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History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy

Niccolò Machiavelli

Book Overview: 

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy is an historical account by Niccolò Machiavelli. Toward the end of 1520, the Cardinal Giulio of Medici, later Pope Clement VII, offered Machiavelli the appointment to write a history of Florence. Although Machiavelli was reluctant to accept, accepting was his only way to regain the good graces of the Medici who had regained power and were in a position to offer him employment and protection. Doing the history also provided a way for Machiavelli’s views to become the “official” history of Florentine and Italian affairs. Once completed, the work was presented officially to Giulio, now Pope, in May of 1526.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Corso, thus finding himself surrounded by his foes, no longer retaining any hope of assistance from Uguccione, and without a chance of victory, thought only of effecting his personal safety, and with Gherardo Bordoni, and some of his bravest and most trusted friends, fought a passage through the thickest of their enemies, and effected their escape from the city by the Gate of the Cross. They were, however, pursued by vast numbers, and Gherardo was slain upon the bridge of Affrico by Boccaccio Cavicciulli. Corso was overtaken and made prisoner by a party of Catalan horse, in the service of the Signory, at Rovezzano. But when approaching Florence, that he might avoid being seen and torn to pieces by his victorious enemies, he allowed himself to fall from horseback, and being down, one of those who conducted him cut his throat. The body was found by the monks of San Salvi, and buried without any ceremony due to his rank. Such was the end of Corso, to whom his country and the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The wisdom that dominates The Prince and The Discourses on Livy merely adorns this text. It is received history, reworked from earlier chronicles, with dense narrative and only brief discussions. We find here not Machiavelli the political philosopher but Machiavelli the literary stylist.

In the f...more

The importance of this book on the American 'founders' cannot be understated; many of the ideas regarding property and republicanism, usually attributed to Locke or Rome, are expressed with pungent force here. John Adams, in particular, was moved to write essays debating (as it were) Machiavelli....more

this is a simple direct translation by WK Marriott . The English is current, and complicated clausal interrelations are lain smooth. Rarely does the reader feel unsure of the author's meaning. Not bad for a trade paperback. Now to read it in Italian to see how well it's done. (Not this year).
this...more

This less-famous work of Machiavelli depicts a medieval Florence, a city garnished with both classical vestiges and Renaissance innovations, a city identified with arts and wealth, a city known for a family -- the Medici family. While the book covered the history of Florence from its very Roman b...more

A fascinating history of Florence from one of the greatest political minds in history.

One of the best written histories of its time; despite some factual inaccuracy it is immaculately well written and a must read for the early modern intellectual historian.

First, it should be noted that this is a political history, and does not address the cultural or arts of the period. I liked it and thought it showed the difficulties of governance in an area and era of factions; and factions are a significant factor in different parts of the world today. Machiav...more

The year 2015 went as expected. This is the last book of this year.

Machiavelli was reviled by many for his "evilness" in the Prince. I kind of feel sorry for him, for there is someone who's much more evil than Machiavelli but somehow got away from being totally disgusted by others, because he had...more

"If you only notice human proceedings, you may observe that all who attain great power and riches, make use of either force or fraud; and what they have acquired either by deceit or violence, in order to conceal the disgraceful methods of attainment, they endeavor to sanctify with the false title...more

Sr. Machiavelli got me right from the first paragraph of this book. He starts his history of contemporary Florentine History (dating from the 1500s) by reaching back to recall the Germanic custom of dividing their population into thirds and sending one third of the people out of the land to find...more

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