Coordinated by Filip STANCIU

Niccolò Machiavelli and the State



University of Bucharest



Abstract: The author of this brief study aims to present the basic elements in Niccolò Machiavelli’s political ideas about the topic of the State. In this study, we preferred to adopt an approach that highlights Machiavelli the “political” thinker and focuses less on Machiavelli “the philosopher”. Being, par excellence, a practician of politics, he analysed the situations of his age, scanned them and provided a practical solution. This is why the Florentine secretary did not claim to create a piece of writing that would subscribe to the ideal theoretical coordinates of a coherent system of thinking. Although the term “state”, found in the Machiavellian political vocabulary, was not coined by the Florentine thinker, he managed, for the first time, to produce a semantic shift, which allows for the expression of political and ethnic forces, natural conditions, and the existence of a territory, together with the subjective forces involved in the exercise of state power, the complex of public powers and the ways in which they manifest.


Keywords: politics, state, political power, the Prince, Machiavelli.



1.                   INTRODUCTION

To be honest, the term State does not appear too many times in Machiavelli’s historical-political writings. However, the Florentine political theorist was recognised the merit of having provided, right from the beginning of his memorable work, “The Prince”, a major launching pad for the term of state:

“All states, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities”.[1]

When he talked about the State, rather than the genus, he focused mainly on the species (the republic and the principality):

“[...] Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new. The new are either entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or they are, as it were, members annexed to the hereditary state of the prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of the King of Spain. Such dominions thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom; and are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others, or else by fortune or by ability”.[2]

Machiavelli specialists[3] believe that the state and the art of politics are constantly at the heart of his theoretical thinking. Each reference to man, to concepts relative to social life, the people and freedom moves around state, government, statesmen, and politics.[4] It is in the early 16th century that the first elements of the centralized state started to emerge in the western part of Europe. The particular situation of Italy, characterised by pronounced administrative and territorial division, influenced, undoubtedly, Machiavelli’s political thinking. The incursion, from north to south, led by the French army under Charles’ VIII command (they occupied the kingdom of Naples in 1495), and, later on, the attacks led by Louis XII in northern Italy, revealed the political frailness of the states lying in the Italian peninsula.

The analysis of the relationships established between various peninsular states and of the roles played by political regimes in the creation of “national” domestic solidarity, conducted by Machiavelli, transforms him into the herald of the modern state and of the concept of “reason of state”.

2.                   BASIC CONCEPTS


The term “state”, found in the Machiavellian political vocabulary, was not coined by the Florentine thinker. The word “state” appears in the Divina Commedia, written by Dante Alighieri, where it assumes the meaning of “condition”, “situation”, “complex of phenomena”[5], but never that abstract meaning which, from a semantic perspective, sums up the various forms of a ruling power.  In Machiavelli, Dante’s mark is still present, but he managed, for the first time, to produce a semantic shift, which allows for the expression of political and ethnic forces, natural conditions, and the existence of a territory, together with the subjective forces involved in the exercise of state power, the complex of public powers and the ways in which they manifest.[6]

In Machiavelli, the State involves people and means, that is, the human and material resources around which any regime is built, and in particular, the governing system and the group of people who exercise power in the service of the Prince. With this realistic approach, Machiavelli identified the phenomenology behind the genesis of the “new principality”.



3.                   THE NEW PRINCIPALITY


The new type of state stems from the expression of “power” and “rebellion” and as a result of communal freedoms having been corrupted.[7]

 Machiavelli’s “new principality” is directly linked with his view of the “new prince”. The paragon of Prince the Florentine thinker has in mind belongs to a special category because of the way in which he interacts with other people or with social groups. This is why the relationship between the Prince and his Subjects is fundamental in order to understand Machiavelli’s view of government and the State. To see how the Prince proceeds, in Machiavelli’s view, in order to legitimate himself before his subjects and, as a result, to govern, we need to discuss the manner in which “justice” is envisaged, whit the help of the attitude described in the dialogue between Socrates and Thrasymachus (a sophist) from the “Book I” of Plato’s “Republic”.[8]

The dialogue is believed to have taken place around the year 408 B. C. Socrates, together with Glaucon, son of Ariston, was in Piraeus, in order to offer his prayers to the Thracian goddess Bendis. On their way back, they were stopped by Polemarchus’ slave, who was accompanied by Adeimantus, Plato’s elder brother. The latter asked Socrates and Ariston to stay another day in Piraeus, offering to receive them in his house. The guests, among whom Thrasymachus, talk with each other throughout the scene and after it ends. The main topic approached was “justice”.

