Friday, March 6, 2009

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) is the philosopher, writer, and Italian politician considered the founder of modern political science. As a Renaissance Man, he was a diplomat, political philosopher, musician, poet, and playwright, but, foremost, he was a Civil Servant of the Florentine Republic. In June of 1498, after the ouster and execution of Girolamo Savonarola, the Great Council elected Niccolò Machiavelli as Secretary to the second Chancery of the Republic of Florence.
Like Leonardo, Machiavelli is considered a typical example of the Renaissance Man. He is most famous for a short political treatise, The Prince, a work of realist political theory, however, both it and the more substantive republican Discourses on Livy went unpublished until the 1530s — after Machiavelli's death. Although he privately circulated The Prince among friends, the only work he published in his life was The Art of War, about high-military science. Since the sixteenth century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by the cynical (realist) approach to power exposited in The Prince, the Discourses, and the History. Whatever his personal intentions (still debated today), his surname yielded the modern political words “Macchiavelli” (a person of acute and subtle intelligence of wide appreciation) and Machiavellianism (the ruthless politics and deceit practiced in obtaining and retaining political power). (By Wikipedia) (Picture

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