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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Discourses on Livy [Niccolò Machiavelli]

The Discourses on Livy (Italian: Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, literally "Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livy") is a work of political history and philosophy written in the early 16th century (ca. 1513) by the Italian writer and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli, best known as the author of The Prince. Where the latter is devoted to advising the ruler of a principality, i.e., a type of monarchy, the Discourses purport to explain the structure and benefits of a republic, a form of government based on popular consent and control. It is considered almost unanimously by scholars to be if not the first, then certainly the most important, work on republicanism in the early modern period.
Machiavelli dedicated this work to Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai, two of the greatest exponents of the Orti Oricellari in Florence, where aristocratic young people met in order to discuss politics, art and literature.




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