Machiavelli 1469 - 1527 (58)

“Never was anything great achieved without danger.


The prince

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician and author, his book "The prince" exerted and still exerts a great influence on the world of politics and administration. He was born in Florence on May 3, 1469, when Italy was divided into rival city-states. His father was a poor lawyer, a descendant of a noble family, who with many deprivations managed to offer his son a good education. In 1494, after the expulsion of the Medici from the Florentine government, Machiavelli was appointed second chancellor of the Florentine Republic, and in 1498, after the execution of the Florentine leader for criticizing the Pope, Machiavelli, had become the negotiator for the city, in charge of managing diplomatic and military affairs. From this position he took part in more than 25 diplomatic missions and talked with the King of France in Paris, the Pope in Rome, the Emperor of Germany, and many other European leaders. The one who catalyzed him was Caesar Borgias, a cunning and ruthless official of the papal court.

In 1507 Machiavelli succeeded in building a military corps of Florentine citizens and defending the city against mercenary attacks. With this army he conquered Pisa in 1509 and thus consolidated the rule of Florence in Tuscany. His ultimate goal was to unite all of Italy under the hegemony of Florence, but in 1512 Florence was defeated by Spanish forces recruited by the Medici, who returned to power. Machiavelli was arrested, tortured and imprisoned for a short time. From 1513 he was exiled with his wife and five children to his estate in San Cassiano. In the isolation of his estate he devoted himself to writing and in 1517 he finished "The prince", a work that has not ceased to divide his readers to this day. Others see it as a cornerstone of political science, others as a work that promotes authoritarianism, corruption, opportunism and hypocrisy. Machiavelli also wrote other works such as "The History of Florence", "The Art of War", as well as comedies such as "Mandragoras". He died on June 21, 1527 from a stomach ailment.