Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian Renaissance diplomat, philosopher, and political theorist who is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in Western political philosophy. He was born on May 3, 1469, in Florence, Italy, during a time of political upheaval and unrest. Machiavelli’s family was relatively poor but held some influence in Florentine politics.
Machiavelli began his career as a diplomat and served in various capacities for the Florentine Republic. He also wrote extensively on political theory and philosophy, most notably in his famous work, “The Prince,” which remains a classic in the field of political philosophy. Machiavelli’s ideas, particularly his advocacy for the use of ruthless tactics in politics, were controversial and often criticized during his lifetime.
Machiavelli died on June 21, 1527, in Florence, Italy, at the age of 58. He was buried in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence, but his reputation remained tarnished for several centuries. In the 19th century, however, his works began to be re-evaluated, and he is now considered one of the most important political philosophers of all time. Machiavelli’s ideas and concepts, particularly those in “The Prince,” continue to influence political thought and practice to this day.
It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
Politics have no relation to morals.
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”
The end justifies the means.
It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel.
A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.
He who becomes a prince through the favor of the people should keep them friendly by confirming their privileges.
A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man.
Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.