The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

The following is a list of the works of Machiavelli:

Principal works. Discorso sopra le cose di Pisa, 1499; Del modo di trattare i popoli della Valdichiana ribellati, 1502; Del modo tenuto dal duca Valentino nell’ ammazzare Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, etc., 1502; Discorso sopra la provisione del danaro, 1502; Decennale primo (poem in terza rima), 1506; Ritratti delle cose dell’ Alemagna, 1508-12; Decennale secondo, 1509; Ritratti delle cose di Francia, 1510; Discorsi sopra la prima deca di T. Livio, 3 vols., 1512-17; Il Principe, 1513; Andria, comedy translated from Terence, 1513 (?); Mandragola, prose comedy in five acts, with prologue in verse, 1513; Della lingua (dialogue), 1514; Clizia, comedy in prose, 1515 (?); Belfagor arcidiavolo (novel), 1515; Asino d’oro (poem in terza rima), 1517; Dell’ arte della guerra, 1519-20; Discorso sopra il riformare lo stato di Firenze, 1520; Sommario delle cose della citta di Lucca, 1520; Vita di Castruccio Castracani da Lucca, 1520; Istorie fiorentine, 8 books, 1521-5; Frammenti storici, 1525.

Other poems include Sonetti, Canzoni, Ottave, and Canti carnascialeschi.

Editions. Aldo, Venice, 1546; della Tertina, 1550; Cambiagi, Florence, 6 vols., 1782-5; dei Classici, Milan, 10 1813; Silvestri, 9 vols., 1820-2; Passerini, Fanfani, Milanesi, 6 vols. only published, 1873-7.

Minor works. Ed. F. L. Polidori, 1852; Lettere familiari, ed. E. Alvisi, 1883, 2 editions, one with excisions; Credited Writings, ed. G. Canestrini, 1857; Letters to F. Vettori, see A. Ridolfi, Pensieri intorno allo scopo di N. Machiavelli nel libro Il Principe, etc.; D. Ferrara, The Private Correspondence of Nicolo Machiavelli, 1929.


 To the Magnificent Lorenzo Di Piero De' Medici:

 Those who strive to obtain the good graces of a prince are
 accustomed to come before him with such things as they hold most
 precious, or in which they see him take most delight; whence one
 often sees horses, arms, cloth of gold, precious stones, and
 similar ornaments presented to princes, worthy of their greatness.

 Desiring therefore to present myself to your Magnificence with
 some testimony of my devotion towards you, I have not found among
 my possessions anything which I hold more dear than, or value so
 much as, the knowledge of the actions of great men, acquired by
 long experience in contemporary affairs, and a continual study of
 antiquity; which, having reflected upon it with great and
 prolonged diligence, I now send, digested into a little volume, to
 your Magnificence.

 And although I may consider this work unworthy of your
 countenance, nevertheless I trust much to your benignity that it
 may be acceptable, seeing that it is not possible for me to make a
 better gift than to offer you the opportunity of understanding in
 the shortest time all that I have learnt in so many years, and
 with so many troubles and dangers; which work I have not
 embellished with swelling or magnificent words, nor stuffed with
 rounded periods, nor with any extrinsic allurements or adornments
 whatever, with which so many are accustomed to embellish their
 works; for I have wished either that no honour should be given it,
 or else that the truth of the matter and the weightiness of the
 theme shall make it acceptable.

 Nor do I hold with those who regard it as a presumption if a man
 of low and humble condition dare to discuss and settle the
 concerns of princes; because, just as those who draw landscapes
 place themselves below in the plain to contemplate the nature of
 the mountains and of lofty places, and in order to contemplate the
 plains place themselves upon high mountains, even so to understand
 the nature of the people it needs to be a prince, and to
 understand that of princes it needs to be of the people.

 Take then, your Magnificence, this little gift in the spirit in
 which I send it; wherein, if it be diligently read and considered
 by you, you will learn my extreme desire that you should attain
 that greatness which fortune and your other attributes promise.
 And if your Magnificence from the summit of your greatness will
 sometimes turn your eyes to these lower regions, you will see how
 unmeritedly I suffer a great and continued malignity of fortune.


All states, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities.

Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new.

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