            In conversation, two definitions of “justice” seem to prevail: a) justice must give to each man what is proper to him; b) justice means giving good to friends and evil to enemies. Thrasymachus, who, up to this point, has not intervened, reacts quite violently, asking Socrates, vehemently, to take part in the debate, and accusing him that he preferred to listen and mediate the dialogue rather than getting involved by providing a definition.[9] When Socrates asks him why he did not provide a definition himself, Thrasymachus retorts that if he wishes to get such a definition, he should pay for it. After several exchanges with Socrates, Thrasymachus accepts to provide a definition for the term “justice”. Thus, by justice, Thrasymachus understands “the interest of the stronger”[10], referring to those who hold the power. In his opinion, it is the rulers who are the source of justice in each city, and their laws are just, but it is likely that the latter are adopted only in their interest, in order to maintain their hold on power.[11]

If we continue Thrasymachus’ line of thought, we arrive at the idea that for an individual to be “happy” he should rule rather than be ruled, just as it is much more advantageous to be dishonest rather than honest. This description of the “state of happiness” outlines the situations or states that mirror very well a “tyrant’s” condition.[12]

We see that the type of approach imposed by Thrasymachus with respect to “justice”, and, therefore, to those who apply it, is purely philosophical. On the contrary, the approach imposed by Machiavelli in the analysis of the relationship between the Prince and his Subjects is pragmatic. Machiavelli did not try to identify the definition of the concept of “justice”, he was a practician, driven by a pragmatic view of “good”. For the Florentine thinker, adequate, just laws, are efficient laws. And, as a logical consequence, the one who issues them, the Prince, obeys to the same system of evaluation. The difference between theory and practice is given by the fact that the Prince imposes “justice” through the State. Starting from here, Machiavelli accounts for the difference between the Prince and Thrasymachus’s “tyrant”.[13]

Coming back to the previous idea, Machiavelli’s Prince conceives his role from within the web of relationships established between people and/or between people and social groups. Thrasymachus’ “tyrant” has a different position. He cannot identify a role for himself from within the relationships established between people, we may also say that, in his case, there is no such relationship; the only thing that can be clearly identified is his Subjects’ relationship of total subordination to him.

The Florentine secretary never pretended to write a treatise on tyranny. In the Prince, he sees the paragon of someone who is able to save civil life. He creates the Prince as a servant of politics.[14]

Starting from here, another topic developed by Machiavelli unravels; a topic relative to the relationship between the people and the Prince.

Should his power rely on a feeling of love or on fear? The answer is: on both![15] A very interesting concept stems from this idea, called the “consensus theory”. Why both? Because, although the Prince is included into society, he is also a part of it. But not any kind of part, he is its ruling part. In order to govern, the Prince needs to have legitimacy, but, at the same time, he also needs to strong. His strength is visible both in the manner in which he imposes his government and in the manner in which he makes himself known internationally. These are necessary conditions if the actions stemming from the Prince’s legitimacy are to materialize and be applied.

But he is not an abstract element, he is a part of politics, and the latter, in Machiavelli’s mind, is the result of a relationship of powers. The expression of the concept of “power” in politics is important, because it imposes the rules of the game.

As we can see, Machiavelli is of the opinion that powers be concentrated within the state to a greater extent, in order to avoid the possibility of them being lost as a result of people’s individual and independent actions. Moreover, the concentration of power also leads to less violence and arbitrariness, which is the basic principle of the rule of law.

In the historical context of central Italy in the early 16th century, this approach is an overt piece of criticism against the feudal regime and the manner in which power was being managed by city patricians or by the aristocratic oligarchy. The fact that philo-aristocratic parties, to quote Guicciardini, recognised and accepted these civil “rights”, meant that the people got involved in political life, but in the Ancient sense[16], not in the modern sense of the expression, such as it surfaced in the British colonies or in France after the Revolution of 1789.

