Montaigne: Essays
Machiavelli: Discourses on Livy

Machiavelli: The Prince

800px-Santi_di_Tito_-_Niccolo_Machiavelli's_portraitThe Prince (Italian: Il Principe) by Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), one of the most influential political texts ever written, was dedicated to Lorenzo II de Medici in the early sixteenth century, a time when Machiavelli's native Florence was teetering between monarchical and republican rule. The fact that Machiavelli worked on this manual of advice for monarchs at the same time as his fervently republican Discourses on Livy, suggests that his deepest interest may have been the institute of the state itself.

Although he was writing in a long tradition of 'mirrors for princes', Machavelli's ruthless pragmatism was a new departure which damned him in the eyes of many then and since, but which contributed to a tradition of political realism taken up by Hobbes among others. The emergence of modern elite theory from the late nineteenth century underlined his lasting influence on Italian political thought.

The Prince at Amazon: United StatesUnited Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Constitution Society: The Prince, translated by William Kenaz Marriott. HTML format.
Early Modern Texts: The Prince, adapted and translated into modern English, by Jonathan Bennett. PDF format.
Feedbooks: The Prince, translated by Ninian Hill Thompson. EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats.
Gutenberg: The Prince, translated by William Kenaz Marriott. Multiple formats. Il Principe, Italian text, edited by Sálvio Marcelo Soares (2009). PDF format.
Internet Archive: The Prince and the Discourses. The Prince translated by Luigi Ricci and revised by E.R.P. Vincent. With an Introduction by Max Lerner. Modern Library (1940). Multiple formats. The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott. HTML format.
Online Library of Liberty: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 2 (The Prince, Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, Thoughts of a Statesman). Translated by Christian Detmold. Multiple formats.
The Prince Book Free. Marriott English translation and other languages. Multiple formats.
Standard Ebooks: The Prince. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott Multiple formats.
Wikisource: Italian text and multiple translations. HTML and other formats.

Audio Resources

BBC In Our Time: Machiavelli and the Italian City States. Melvyn Bragg with Quentin Skinner, Evelyn Welch and Lisa Jardine.
CBC Radio: Machiavelli - The Prince of Paradox. Nicola Luksic, with Clifford Orwin, Michelle Clarke, Harvey Mansfield and Erica Benner.
Internet Archive: Allan Bloom's Machiavelli Lecture - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5.
History of Philosophy without any gaps: No More Mr Nice Guy - Machiavelli, podcast by Peter Adamson.
Librivox: The Prince - Public domain audiobooks.
Philosophy Bites: Quentin Skinner on Machiavelli's The Prince.
Philosophy, The Classics: Machiavelli - The Prince, podcast by Nigel Warburton. A monologue about The Prince, by Robert Harrison.

Video Resources

Catholic University of America: Machiavelli's Modern Turn, lecture by Nathan Tarcov.
Conversations with Bill Kristol: Harvey Mansfield on Tocqueville's Machiavellianism.
Foundation for Constitutional Government: "Is Machiavelli a Moralist or a Realist?" with Erica Benner (Yale); Michelle Clarke (Dartmouth); Clifford Orwin (Toronto). | How does Machiavelli Regard Religion?, with William Connell (Seton Hall); William Kristol (The Weekly Standard); Vickie Sullivan (Tufts); Nathan Tarcov (Chicago). | Is Machiavelli a Civic Humanist or figure of the Renaissance? with James Hankins (Harvard); John McCormick (Chicago); Eric Nelson (Harvard); Paul Rahe (Hillsdale). | Is Machiavelli a Philosopher? with Ioannis Evrigenis (Tufts); Christopher Lynch (Carthage); Harvey Mansfield (Harvard); Waller Newell (Carleton).
YouTube: How Machiavellian was Machiavelli? Public lecture by Quentin Skinner.
YouTube: Harvey Mansfield on "Machiavelli's Verità Effetuale".
YouTube: New Modes and Orders - Machiavelli's 'The Prince', Lecture by Steven Smith. Chapters 1-12 | Chapters 13-26.

Other Resources

BritaininPrint: The Influence of Machiavelli on Shakespeare, by Ralph McLean.
Center for Constitutional Government: Great Thinkers - Niccolo Machiavelli.
Internet Archive: Niccolo Machiavelli and His Times, by Pasquale Villari (1878).
PhilPapers: Niccolo Machiavelli - bibliography with open access option.
New Yorker: The Question of Machiavelli, by Isaiah Berlin, 4 November 1971 issue.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Niccolò Machiavelli.
Wikipedia: The Prince.

Further reading

Xenophon: Cyropedia - An early example of the traditional mirrors of princes genre. Leo Strauss argued that it had directly influenced Machiavelli, who makes a similar distinction between inherited and newly founded principalities.
Xenophon: Hiero - has been seen as similar to The Prince, because of its sympathetic treatment of a tyrant.
The Arthashastra.
Machiavelli: Discourses on Livy.
Petrarch: Canzoniere - quoted in the final lines of The Prince.
Bloom's Western Canon: The Prince is listed.
Italian Language resources.


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