The PrinceThe Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli
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Machiavelli grew up at a time when the excesses of the church were more under scrutiny than at any time since Constantine. As Savonarola was decrying Florentine governmental excesses in the 1490s, Machiavelli's star was on the rise. The same year that Savonarola was executed for heresy, Machiavelli began his career as a diplomat and, as Savonarola presaged the Reformation, Machiavelli became an early champion of pragmatism. Il Principe ("The Prince") eschews the idealism of the politics of its age and espouses the realistic political situation that, to a great extent, it inspired.

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Introduction by Anthony Grafton
Further Reading
Translator's Note

Letter to the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici
I. How many kinds of principality there are and the ways in which they are acquired
II. Hereditary principalities
III. Composite principalities
IV. Why the kingdom of Darius conquered by Alexander did not reel against successors after his death.
V. How cities of principalities which lived under their own laws should be administered after being conquered.
VI. New principalities acquired with the help of fortune and foreign arms.
VII. Those who come to power by crime
VIII. Those who come to power by crime
IX. The constitutional principality
X. How the strength of every principality should be measured.
XI. Ecclesiastical principalities.
XII. Military organization and mercenary troops
XIII. Auxilary, composite, and native troops
XIV. How a prince should organize his militia
XV. The things for which men and especially princes, are praised or blamed
XVI. Generosity and parsimony
XVII. Cruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse
XVIII. How princes should honour their word
XIX. The need to avoid contempt and hatred
XX. Whether fortresses and many other present-day expedients to which princes have recourse are useful or not
XXI. How a prince must act to win honour
XXII. A prince's personal staff
XXIII. How flatterers must be shunned
XXIV. Why the Italian princes have lost their states
XXV. How far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposed.
XXVI. Exhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians

Glossary of Proper Names