By Niccolo Capponi
Capponi’s intimate portrait of Machiavelli finds his habit as completely un-Machiavellian, his imaginative and prescient of the area as restricted by means of his very provincial outlook. in any case, Machiavelli was once annoyed by means of his personal political mess ups and completely baffled by means of the luck of his ebook The Prince.
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Extra resources for An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli
Despite a not lavish income, he would see that at least his male offspring got an adequate formal education. In the already-mentioned commonplace book, references to his children are scarce, but in 1476 he would record that Niccolò, then aged seven, was learning the rudiments of Latin grammar, first with a certain “maestro Matteo” and later the same year with “Ser Battista di Filippo da Poppi,” both clergymen. In a subsequent entry dating from 1479, he would write about his eldest son learning the abacus, and finally, in 1481, we discover that the second son, Totto, had started school and Niccolò had been busy doing Latin translations under Ser Paolo Sasso da Ronciglione.
Venice’s system, with its well-tuned checks and balances, appeared as good a way as any to avoid the emergence of another de facto lordship, and the creation of the Council of the Eighty (the Ottanta), loosely based on the Venetian senate, was a further step in this direction. However, Venice had developed its own constitution through trial and error over a period of centuries, and in any case, the power given to the Eighty was rather more limited than the one enjoyed by the Venetian senate. ” The Venetian constitution implied a strong sense of political unity and collaboration, something the Florentines seemed unable to master.
In truth, Florence functioned (and the same is true today) only with a firm hand guiding it. The year Niccolò Machiavelli came into the world the ship of state was in effect run by a restricted oligarchy, led by a powerful branch of the Medici family, disguised behind the trappings of soy disant democratic institutions. Not that this leadership had gone uncontested over the years. In 1466, just three years before Niccolò’s birth, a number of senior citizens, many of them former Medici allies or clients, had conspired to force a change of regime, and the attempt had failed only through a combination of bad luck, bad timing, and defections from the ranks of the plotters.