Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography

Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography

By: Corrado Vivanti (author), Simon MacMichael (translator)Hardback

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This is a colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative introduction to the life and work of the author of The Prince--Florentine statesman, writer, and political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527). Corrado Vivanti, who was one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars, provides an unparalleled intellectual biography that demonstrates the close connections between Machiavelli's thought and his changing fortunes during the tumultuous Florentine republic and his subsequent exile. Vivanti's concise account covers not only Machiavelli's most famous works--The Prince, The Discourses, The Florentine Histories, and The Art of War--but also his letters, poetry, and comic dramas. While setting Machiavelli's life against a dramatic backdrop of war, crisis, and diplomatic intrigue, the book also paints a vivid human portrait of the man. Vivanti's narrative breaks Machiavelli's life into three parts: his career in a variety of government and diplomatic posts in the Florentine republic between 1494 and 1512, when the Medici returned from exile, seized power, and removed Machiavelli from office; the pivotal first part of his subsequent exile, when he formulated his most influential ideas and wrote The Prince; and the final decade of his life, when, having returned to Florence, he wrote The Art of War, The Florentine Histories, the satirical play The Mandrake, and other works. Along the way, the biography presents unmatched accounts of many intensely debated topics, including the precise nature of Machiavelli's cultural and intellectual background, his republicanism, his political and personal relationship to the Medici, and his ideas about religion.

About Author

Corrado Vivanti (1928-2012) was an emeritus professor of history, having taught at the universities of Rome, Turin, and Perugia. He was the editor of the standard edition of the complete works of Machiavelli.


Preface vii Part I. The Florentine Secretary 1 1. A Shadowy Period: The First Half of His Life 3 2. The Relationship with Savonarola 7 3. The Activity in the Chancery 11 4. The Correspondence with Functionaries of the Domain 19 5. Diplomatic Activity 24 6. The Experience of the Early Missions 28 7. Changes of Fortune and the Ghiribizzi al Soderino 36 8. The Florentine Ordinance 41 9. The Venetian Defeat and the Reconquest of Pisa 51 10. The End of the Republic and the Return of the Medici 58 Part II. Exile in His Homeland 69 11. The Confinement at Sant'Andrea 71 12. "I have composed a little work On Princedoms" 76 13. The "Myth" of The Prince 85 14. Frequenting the Orti Oricellari 103 15. An Original Comment on Livy 108 16. The Art of War 122 Part III. "Niccolo Machiavelli, Historian, comic writer, and tragic writer" 127 17. A New Season in Machiavelli's Life 129 18. A Return to Business 135 19. "The annals or the history of Florence" 143 20. "The things done at home and abroad by the Florentine people" 149 21. The Friendship with Guicciardini 168 22. Clizia and the Musical Madrigals 176 23. Final Act 180 Appendix: Notes on the Use of the Word Stato in Machiavelli 193 Notes 219 Index 255

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691151014
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 280
  • ID: 9780691151014
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 0691151016
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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