Category: Philosophy/Politics

By Niccolo Machiavelli

Published in 1580

Reference #1101

Rare variant printing of the 1580 Petras Perna Edition of Sylvestre Tellio’s Latin translation of “Li Princeps” (“The Prince”) bound with “Defences [of Liberty] Against Tyrants.” Machiavelli’s “The Prince” first appeared in 1513 in a correspondence version under the title, “De Principatibus.” It was first published five years after Machiavelli’s death in 1532 in Italian by Antonio Blado d’Asola.

The work was written in response to the troubled condition and dissonance in Italy, Machiavelli’s native country. Machiavelli developed a practical examination and guide of how power should function for ruling. His main topic was autocratic regimes where he focused on three concerning themes: political power, the art of war, and goodwill. Machiavelli concludes the work with his account for the failure of Italy’s discord.

The influence of “The Prince” was widespread including William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Today, “The Prince” is considered to be one of the foundational works of modern political philosophy and a classical work of political science. Also included in this volume is “Vindiciae contra tyrannos” (“Defences [of Liberty] Against Tyrants”), an influential tract on the vindication of the people’s right to resist tyranny and that resistance should be based on constituted authority. “Defences” was published in 1579 in Basel and written under the pseudonym of “Stephen Junius Brutus,” whose author remains uncertain.