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Statue of Niccolo Machiavelli in Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Florence's best-remembered write during the early 16th century is Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), a noble, a diplomat, and the chancellor of the Florentine republic. His major work was Il Principe (The Prince), begun in 1513 but only published psothumously in 1532, a masterpiece of policitcal analysis that linked political science (the reason of state) with a penetrating study of human nature. Today Machiavelli's name is synonymous with devious political machinations, something not borne out by study of his writing -- Machiavellian was originally a French term used to denigrate not Machiavelli, but all things Italian.

Last Revised October 10, 2007

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