By Mark Jurdjevic

ISBN-10: 0674725468

ISBN-13: 9780674725461

Like many population of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated among love and hate for his local urban. He frequently wrote scathing comments approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but additionally wrote approximately Florence with satisfaction, patriotism, and assured wish of higher occasions. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and melancholy he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly chronic feel that his urban had all of the fabrics and capability precious for a wholesale, effective, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably placed it, Florence was once "truly an excellent and wretched city."

Mark Jurdjevic specializes in the Florentine measurement of Machiavelli's political notion, revealing new points of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, so much considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political occupation and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He indicates that major and as but unrecognized points of Machiavelli's political concept have been surprisingly Florentine in suggestion, content material, and objective. From a brand new viewpoint and armed with new arguments, a very good and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's dating to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli in simple terms unfavorable classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings was once an immediate functionality of his substantial estimation of its unrealized political potential.

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Additional resources for A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought

Sample text

In chapter 18 of the Prince, Machiavelli elaborated on the classical trope that effective rulers required the qualities of both man and beast, proposing the lion and the fox as models of force and cunning. 56 As noted, Machiavelli expresses admiration in the First Decennale and the Discourses for Savonarola’s intellect and learning and appreciation in the Becchi letter of the degree to which Savonarola’s intelligence was not limited to theology but also revealed itself in his political skills. Savonarola used his sermons to rally his party and hence to intervene in Florentine politics.

When he was created was pride . . ”71 From Adam these two sins entered the world, and they gave rise to all other evils. Machiavelli in the Discourses revealed the recurring role envy plays in the history of politics; Savonarola in his Exodus sermons displayed a historical vision of the role of envy in the Christian past: “The death of Christ came about through the envy and pride of the Scribes and Pharisees. One reads also of Abel, who was killed by his brother because of envy of his sacrifice.

That [ 33 ] The Savonarolan Lens has not been foretold. . ”50 Although he nowhere stated this explicitly, Machiavelli must have written about Savonarola in a different mode than he usually deployed while discussing friars and prophets because he respected the degree to which Savonarola harnessed the power of religion in pursuit of political ends. In a sense, Savonarola and the Savonarolan moment in Florence were a republican counterpart to the rule of Cesare Borgia, through whom, among others, Machiavelli hoped to discern the verità effettuale of power.

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A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought by Mark Jurdjevic


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