Lecture 10 - New Modes and Orders: Machiavelli, The Prince (chaps. 1-12)

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: October 2006,   views: 3584
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The lecture begins with an introduction of Machiavelli's life and the political scene in Renaissance Florence. Professor Smith asserts that Machiavelli can be credited as the founder of the modern state, having reconfigured elements from both the Christian empire and the Roman republic, creating therefore a new form of political organization that is distinctly his own. Machiavelli's state has universalist ambitions, just like its predecessors, but it has been liberated from Christian and classical conceptions of virtue. The management of affairs is left to the princes, a new kind of political leaders, endowed with ambition, love of glory, and even elements of prophetic authority.

Reading assignment:

Machiavelli, The Prince, chapters 1-12

Resources: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott Courtesy of the University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection

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