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Niccolo Machiavelli (Machiavelli Niccolo)

( Italian writer and diplomat.)

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Biography Niccolo Machiavelli (Machiavelli Niccolo)
photo Niccolo Machiavelli (Machiavelli Niccolo)
Born May 3, 1469 in Florence, the second son in the family of the notary. Parents of Machiavelli, although they belonged to an ancient Tuscan family, were men of very modest means. The boy grew up in an atmosphere of 'Golden Age' during the regime of Florence Lorenzo de 'Medici. Little is known about childhood Machiavelli. From his writings it is clear, . that he was a keen observer of political events of his time, the most significant of these was the invasion of Italy in 1494 King Charles VIII of France, . the expulsion of the Medici family of Florence and the establishment of the republic, . initially managed by Girolamo Savonarola,
In 1498 Machiavelli was hired secretary to the second office, College Ten, and Master Signoria - positions to which he was consistently successful elected until 1512. Machiavelli devoted himself to the thankless and poorly paid service. In 1506 added to the set of their duties in organizing the Florentine militia (Ordinanza) and its supervisory activities of the Council of Nine, established in no small measure to his insistence. Machiavelli believed that it should establish a civilian army that could replace mercenaries in the wings of one of the reasons the military weakness of the Italian. Throughout the life of Machiavelli used for diplomatic and military orders on the Florentine lands and collect information during a trip abroad. For Florence, who continued to pro-French policies of Savonarola, it was a time of permanent crisis: Italy torn by internal strife and suffered from foreign invasions.

Machiavelli was close to the head of the republic, the great Piero Soderini Gonfaloniere Florence, and although he had the authority to negotiate and make decisions that mission, which he was assigned, often wore a delicate nature and have been very important. Among them is the embassy to several royal courts. In 1500, Machiavelli arrived at the court of King Louis XII, to discuss the terms of assistance in continuing the war with the breakaway rebel Pisa from Florence. Twice was at the court of Cesare Borgia, in Urbino and Imola (1502), to stay abreast of action of the Duke of Romagna, which is worried about the increased power of the Florentines. In Rome in 1503, watched the election of a new pope (Julia II), and being at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1507, discussed the size of the Florentine tribute. Actively participated in many events of that time.

In this 'diplomatic' period in the life of Machiavelli gained experience and knowledge of political institutions and human psychology which - as in the study of the history of Florence and the Ancient Rome - his compositions are based. In his reports and letters of the time you can detect most of the ideas that he later developed and which gave a more polished form. Machiavelli is often experienced a feeling of bitterness, and not so much because of acquaintance with the seamy side of foreign policy, but because of differences in Florence itself and its half-hearted policy of powerful states.

His own career faltered in 1512, when Florence was defeated by the Holy League, formed by Julius II against the French in alliance with Spain. Medici returned to power, and Machiavelli was forced to leave the public service. Watching him, he was jailed on charges of conspiracy against the Medici in 1513, he was tortured with a rope. In the end, Machiavelli retired to the legacy of his father's modest estate in Albergachcho Perkussine near San Casciano on the road to Rome. Some time later, when Julius II died and was succeeded by Leo X, the Medici's anger softened. Machiavelli was visiting friends in town, he took an active part in the literary gatherings, and even cherished the hope of returning to duty (in 1520 received the post of historiographer, which was appointed to the University of Florence).

Shock suffered by Machiavelli after his dismissal and the collapse of the republic, which he served so faithfully and zealously, forced it to take up the pen. The character is not allowed to remain long in idleness; incapable of doing things you love - politics, Machiavelli wrote in this period of great literary and historical value. Chief masterpiece - The Emperor (Il Principe), a brilliant and well-known treatise, written mostly in 1513 (published posthumously in 1532). The original author of a book titled On the principalities (De Principatibus) and dedicated it to Giuliano de 'Medici, brother of Leo X, but in 1516 he died, and the dedication was addressed to Lorenzo de' Medici (1492-1519). Historical work Machiavelli Discourses on Livy (Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio) was written in the period 1513-1517. Among other works of art - The Art of War (Dell'arte della guerra, . 1521, . written in 1519-1520), . History of Florence (Istorie fiorentine, . was written in 1520-1525), . two theatrical pieces - Mandrake (Mandragola, . probably, . 1518; the original name - Commedia di Gallimaco e di Lucrezia) and Klitsiya (probably, . in 1524-1525), . as well as novel Belfagor (in manuscript - Fairy Tale, . written before 1520),
. He wrote also belong to the poetic works. Although the controversy about the personality of Machiavelli and his motivations persist to this day, he is certainly one of the greatest Italian writers.

