The Prince was written around 1514 and published in 1532 (as Il Principe) five years after the death of its author, Niccolò Machiavelli. Dedicated by Machiavelli to Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler (“prince”) of Florence and Duke of Urbino, it was meant to advise, instruct, and influence the minds of aspiring rulers as a practical “how-to” guide. Only later did The Prince become regarded as a groundbreaking and crucial treatise on political philosophy.


Read one-minute Sparklet summaries, the detailed book-by-book Summary & Analysis, or the Full Work Summary of The Prince.

Key Terms & People

Reference these lists of key terms and people to consult as you study The Prince.

Core Ideas

Read descriptions of the main underlying ideas in The Prince.

Deeper Study

Go deeper into The Prince by reading essays providing background on Niccolò Machiavelli and his work as well as essays on concepts and study questions and answers.