When Machiavelli analyses the “civil Principality”, the principle of legitimacy is traceable in the relationships established between various forces on the political arena. However, it is also important that Machiavelli believes that the legitimacy stemming from the people is much more important than that coming from the aristocracy:

“[...] for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed... The worst that a prince may expect from a hostile people is to be abandoned by them”.[17]

The people’s love for the Prince comes when the latter governs without oppression and manages to keep his balance before the powerful (the aristocracy). In order to maintain his hold on power and to impose this manner of governing, the Prince is compelled to make use of force. And the latter is fundamentally military.

“If Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus had been unarmed they could not have enforced their constitutions for long - as happened in our time to Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who was ruined with his new order of things immediately after the multitude believed in him no longer”.[18]

The example used by Machiavelli in order to explain the need to have armed forces under the control of the one who holds the power is obvious, because the Florentine thinker did not intend to provide only general and abstract pieces of advice. According to the type of state, the relationship between powers and the forces which operate at the political level, Machiavelli considers that each political power is able to establish a balance between moderation and cruelty in the exercise of power. But in this equation, in which the feeling of love and hate can be easily overcome by the people, it is fundamental for the one who rules not to use force in a useless and disproportionate manner. Harshness and the use of measures that are equal for all the members of the state, regardless of their social differences, are fundamental in order to keep legitimacy. Thus, power and violence manage to live together, becoming the spinal cord of government.[19]

The power and the success that the Prince should enjoy are not goals that he can choose or ignore, because they are an integral part of politics. Taking over a classic example from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Machiavelli claims that:

“[…] A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules”[20], [...] “a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity” [21],  [...] “a prince, not being able to exercise this virtue of liberality in such a way that it is recognized, except to his cost, if he is wise he ought not to fear the reputation of being mean”[22], [...] “he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable”.[23]

Starting from these reflections, an organic view of the State develops, based on the assessment of the forces that a statesman can and must use. In Machiavelli, these forces represent, on the one hand, the sum of all the collective psychological elements, common beliefs, customs, and aspirations of the people or of a social category, and, on the other, knowledge about government matters. And this because, in order to govern, it is compulsory to know reality.

“[...] I say then that such a principality is obtained either by the favour of the people or by the favour of the nobles.  Because in all cities these two distinct parties are found, and from this it arises that the people do not wish to be ruled nor oppressed by the nobles, and the nobles wish to rule and oppress the people; and from these two opposite desires there arises in cities one of three results, either a principality, self government, or anarchy”.[24]

We see that, for Machaivelli, the manner in which the Prince comes to power is not at all unimportant. Taking hold of power with the help of “the strong” would limit the Prince’s capacity to act, because it would be impossible for him to rule over them, to manipulate them or to satisfy their desires. “The strong” will ask the Prince to oppress the people, and the latter, supposing it supported him in order to get to power, would ask him only not to be oppressed. The risk of tensions arising in public life stems from bad government.

With this view, Machiavelli runs counter Francesco Guicciardinni’s conception. The two political thinkers live in the same historical age, both of them are Florentine, but each of them imagines legitimacy in the political area in a different way. Whereas Machiavelli wanted that the defence of Florentine republican rights and freedoms be handed to the people, Guicciardini bet on the nobles.

In one of his most famous works, Storie fiorentine, published in 1508-1509, Guicciardini expressed openly, just as Machiavelli, his position against tyranny, but he identified as one of the main causes which had led to the fall of the republic the marginalization of the great nobles who ruled the state when Lorenzo de Medici took hold of power.

For Guicciardini, the city’s blooming had happened owing to the efforts of its aristocratic citizens, who had defended the state from the excess of power and the powerful men’s desire to subdue it. Lorenzo de Medici’s inclusion into the leadership of the Republic deprived it of a powerful institution, which, with the end of his rule, could have run it in the name of “liberty”. When he analyses the issues that Florence had to deal with after Lorenzo’s death, Guicciardini believes that the lack of a solid and permanent leadership, aiming to watch over the State’s interests and to enforce all the necessary measures, led to the city’s setback. This is why it was vital that “state affairs” come back into the hands of the Florentine patrician, who, in Guicciardini’s view, was the keeper of wisdom.[25]

