Ruler of Syracuse (317–310 BCE) who conquered all of Sicily except for territory dominated by Carthage; he was eventually defeated by the Carthaginian army.


Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia (336–323 BCE). He conquered Greece, Persia, and much of Asia.

Alexander VI

Elected pope in 1492. Challenged by French invasion of Italy and a war between France and Spain. Father of Cesare Borgia.

Cesare Borgia

Also called Duke Valentino (1476–1507). Cesare Borgia was made duke of Romagna by his father, Pope Alexander VI, in 1501. He lost power after the death of the pope. Cesare Borgia is Machiavelli’s primary example of a prince who has great prowess, as displayed by his efforts to secure his state quickly after he was put in power.


Founder of the Persian Empire.

Julius II

Reigned as pope 1503–1513. Julius II strengthened the power of the Church through vigorous leadership and intelligent diplomacy. He defeated Roman barons and negotiated an alliance against France.

Leo X

Elected pope in 1513. Leo X was an advocate of the Medici family.

Lorenzo de’ Medici

The person to whom Machiavelli dedicated The Prince, Lorenzo II (1492-1519) was the ruler of Florence and the Duke of Urbino from 1516 until 1519, when he died. He was the grandson of the much more famous Lorenzo the Magnificent and the father or Catherine de' Medici, who would become the Queen of France.


Founder and first king of Rome.

Septimius Severus

Roman emperor (193–211 CE).


Hero of Attica, king of Athens. According to legend, he killed the Minotaur in the Cretan labyrinth.