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 usually wrote scathing feedback approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but additionally wrote approximately Florence with delight, patriotism, and assured desire of higher occasions. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and depression he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly power feel that his urban had the entire fabrics and power useful for a wholesale, successful, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably placed it, Florence was once "truly a superb and wretched city."

Mark Jurdjevic makes a speciality of the Florentine measurement of Machiavelli's political notion, revealing new facets of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, such a lot 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 elements of Machiavelli's political notion have been fantastically Florentine in proposal, content material, and objective. From a brand new point of view and armed with new arguments, a very good and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's courting to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli in basic terms detrimental classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings was once an instantaneous functionality of his enormous 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

7 Only a few scholars have offered dissenting readings. 10 Few scholars deny that the meaning of the Prince and the Florentine Histories were conditioned by a Medicean audience, imagined or real, or that the Art of War was conditioned by [ 19 ] The Savonarolan Lens Machiavelli’s plans for an actual Florentine militia. 12 The letter is as laden with contextual subtleties, however, as any of Machiavelli’s writings, and they affect its reading significantly. When we read them in context, we see that the positive reading of Najemy and Martelli should be pushed further, in ways broadly compatible with similar readings of Machiavelli’s subsequent writings on reformers and founders of states.

34 There is little trace here of the earlier provocative rhetoric—“he acts according to the times and colors his lies accordingly”— composed for Becchi. Machiavelli subsequently acknowledged the complexity of Savonarola’s appeal and tacitly acknowledged that his charisma mattered more than his technical status as a prophet. This acknowledgment further implies Machiavelli’s recognition that human rather than prophetic and hence supernatural qualities were sufficient to inspire his fellow Florentines.

23 She has not discussed the Becchi letter, though it reveals that Machiavelli was alert to this dimension of the Savonarolan phenomenon well before he began writing about Moses, Numa, and the political significance of religion. A “professional” contextualization of the letter also helps reconcile contrasting scholarly interpretations. 25 Both judgments stem from Machiavelli’s highly political reading of Savonarola’s sermons. Colish, Weinstein, and Sasso all see Machiavelli’s political reading of Savonarola’s sermons as an indictment of hypocrisy, an implicit accusation that the friar’s priorities were more political than religious.

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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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