The institutions of power, as Guicciardini saw them, were represented by: the executive power, held by the Gonfaloniere, who was helped in decision-making by the city’s most important and wise citizens, and the legislative power, held by a Council, a sort of Senate, made up of 150 members, appointed for life. The advantages of establishing such an institution were the following: decision-making belonged to the people who had the necessary expertise and not to the crowd; this institution had the role of limiting the power of the one who performed the functions of a Gonfaloniere; finally, it is obvious that the existence of this institution would have transferred the effort of governing into the hands of the citizens who were the wisest and the most virtuous, thus leaving room for the citizens to participate in political decision-making.[26]

Coming back to the “consensus theory”, it is clear that in Machiavelli’s writings, in principle, there is no antithesis between force and consensus. Why? Because the people always acts according to its own manner of thinking. The latter is built based on its own customs and habits. As a result, it is not capable of abstract thinking and so it is unable to understand issues that are based on complex causal relationships. This is why its political view is limited only to oratorical elements. The effect of this cognitive limitation are reflected by political participation. Its impulse is to relate to and to express itself only in present-day and concrete situations. As a result, the people has the capacity to understand its representatives, to assess a law, but has not the cognitive capacity to evaluate a “Constitution”, for instance.

This limitation does not stop it from exercising its fundamental political rights, at every political moment, through public debate. The people’s direct interest is to maintain “lawfulness”.

In line with Aristotelian thought, Machiavelli does not see the people as a raw, indifferent, and conscienceless material, which is only able to accept any form of authority and to suffer the forceful action of a Prince. In his view, the people is endowed with a vivid, intelligent, and reactive form of spirituality, capable of rejecting any kind of abuse coming from those who hold the power.[27]

When this phenomenon is hindered by the elites - in Machiavelli’s case, by the nobles - demagogy arises. In this respect, the threat against a free political life does not come from the people. Machiavelli sees the emergence of demagogy as a fundamental element that precedes the emergence of tyranny. Thus, the threat comes from the nobles, because they are interested in instituting a power that operates beyond lawfulness.[28]

We see that the concept of politics lies at the core of the entire Machiavellian system. This is why we can say that in Machiavelli’s view the State is far from being the creation of an individual force that works without scruples.

A private man’s individualism is seen by the Florentine thinker as: ambition, a way of spending spare time, pride, desire, cowardice, etc. This appreciation does not come from an arbitrary aesthetic viewpoint, but from a legitimate moral perspective.

At the same time, the Prince’s individualism is seen as: lack of humanity, infidelity, corruption, impiety, etc.[29]

As we can see, Machiavelli exempts the Prince from applying a series of moral values. But he grants him these exemptions because of the public and political role that he plays, as someone who is aware of how important the position he holds is. If the same person used the same methods as a private individual, these exemptions would disappear. And this because, for Machiavelli, the relationship between ethics and politics is still influenced by Christian ethics. The moral good that the Church has been upholding for centuries remains valid, but when “politics” enters the stage, it disappears. The ethics that the Prince uses is based on other types of “worldly” values, in which success is the main goal. This goal must be pursued by the Prince even when it violates religious ethics, with the risk of losing his “soul” in order to save the State.

“Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite. And you have to understand this, that a prince, especially a new one, cannot observe all those things for which men are esteemed, being often forced, in order to maintain the state, to act contrary to fidelity, friendship, humanity, and religion. Therefore it is necessary for him to have a mind ready to turn itself accordingly as the winds and variations of fortune force it, yet, as I have said above, not to diverge from the good if he can avoid doing so, but, if compelled, then to know how to set about it”.[30]

4.                   CONCLUSIONS

As mentioned in one of the first works published in Romania in the field of political thinking, “the essential piece of novelty brought by Machiavelli’s theoretical contribution to the field of social science, with an exceptional power of representation and empirical relevance, is the fact that he captured the specific traits of politics that get expressed in the affirmation of the lay state, undressed of its religious cloak and of the vicissitudes of ethics. For Machiavelli, politics becomes a science with its own object of study, namely, the art of governing, preserving and developing states, seen as living organisms that have their own life”.[31]

