Book Cover of The Prince

The Prince

by Niccolò Machiavelli

Machiavelli has created a ruthless guide on how to rule the country in his volume "The Prince". The book is dedicated to Lorenzo De Medici, the ruler of Florence. The author explains in simple language about the nature of great men and the characters of the government. The first chapter gives an outline of the book discussing various styles of ruling as a prince, character traits that a ruler should have and the political situation of Italy in the 16th century. The book is composed of 26 chapters which fall into four major sections. In part one Machiavelli discusses the four types of principalities. The first type is hereditary princedoms meaning they are inherited by the ruler. There are also mixed principalities which are seized by force, civic principalities which are acquired by various criminal methods and finally ecclesiastical principalities influenced by the church. Machiavelli outlines how to maintain a newly acquired territory as these various types of principalities. The author details the characters of a prince for example paying close consideration to the armed forces so that they help him keep his power. There are four types of armies that are identified by the author beginning with mercenaries who are the hired soldiers and tend to be unreliable and dangerous. There are also auxiliaries which are the soldiers lent by other rulers, native troops which are the soldiers in their own country and lastly the mixed troops which will have soldiers from native troops, auxiliaries and mercenaries.

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

Italian

Published In

1532

Author

Niccolò Machiavelli image

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli  was an Italian Renaissance diplomat, philosopher and writer, best known for The Prince (Il Principe), written in 1513. He has often been called the fat...

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