Modern Library Classics

The Essential Writings of Machiavelli

Publisher: Modern Library
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 Warrior 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


Chapter One

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...
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