The Prince

The Prince

Author

Niccolò Machiavelli

About this book

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise written by Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli as an instruction guide for new princes and royals. The general theme of The Prince is of accepting that the aims of princes – such as glory and survival – can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.

Contents (34)

INTRODUCTION
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YOUTH — Æt. 1-25—1469-94
OFFICE — Æt. 25-43—1494-1512
LITERATURE AND DEATH — Æt. 43-58—1512-27
THE MAN AND HIS WORKS
DEDICATION
CHAPTER I. HOW MANY KINDS OF PRINCIPALITIES THERE ARE, AND BY WHAT MEANS THEY ARE ACQUIRED
CHAPTER II. CONCERNING HEREDITARY PRINCIPALITIES
CHAPTER III. CONCERNING MIXED PRINCIPALITIES
CHAPTER IV. WHY THE KINGDOM OF DARIUS, CONQUERED BY ALEXANDER, DID NOT REBEL AGAINST THE SUCCESSORS OF ALEXANDER AT HIS DEATH
CHAPTER V. CONCERNING THE WAY TO GOVERN CITIES OR PRINCIPALITIES WHICH LIVED UNDER THEIR OWN LAWS BEFORE THEY WERE ANNEXED
CHAPTER VI. CONCERNING NEW PRINCIPALITIES WHICH ARE ACQUIRED BY ONE’S OWN ARMS AND ABILITY
CHAPTER VII. CONCERNING NEW PRINCIPALITIES WHICH ARE ACQUIRED EITHER BY THE ARMS OF OTHERS OR BY GOOD FORTUNE
CHAPTER VIII. CONCERNING THOSE WHO HAVE OBTAINED A PRINCIPALITY BY WICKEDNESS
CHAPTER IX. CONCERNING A CIVIL PRINCIPALITY
CHAPTER X. CONCERNING THE WAY IN WHICH THE STRENGTH OF ALL PRINCIPALITIES OUGHT TO BE MEASURED
CHAPTER XI. CONCERNING ECCLESIASTICAL PRINCIPALITIES
CHAPTER XII. HOW MANY KINDS OF SOLDIERY THERE ARE, AND CONCERNING MERCENARIES
CHAPTER XIII. CONCERNING AUXILIARIES, MIXED SOLDIERY, AND ONE’S OWN
CHAPTER XIV. THAT WHICH CONCERNS A PRINCE ON THE SUBJECT OF THE ART OF WAR
CHAPTER XV. CONCERNING THINGS FOR WHICH MEN, AND ESPECIALLY PRINCES, ARE PRAISED OR BLAMED
CHAPTER XVI. CONCERNING LIBERALITY AND MEANNESS
CHAPTER XVII. CONCERNING CRUELTY AND CLEMENCY, AND WHETHER IT IS BETTER TO BE LOVED THAN FEARED
CHAPTER XVIII.[1] CONCERNING THE WAY IN WHICH PRINCES SHOULD KEEP FAITH
CHAPTER XIX. THAT ONE SHOULD AVOID BEING DESPISED AND HATED
CHAPTER XX. ARE FORTRESSES, AND MANY OTHER THINGS TO WHICH PRINCES OFTEN RESORT, ADVANTAGEOUS OR HURTFUL?
CHAPTER XXI. HOW A PRINCE SHOULD CONDUCT HIMSELF SO AS TO GAIN RENOWN
CHAPTER XXII. CONCERNING THE SECRETARIES OF PRINCES
CHAPTER XXIII. HOW FLATTERERS SHOULD BE AVOIDED
CHAPTER XXIV. WHY THE PRINCES OF ITALY HAVE LOST THEIR STATES
CHAPTER XXV. WHAT FORTUNE CAN EFFECT IN HUMAN AFFAIRS AND HOW TO WITHSTAND HER
CHAPTER XXVI. AN EXHORTATION TO LIBERATE ITALY FROM THE BARBARIANS
DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODS ADOPTED BY THE DUKE VALENTINO WHEN MURDERING VITELLOZZO VITELLI, OLIVEROTTO DA FERMO, THE SIGNOR PAGOLO, AND THE DUKE DI GRAVINA ORSINI
THE LIFE OF CASTRUCCIO CASTRACANI OF LUCCA

INTRODUCTION

Nicolo Machiavelli was born at Florence on 3rd May 1469. He was the second son of Bernardo di Nicolo Machiavelli, a lawyer of some repute, and of Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli, his wife. Both parents were members of the old Florentine nobility.

His life falls naturally into three periods, each of which singularly enough constitutes a distinct and important era in the history of Florence. His youth was concurrent with the greatness of Florence as an Italian power under the guidance of Lorenzo de’ Medici, Il Magnifico. The downfall of the Medici in Florence occurred in 1494, in which year Machiavelli entered the public service. During his official career Florence was free under the government of a Republic, which lasted until 1512, when the Medici returned to power, and Machiavelli lost his office. The Medici again ruled Florence from 1512 until 1527, when they were once more driven out. This was the period of Machiavelli’s literary activity and increasing influence; but he died, within a few weeks of the expulsion of the Medici, on 22nd June 1527, in his fifty-eighth year, without having regained office.