The Discourses (100 Copy Collector's Edition)

The Discourses (100 Copy Collector's Edition)

by Niccolò Machiavelli


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The Discourses is a work of political history and philosophy. The work is an analysis of the first ten books of Livy’s Ab urbe condita, which describe the expansion of Rome through the end of the Third Samnite War in 293 BCE. Machiavelli also discusses what can be learned from many other eras including contemporary politics. He describes Romans and other ancient peoples as superior models for his contemporaries, but he also describes political greatness as something which comes and goes amongst peoples, in cycles.

Written in the early 16th century, The Discourses were published posthumously with papal privilege in 1531. The text comprises a dedication letter and three books with 142 numbered chapters. Many scholars have studied the coincidence that Livy’s history also contained 142 books in addition to its introduction as well as other numerological curiosities that turn up in Machiavelli’s writings. The Discourses is often said to have paved the way of modern republicanism. While the book is primarily a discussion of the classical history of early Ancient Rome, it strays very far from this subject matter and uses contemporary political examples to illustrate points.

This cloth-bound book includes a Victorian inspired dust-jacket, and is limited to 100 copies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781774376003
Publisher: Engage Books
Publication date: 08/17/2020
Pages: 428
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Niccolò Machiavelli (3 May 1469 - 21 June 1527) was an Italian Renaissance diplomat, philosopher, and writer, best known for The Prince, written in 1513. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy or political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry, and worked as secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power.

Machiavelli considered political battles, not through a lens of morality, but as though they are a board game with established rules. His experience showed him that politics has always been played with deception, treachery and crime. He also notably said that a ruler who is establishing a kingdom or a republic, and is criticized for his deeds, including violence, should be excused when the intention and the result is beneficial.

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