It is difficult to assess the works of Machiavelli, primarily because of the complexity of his personality and ambiguity of ideas, still causing the most contradictory interpretations. Before us intellectually gifted man, an unusually astute observer, has a rare insight. He was capable of deep feeling and devotion, only honest and industrious, and his writings reveal a love for the pleasures of life and a lively sense of humor, though usually bitter. Yet the name of Machiavelli is often used as a synonym for betrayal, treachery and political immorality.

In part, these estimates due to religious reasons, denouncing his writings as Protestants and Catholics. The occasion served as a criticism of Christianity in general and the papacy in particular, according to Machiavelli, the papacy undermined military prowess and has played a negative role, causing fragmentation and degradation of Italy. On top of that his views are often distorted by commentators, and his sentences on the establishment and protection of the state ripped out of context and quoted to reinforce the image of Machiavelli in everyday use - a malicious Adviser sovereigns

. Besides, . The emperor was regarded as his most characteristic, . if not the only writing, this book is very easy to select passages, . clearly demonstrating an approving attitude towards despotism and are in stark contrast with the traditional moral norms,
. To some extent this can be explained, . that in the Emperor proposes emergency measures in an emergency, but played the role of Machiavelli and aversion to half-measures, . as well as the desire for effective submission of ideas, and his opposition led to a bold and unexpected generalizations,
. At the same time, he really believed the art of politics, . which does not depend on morality and religion, . at least when it comes to media, . and not to, . and made himself vulnerable to accusations of cynicism, . trying to find the universal rules of political action, . which would be based on observation of actual behavior, . rather than arguments about, . how it should be,

Machiavelli argued that such rules are found in history and confirmed by modern political developments. In the dedication of Lorenzo de 'Medici at the beginning of the Sovereign Machiavelli wrote that the most valuable gift that could bring to, is the apprehension of the acts of great men, acquired' long experience in these matters and constant study of the cases of the past '. Machiavelli uses history to using carefully selected examples reinforce the maxim of political action, which he formulated, based on our own experience, rather than on historical Studies.

Emperor - labor dogma rather than empirical, much less a man's writings, applying for positions (as is often assumed). This is not a cold call to despotism, but the book is imbued with a high sense (despite the rationality of presentation), anger and passion. Machiavelli seeks to show the difference between the authoritarian and despotic methods of government. Emotions reach a climax at the end of the treatise, the author appeals to the strong hand, the savior of Italy, the new emperor, capable of a powerful state and liberate Italy from foreign domination 'barbarians'.

Machiavelli's observations on the need for ruthless decisions, if and seem motivated by the political situation of that era remain relevant and well being debated in our time. The rest of its direct contribution to political theory is insignificant, although many of the ideas of thinkers have stimulated the development of later theories. It is also doubtful practical impact of his writings on public figures, . despite the fact that the latter often relied on the ideas of Machiavelli (often their distorting) the priority of state interests and methods, . who must use the ruler in the conquest (acquista) and retention (mantiene) power,
. In fact, Machiavelli was read and quoted adherents of autocracy, however, in practice, autocrats do without the ideas of the Italian thinker.

More important, these ideas have had on the Italian nationalists in the era of the Risorgimento (the political rebirth - from the first outbreaks karbonarstva in 20-ies of the 19. before unification in 1870) and during the Fascist rule. In Machiavelli mistakenly saw the forerunner of the Italian central state. However, like most of the Italians of that time, he was a patriot, not a nation and its city-state.

In any case dangerous to ascribe Machiavellian ideas of other eras and thinkers. Study of his works should begin with the understanding that they arose in the context of the history of Italy, more specifically - the history of Florence in the era of wars of conquest. The Emperor was conceived as a textbook for autocrats, for any significant time. However, in his critical examination should not forget about the specific time of writing and the author's identity. Reading treatise in this light helps to understand some of the ambiguities. Remains, however, the fact that Machiavelli's arguments are not always consistent, and many of its apparent contradictions should be recognized as valid. Machiavelli recognizes both human freedom, and his 'fortune' fate, with which strong and energetic man could still somehow fight. On the one hand, . thinker sees in man hopelessly spoiled creature, . on the other - passionately believes in the ability of the ruler, . endowed with virtu (perfect personality, . valor, . fullness force, . mind and will), . liberate Italy from foreign domination, protecting human dignity, . He, however, refers to evidence deepest depravity Rights,

It should also briefly mention the Discourses, where Machiavelli focuses on the republican forms of government. The writing aspires to the wording of the eternal laws of political science, . derived from the study of history, . but it is impossible to understand, . without taking into account the outrage, . which caused a Machiavellian political corruption in Florence and the inability to rule the Italian despots, . presents himself as the best alternative to chaos, . created by their predecessors in power,
. The basis of all the works of Machiavelli - the dream of a strong state, not necessarily Republican, but based on the support of the people and capable of resisting foreign invasions.

