Sunday, July 25, 2021

In the Vindication of Machiavelli

The letter by Niccolò Machiavelli to Zanobius Buondelmontius is probably fake. It was probably written by Sir Henry Neveille in the sixteenth century. But this letter is a good vindication of Machiavelli and his great works on political theory and history. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:  

“I come now to the last branch of my charge: that I teach princes villainy, and how to enslave. If any man will read over my book ... with impartiality and ordinary charity, he will easily perceive that it is not my intention to recommend that government, or those men there described, to the world; much less to teach men how to trample upon good men, and all that is sacred and venerable upon the earth, laws, religion, honesty, and what not. If I have been a little too punctual in describing these monsters in all their lineaments and colors, I hope mankind will know them, the better to avoid them, my treatise being both a satire against them, and a true character of them.”

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