Niccolò Machiavelli

Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by [[Santi di Tito]] Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (, ; ; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is of high importance to historians and scholars. He worked as secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his best-known work ''The Prince'' (''Il Principe'') in 1513, having been exiled from city affairs.

''Machiavellian'' is widely used as a pejorative to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli advised most famously in ''The Prince.'' Machiavelli described immoral behavior, such as dishonesty and the killing of innocents, as being normal and effective in politics. He even encouraged it in many situations. The book gained notoriety due to claims that it teaches "evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their power".

The term ''Machiavellian'' often connotes political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik. Even though Machiavelli has become most famous for his work on principalities, scholars also give attention to the exhortations in his other works of political philosophy. His much less popular treatise, the ''Discourses on Livy'', is often said to have paved the way of modern republicanism. Provided by Wikipedia
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