Niccolo Machiavelli


“It is a good general rule about men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, liars and deceivers, fearful of danger and greedy for gain.”
– Machiavelli

b. 1469 CE – d. 1527 CE

Niccolo Machiavelli was a diplomat and statesman during the Italian Renaissance in Florence. He navigated tumultuous political change during his life and career, managing to achieve success and prominence in Florentine government yet also suffering torture and imprisonment himself towards the end of his life. While his writing covered a range of subjects including history and war, he is most well-known for The Prince, a political treatise with far-reaching, polemical influence.

The political advice Machiavelli gives in his most famous work has been condemned by many for its support of ruthlessness, deception and cruelty. Yet others have appreciated his perspective as a pragmatic approach resulting from the deviousness and deception he saw in the complex Florentine power struggles around him. His work acknowledges more forthrightly than most that this is a dangerous world — power is hard to get and harder to hold on to. Machiavelli’s bold, controversial ideas have resulted in him having a lasting influence on modern political science and philosophy.

Works By Niccolo Machiavelli