Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469 - 1527

A prince … cannot observe all those things for which men are held good, since he is often under a necessity, to maintain his state, of acting against faith, against charity, against humanity, against religion. And so he needs to … not depart from good, when possible, but know how to enter into evil, when forced by necessity.

—Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Ch. XVIII


Niccolò Machiavelli was born in Florence on May 3, 1469, to Bernardo and Bartolomea. Though the family had formerly enjoyed prestige and financial success, in Niccolò’s youth his father struggled with debt. Nevertheless, his father was actively interested in education and provided young Niccolò with access to books. [Read More]


Although Niccolò Machiavelli was many things—counselor, poet, historian—he has been marked down in history first of all for his short book Il principe, on principalities and princes. [Read More]

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