The main themes of History of Florence (eight books which were presented to Pope Clement VII Medici in 1525): the need for general agreement to strengthen the state and its inevitable expansion with an increase in political infighting. Machiavelli cites facts, . described in historical chronicles, . but seeks to identify the true causes of historical events, . rooted in the psychology of individuals and the conflict of class interests, the history he needed to, . to learn, . that, . he believed, . will be useful for all ages,
. Machiavelli, apparently, first proposed the concept of historical cycles.

History of Florence, distinguished by dramatic narrative tells the story of the city-state of origin of the Italian medieval civilization before the French invasion in the late 15 in. This work is imbued with the spirit of patriotism and determination to find a rational rather than supernatural causes of historical events. However, the author belongs to its time, and in this work can be found references to signs and wonders.

Extraordinary value represents the correspondence of Machiavelli, the most interesting letters which he wrote to his friend Francesco Vettori, mainly in 1513-1514, when he was in Rome. In these letters, you can find everything - from the description of details of domestic life to lewd jokes and political analysis. The most well known letter of 10 December 1513, which depicts a typical day in the life of Machiavelli, and provides an invaluable explanation of how the idea of Sovereign. The letters reflect not only the ambitions and anxieties of the author, but also the vitality, humor and acuteness of his thinking.

These qualities are present in all his works, serious and comedic (for example, Mandragora). In assessing the merits of this stage of the play (it is still sometimes play, and not without success) and it contains malicious satire of disagreement. However, Machiavelli holds here and some of his ideas - about success, the accompanying sense of purpose, and the inevitable collapse of a pending wavering and those who are engaging in wishful thinking. Her characters - including one of the most famous in literature simpletons duped Messer moted - recognizable as the typical characters, while creating the impression of the results of original creativity. At the heart of the comedy - alive Florentine life, its manners and customs.

Genius Machiavelli was created and fictional Biography Castruccio Castracani from Lucca, composed in 1520 and depicts the rise to power of the famous condottiere in the early 14. In 1520 Machiavelli visited Lucca as a sales representative on behalf of Cardinal Lorenzo Strozzi (to whom he dedicated the dialogue about the art of war) and, as usual, he studied political institutions and history of the city. One of the fruits of his stay in Lucca was a biography, portraying the ruthless ruler and a certain romantic ideas about the art of describing the war. In this small work of author's style is as rough around the edges and bright, as in other works of the writer.

By the time when Machiavelli has created major works of humanism in Italy has already passed the peak of their bloom. Effect of humanists noticeable in the style of Sovereign, in which the political work we can see the characteristic of the Renaissance interest not to God but to man, person. However, intellectually and emotionally Machiavelli was far from the philosophical and religious interests of the humanists, their abstract, essentially a medieval approach to policy. Language of Machiavelli differs from the language of the humanists; problems that he discusses almost no humanistic thought.

Machiavelli is often compared with his contemporary, Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540), also a diplomat and historian, immersed in questions of political theory and practice. Not so aristocratic by birth and temperament, Machiavelli shared many of the basic ideas and emotions of the philosopher-humanist. For both of them characterized by a sense disaster in the history of Italian because of the French invasion and perturbation of the state of fragmentation that did not allow Italy to resist enslavement. However, the differences and divergences between them are also significant. Guicciardini criticized Machiavelli for his persistent appeals to the modern rulers to follow the ancient samples, and he believed in the role of compromise in politics. In fact, his views are more realistic and cynical than the views of Machiavelli.

Hope Machiavelli in Florence and his own blossoming career were cheated. In 1527, after Rome was given to the Spaniards to plunder, which again showed the extent of the fall of Florence, Italy, was restored republican government, which lasted three years. The dream of returning from the front to get a place Machiavelli Secretary Board of Ten did not come true. The new government it is no longer noticed. The spirit of Machiavelli was broken, poor health, and life was cut short thinker in Florence June 22, 1527.

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