By William J. Landon

Niccol? Machiavelli would possibly not were a cynical realist as he's frequently portrayed. to the contrary, this booklet argues that he precociously possessed the features of an impassioned, occasionally inaccurate idealist, keen about the assumption of Italian unification, yet blinded to the practicalities of accomplishing that aim. William J. Landon means that those features might help to give an explanation for his entice Italy's "Risorgimento" founders. This interdisciplinary quantity, which additionally includes the 1st translation of a "Discourse or discussion relating our Language" for the reason that 1961, works good as a center textual content, or as a supplement to classes in Renaissance background, literature or political technology.

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But before progressing to this, it will be helpful to provide statistical information regarding the Considerazioni. 31Rather than provide a comment or critique of each of Machiavelli’s Discorsi, Guicciardini selected thirty-nine discourses on 28 Politics, Patriotism and Language which to pass judgment. For example, he commented on twenty-eight out of the sixty Chapters of Machiavelli’s first book; eight out of thirty three fiom book two; and only three of forty-nine in the final book of the Discorsi.

Yet, however oblivious in practice to the demands of larger loyalties, literate Italians were forever referring to the land as a whole. It is hard to find a poet or historian, or writer of any kind, who does not offer observations or reflections which might be 37 used to illustrate a view of Italy. 38In 1515, the year in which Machiavelli may have authored the last Chapter to I1 Principe, what was the situation in Florence and in Italy? 39For all practical purposes, the papacy was the last Italian institution capable of dealing with either foreign power on a level footing.

27 With those questions still fkesh, one may turn to a contemporary of Machiavelli’s, Francesco Guicciardini. What, if anything, did he have to say about patria, religion and Machiavelli’s proposals for a liberated and united Italy? ia in Guicciardini’s Consideraeoni Guicciardini’s friendship with Machiavelli provides some of the most memorable literary exchanges of the cinquecento. 28 After Machiavelli’s death, and the sack of Rome, Guicciardini’s political life came to a bitter end. 3o Perhaps this personal experience with the brigands of the Romagna tainted Guicciardini’s assessment of Machiavelli’s political theory with a hint of bitterness.

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