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.
- Born in Florence (Italy, of course), Machiavelli was the first son, but third child, of an attorney.
- 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.
- He was a professional public official with many responsibilities including military affairs.
- 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.
- 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.
- He also wrote poetry, carnival songs, and poetry, as well as much correspondences with scholars and politicians.
- 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.
- 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.
- Machiavelli viewed the biblical prophets and patriarchs the same way he did their pagan equivalents.
- 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.
Zohar – Man of la Book
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