FINALIST--2008 PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE
In The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, Peter Constantine has assembled a comprehensive collection that shows the true depth and breadth of a great Renaissance thinker. Refreshingly accessible, these superb new translations are faithful to Machiavelli’s original, beautifully crafted writings.
The volume features essays that appear in English for the first time, such as “A Caution to the Medici” and “The Persecution of Africa.” Also included are complete versions of the political treatise, The Prince , the comic satire The Mandrake , The Life of Castruccio Castracani , and the classic story “Belfagor”, along with selections from The Discourses, The Art of War, and Florentine Histories . Augmented with useful features–vital and concise annotations and cross-references–this unique compendium is certain to become the standard one-volume reference to this influential, versatile, and ever timely writer.
“Machiavelli's stress on political necessity rather than moral perfection helped inspire the Renaissance by renewing links with Thucydides and other classical thinkers. This new collection provides deeper insight into Machiavelli’s personality as a writer, thus broadening our understanding of him.”
–Robert D. Kaplan, author of W arrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos
“Constantine’s selection is not only intelligent; his translations are astonishingly good. Thoughtfully introduced by Albert Russell Ascoli, this edition belongs in everyone’s library.”
–John Jeffries Martin, professor and chair, department of history, Trinity University
“If one were to assign a single edition of Machiavelli's works, this most certainly would be it.”
–John P. McCormick, professor, department of political science, University of Chicago
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Essential Writings of Machiavelli|
|Release Date: 07-08-2009|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Essential Writings of Machiavelli
Of the kinds of principalities that exist, and how they can be acquired
All states, all dominions that rule or have ruled over men, are or have been either republics or principalities. Principalities are either hereditary, with a long-established bloodline, or new. And the new principalities are either entirely new, as Milan was to Francesco Sforza,2 or are like limbs added to the hereditary state of the prince who acquires them, as the Kingdom of Naples was to the King of Spain.3 States obtained in this way are accustomed either to living under a prince, or to being free. They are acquired either with the arms of others, or with one’s own, either by chance or by skill.
2. Francesco Sforza (1401–66) was a soldier of fortune who became Duke of Milan in 1450.
3. Ferdinand the Catholic (1452–1516), King of Aragon, also became Ferdinand III of Naples in 1504.
Of hereditary principalities
I will not discuss republics, as I have already done so at some length elsewhere. I shall only concentrate on principalities, and shall weave together the threads I have already laid out. I will show how these principalities can be governed and maintained.
First, states that are hereditary and tied to the bloodline of their prince are easier to maintain than new ones. It is enough not to diverge from the practices of one’s forebears, and to handle unforeseen issues as they arise. If such a prince is of at least average ability he can retain his position of power, so long as no extraordinary or excessive force deprive him of it. If this prince is deprived of his state, he will find he can reacquire it if