Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Dating The Prince: Beginnings and Endings


Let's begin by presenting some newly discovered documents concerning Niccolò Machiavelli. The biographical detail may at first appear overwhelming, but the light these documents shed on the chronology of Machiavelli's composition of The Prince helps to answer some old questions concerning the character of Machiavelli's little treatise. The new documents date from the year 1515. They were drawn up at a time of financial difficulty and profound personal disappointment in the life of the former Florentine secretary and second chancellor. In 1512 Machiavelli had been fired from the chancery of the Florentine Republic. In 1513 he had been arrested on a probably false charge of conspiracy, tortured (although he gave no confession), and then unexpectedly freed in a general amnesty following the election of a Florentine, Giovanni de' Medici, as Pope Leo X. In 1515, at the time these documents were drawn up, Machiavelli was still out of favor. But he was also putting into prose the theoretical work that established the extraordinary reputation still associated with him today.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Thomas Kuehn , Heirs, Kin, and Creditors in Renaissance Florence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Review of Politics
  • ISSN: 0034-6705
  • EISSN: 1748-6858
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 17 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 134 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.