full title · The Prince
author · Niccolò Machiavelli
type of work · Political treatise; letter; manual
language · Italian
time and place written · Started in July 1513, finished in 1514; Florence, Italy
date of first publication · 1532, after Machiavelli’s death; first English translation appeared in 1640.
themes · Statesmanship and warcraft; goodwill and hatred; free will; virtue; human nature
political context · The Prince was written during a time of political turbulence as a practical guide to help Lorenzo de’ Medici stay in power. Lorenzo did not agree with many of Machiavelli’s suggestions. The book appeared on the pope’s “Index of Prohibited Books” in 1559.