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Niccolo Machiavelli

  • Italian writer
  • Born May 3, 1469
  • Died June 21, 1527

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (, Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ mmakjaˈvɛlli]; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned by historians and scholars.


For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.




The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.




Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.




Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.




Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.




It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.




When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.




It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.




Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.




Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.




Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.




The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.




Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.




Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.




Politics have no relation to morals.




War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.




The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.




It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.




The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.




Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.




One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.



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