As most of the “classical” political thinkers, Machiavelli was “read” and “re-read” according to the main interests of each age. Yet, the works of the Florentine thinker have been used for the last couple of centuries as arguments that have legitimated extremely diverse ideologies or movements of thought. Machiavelli’s ideas, conceptions, descriptions, and analyses have been interpreted, deformed, and spread from various political and ideological perspectives, with a mind-blowing variation in viewpoints, which have assumed positive or negative values, according to the interests of each age. The names that Machiavelli has received, in the ages past since the publication of his work, have varied from: theorist of monarchic absolutism to herald of republican freedom, from demon to lay prophet, etc.[32]

The Machiavelli “myth” encompasses three main facets, which mirror three aspects that are traditionally identified in the Florentine secretary’s thinking: the philosopher, the humanist, and the republican. These are the three pillars that supported the political ideas promoted by Machiavelli and made him win a place among the greatest political thinkers of all time. With no exaggeration, Machiavelli has been seen not only as the founder of modern political thought but also of modern political science. His vast classical culture in the fields of literature, history, and philosophy, the austere style of his writings, and the republicanism of his ideas made many specialists see him as the predecessor of modern liberalism and western-based democracies.[33]

Throughout this brief article devoted to the political thinker’s view of the State I have preferred to highlight Machiavelli the “political” thinker, who, in his writings, described historical events such as he analysed them and provided solutions. The contribution of Machiavelli the political thinker was that he did not attempt to leave behind piece of writing that would subscribe to ideal theoretical coordinates. His works were not based on the idea of creating a coherent system of thinking. Being, par excellence, a practician of politics, he analysed the situations of his age, scanned them and provided a practical solution. This is why Machiavelli’s thoughts did not stem from a theoretical and epistemological process, and did not start from abstract concepts or from the claim of creating a new configuration of the human spirit.[34]

Machiavelli’s intellectual effort, captured in this brief article, was that of a political man, not of a philosopher. This is the basic coherence provided by Machiavelli. We could say that this coherence in apparent incoherence could explain the fact that over the centuries the Florentine secretary has been read in so many, sometimes fundamentally opposite, keys.





ALDESIRIO, Felice, Machiavelli. L’arte dello Stato nell’azione negli scritti, Fratelli Bocca editori, Torino, 1930.

BAUSI, Francesco, Machiavelli, Salerno editrice, Roma, 2005.

CONDORELLI, Orazio, “Per la storia del nome ‘stato’ in Machiavelli”, Archivio giuridico, LXXXIX, (1923).

D’ASCIA, Luca, Machiavelli e i suoi interpreti, Edizioni Pendragon, Bologna, 2006.

De VRIES, H., Essai sur la terminologie constitutionelle chez la Machiavelli (Il Principe), la Haye, 1957.

ERCOLE, Francesco, La politica di Machiavelli, A.R.E, Roma, 1926.

FERRONI, Giulio, Machiavelli, o dell’incertezza. La politica come arte del rimedio, Donzelli, Roma, 2003.

FOCHER, Ferruchio, Libertà e teoria dell’ordine politico, Machiavelli, Guicciardini e altri studi, FrancoAngeli s.r.l, Milano, 2000.

GALLI, Carlo (a cura di.), Manuale di storia del pensiero politico, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2001.

GIANNANTONI, Gabrielle, “Il primo libro della Repubblica lui Platone”, Rivista critica di storia della filosofia, 1957.

GILBERT, Felix, Machiavelli e Guicciardini, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, Bologna, 1980.

GUICCIARDINI, Francesco,  “Storie fiorentine”, in Opere (a cura di V. De Caprais, Ricciardi , Milano-Napoli, 1961).

MACEK, Josef, Machiavelli e il Machiavellismo, La Nuova Italia, Firenze, 1980.

MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò, Principele, translation, chronological table, notes and final word by Nicolae Luca, foreword by Gheorghe Lencan Stoica, Minerva, Bucureşti, 1994.

PLATO, Dialogues, (a cura di. F. Sartori), Laterza, Bari, 1956.

PORTINARO, Pier Paolo (a cura di), Stati, Editori Laterza, Roma & Bari, 2004.

ROSA, Achille, Nel pensiero politico di Niccoló Machiavelli, Milano, 1936.

SIEBZEHNER-VIVANTI, Giorgio  (M. Messina a cura di), Dizionario della Divina Commedia, Milano, 1965.

STOICA, Lencan Gheorghe, “Niccolò Machiavelli”, in Adrian-Paul ILIESCU, Emanuel-Mihail SOCACIU (eds.), Fundamentele gândirii politice moderne, Polirom, Iaşi, 1999.

