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Machiavelli, Niccolo

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Born: 1469 AD
Died: 1527 AD, at 58 years of age.

Nationality: Italian
Categories: Authors, Philosopher, Politician

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1469 - Born in San Casciano in Val di Pesa on the 3rd of May.

1494 - He entered government service as a clerk, that same year, Florence expelled the Medici family, who had ruled the city for nearly sixty years, and restored the republic.

1499 - He was sent on a number of diplomatic missions to the court of Louis XII in France, Ferdinand II of Aragón, and the Papacy in Rome.

1502-1503 - He was a witness to the effective statebuilding methods of the soldier/churchman Cesare Borgia, an immensely capable general and statesman who was at that time engaged in enlarging his territories in central Italy through a mixture of audacity, prudence, self-reliance, firmness and, not infrequently, cruelty.

1506 - Machiavelli was responsible for the Florentine militia including the defense of the city. He distrusted mercenaries and much preferred a citizen militia.

1513 - He was accused of conspiracy and arrested.

1527 - Machiavelli died in San Casciano, a few miles outside of Florence, on the 22nd of June.

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Page last updated: 4:34pm, 20th Apr '07

  • "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."
  • "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order to things."
  • "Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked."
  • "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order to things."
  • "A wise man ought always to follow the paths beaten by great men, and to imitate those who have been supreme, so that if his ability does not equal theirs, at least it will savor of it. Let him act like the clever archers who, designing to hit the mark which yet appears too far distant, and knowing the limits to which the strength of their bow attains, take aim much higher than the mark, not to reach by their strength or arrow to so great a height, but to be able with the aid of so high an aim to hit the mark they wish to reach."