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The Prince

Niccolò Machiavelli


Key Facts

Key Facts

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.

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