[1] Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele (chap. I), translation, chronological table, notes and final word by Nicolae Luca, foreword by Gheorghe Lencan Stoica, Editura Minerva, Bucureşti, 1994, p.4. The English quotes mentioned in this article are taken from N. Machiavelli, The Prince, translated by W.K. Marriott, An Electronic Classics Series Publication, 2001-2002.

[2] Ibidem.

[3] Francesco ERCOLE, La politica di Machiavelli, A.R.E, Roma, 1926, p. 65; H. De VRIES, Essai sur la terminologie constitutionelle chez la Machiavelli (Il Principe), la Haye, 1957, p. 99; O. CONDORELLI, “Per la storia del nome «stato» in Machiavelli”, Archivio giuridico, LXXXIX, (1923), pp. 223-235, etc.

[4] Josef MACEK, Machiavelli e il Machiavellismo, La Nuova Italia, Firenze, 1980, p. 117.

[5] Giorgio SIEBZEHNER-VIVANTI (M. Messina a cura di), Dizionario della Divina Commedia, Milano, 1965, p. 615.

[6] Josef MACEK, Machiavelli e il Machiavellismo...cit., p. 118.

[7] Pier Paolo PORTINARO (a cura di), Stati, Editori Laterza, Roma & Bari, 2004, p. 5.

[8] Gabrielle GIANNANTONI, “Il primo libro della Repubblica lui Platone”, Rivista critica di storia della filosofia, 1957, p. 123.

[9] PLATO, Dialogues, (a cura di. F. Sartori), Laterza, Bari, 1956, p. 30.

[10] Ibidem, p. 32.

[11] Ibidem.

[12] Ferruchio FOCHER, Libertà e teoria dell'ordine politico, Machiavelli, Guicciardini e altri studi, Franco Angeli s.r.l, Milano, 2000, p. 74.

[13] Ibidem, p. 77.

[14] Carlo GALLI (a cura di.), Manuale di storia del pensiero politico, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2001, p. 110.

[15] Achille ROSA, Nel pensiero politico di Niccoló Machiavelli, Milano, 1936, p. XXXVII.

[16] Luca D'ASCIA, Machiavelli e i suoi interpreti, Edizioni Pendragon, Bologna, 2006, p.31.

[17] Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele...cit. (chap. IX), p. 49.

[18] Ibidem (chap. VI), p. 30.

[19] Josef MACEK , Machiavelli e il Machiavellismo...cit., p. 124.

[20] Niccolò MACHIAVELLI, Principele...cit. (chap. XIV), p. 75.

[21] Ibidem (chap. XV), p. 80.

[22] Ibidem (chap. XVI), p. 83.

[23] Ibidem (chap. XVII), p. 87.

[24] Ibidem, (chap. IX), p. 48.

[25] Carlo GALLI (a cura di.), Manuale di storia del pensiero politico...cit., p.114.

[26] Francesco GUICCIARDINI, “Storie fiorentine”, in Opere (a cura di V. De Caprais, Ricciardi , Milano &Napoli, 1961), p. 279.

[27] Felice ALDESIRIO, Machiavelli. L'arte dello Stato nell'azione negli scritti, Fratelli Bocca editori, Torino, 1930, p. 110.

[28] Luca D'ASCIA, Machiavelli e i suoi interpreti...cit., pp. 28-29.

[29] Felice ALDESIRIO, Machiavelli. L'arte dello Stato nell'azione negli scritti...cit., pp. 104-105.

[30] Niccolò MACHIAVELLI Principele...cit., (chap.  XVIII), p. 91.

[31] Gheorghe Lencan STOICA, “Niccolò Machiavelli”, in Adrian-Paul ILIESCU, Emanuel-Mihail SOCACIU (eds.), Fundamentele gândirii politice moderne, Polirom, Iaşi, 1999, p. 13.

[32] Giulio FERRONI, Machiavelli, o dell'incertezza. La politica come arte del rimedio, Donzelli, Roma, 2003, p. 5.

[33] Francesco BAUSI, Machiavelli, Salerno editrice, Roma, 2005, p. 15.

[34] Felix GILBERT, Machiavelli e Guicciardini, Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, Bologna, 1980, p. 145.