Fun Facts Friday: Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (3 May, 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian writer, playwright, poet, historian and diplomat. He is known for his groundbreaking book The Prince.

Books by Niccolò Machiavelli*
Books by Niccolò Machiavelli*

  1. Born in Florence (Italy, of course), Machiavelli was the first son, but third child, of an attorney.
  2. Machiavelli is is considered the father of modern political science. His argument that good ends justify bad actions is an important theory of modern politics.
  3. He was a professional public official with many responsibilities including military affairs.
  4. Machiavelli’s most known work is Il Principe (The Prince), which contains short statements targeting a “new prince”, instead of the one in power. The book is notorious for instructions on dishonesty, immoral behavior, and even killing innocent people all as means of effective politics.
  5. To this day, the term Machiavellian usually means a politician or leader who is devious, deceitful, and ones who base their positions on circumstances rather than morals or ethics.
  6. He also wrote poetry, carnival songs, and poetry, as well as much correspondences with scholars and politicians.
  7. During his lifetime, Machiavelli was very critical of Christianity (as it was practiced at the time) and it effects on daily life, as well as politics.
  8. Machiavelli viewed religion as man-made, and that its value rests on the contributions to social order, and that morality must be foregone when security is at stake.
  9. Machiavelli viewed the biblical prophets and patriarchs the same way he did their pagan equivalents.
  10. With the advent of the printing press, The Prince’s influence was felt all over Europe and the world including Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, and Charles V.

Books by Niccolò Machiavelli*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account


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