The course aims to offer an introduction to Machiavelli’s political thought. We will give particular attention to The Prince, but we will also consider its relation with the Discourses on Livy and to the Florentine Histories and we will discuss the question whether Machiavelli was a republican, as claimed by many contemporary interpreters. In the first two meetings we will try to situate Machiavelli in the context of the Florentine political thought in the 14th and 15th centuries, with particular regard for the so-called “civic humanism.” For this reason, these two meetings will take the form of a lecture, rather than of a seminar. As for the rest, we will read and discuss selected parts of Machiavelli’s writings.

Semester: WT 2024/25