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Bedford/St. Martin's
Prince: With Related Documents (The Bedford Series of History and Culture) / Edition 1

Prince: With Related Documents (The Bedford Series of History and Culture) / Edition 1

by Niccolo Machiavelli, William J. Connell
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Widely read for its insights into history and politics, The Prince is one of the most provocative works of the Italian Renaissance. Based on Niccolò Machiavelli’s observations of the effectiveness of both ancient and contemporary statesmen, the rules for governing set forth in his manual were considered radical and harsh by his contemporaries and shocking to many since then. This major new edition combines an accurate and accessible new translation with important related documents, many of which appear here in English for the first time. In his lucid introductory essay, William J. Connell offers fresh insights into Machiavelli’s life, the meaning of his work, the context in which it was written, and its influence over time. Document headnotes, maps, a chronology of Machiavelli’s life, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and index provide further pedagogical support.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312149789
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date: 12/15/2004
Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.15(w) x 8.17(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

WILLIAM J. CONNELL, professor of history, holds the Joseph M. and Geraldine C. La Motta Chair in Italian Studies at Seton Hall University. He has also taught at Reed College and Rutgers University. A specialist in late medieval and early modern European history, he is the author of La città dei crucci: fazioni e clientele in uno stato repubblicano del '400 (2000), editor of Society and Individual in Renaissance Florence (2002), and coeditor of Florentine Tuscany: Structures and Practices of Power (2000). He has been a Fulbright Scholar, an I Tatti Fellow, and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and since 1992 secretary of the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Read an Excerpt

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Seventeenth Chapter: Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than Feared

...Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed, they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince, who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or by nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails....

Twenty-First Chapter: How a Prince Should Conduct Himself So as to Gain Renown

...A prince is also respected when he is either a true friend or a downright enemy, that is to say, when, without any reservation, he declares himself in favour of one party against the other; which course will always be more advantageous than standing neutral; because if two of your powerful neighbours come to blows, they are of such a character that, if one of them conquers, you have either to fear him or not. In either case it will always be more advantageous for you to declare yourself and to make war strenously; because, in the first case, if you do not declare yourself, you will invariably fall a prey to the conqueror, to the pleasure and satisfaction of his who has been conquered, and you will have no reasons to offer, nor anything to protect or to shelter you. Because he who conquers does not want doubtful friends who will not aid him in the time of trial; and he who loses will not harbour you because you did not willingly, sword in hand, court his fate....

Translation by: W.K. Marriott

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Puzzle of The Prince
An Extreme Book for Extreme Times
Humanists and Heretics
Machiavelli Before The Prince
The Prince's Prolonged and Difficult Birth
Dueling Machiavellis in Early Modern Europe: The Counselor to Tyrants and the Republican Conspirator
The Prince and the Autonomy of Politics: A Blessing and a Curse

The Document
The Prince

Related Documents
1. Niccolò Machiavelli, Letter to Giovan Battista Soderini, circa September 13-27, 1506
2. Francesco Vettori, Letter to Niccolò Machiavelli, November 23, 1513
3. Niccolò Machiavelli, Letter to Francesco Vettori, December 10, 1513
4. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Thrushes: A Sonnet, 1513
5. Riccardo Riccardi, Machiavelli's Presentation of The Prince, circa 1580
6. Niccolò Guicciardini, From a Letter to Luigi Guicciardini, July 29, 1517
7. Early Prefaces of The Prince
Biagio Buonaccorsi, Prefatory Letter to Pandolfo Bellacci, circa 1516-17
Teofilo Mochi, Prefatory Letter, circa 1530
Antonio Blado, Dedicatory Letter to Filippo Strozzi, January 4, 1532
Bernardo Giunta, Dedicatory Letter to Giovanni Gaddi, May 8, 1532
8. Agostino Nifo, From On Skill in Ruling. 1523
9. Giovan Battista Busini, From a Letter to Benedetto Varchi, January 23, 1549
10. Benedetto Varchi, From the Florentine History, 1565
11. Étienne Binet, From Machiavelli's Dream, 1629
12. Reginald Pole, From the Apology to Charles V, 1534
13. Innocent Gentillet, From the Discourses Against Machiavelli, 1576
14. Christopher Marlowe, From The Jew of Malta, circa 1590
15. Frederick the Great, From The Refutation of Machiavelli's "Prince," 1740
16. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, From On the Social Contract, After 1762
17. Benito Mussolini, "A Prelude to Machiavelli," 1924
18. Antonio Gramsci, From the Prison Notebooks, 1932-34

A Machiavelli Chronology (1469-1527)
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography

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