one of two beliefs regarding The Prince. The first is that he wrote The Prince in mockery of the princely states, specifically the Medici family. It was meant as a sort of caricature of their rule. The Medici family had long interfered with the republic of Florence.
“Cosimo, Piero, and Lorenzo, three successive generations of
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