Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Historical Person: Niccolò Machiavelli - Florence, Italy

Niccolò Machiavelli
Tuscany, Italy

N 43° 46.080 E 011° 15.320

Quick Description: 

A statue of historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, and writer, Niccolò Machiavelli is one of 28 statues of located along the colonnade of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Long Description:

A life size marble statue of Florentine historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, and writer Niccolò Machiavelli was created by Lorenzo Bartolini and placed in a niche in the colonnade of the Uffizi Gallery. The statues were added to the empty niches, originally created by Giorgio Vasari. The statues were funded by a public subscription program that began in 1834.

Machiavelli is depicted standing wearing a knee length tunic with a long cape over his right shoulder that reaches the floor. He has his right hand on a book which is placed upright on a 2.5' high stand. His left hand touching his chin.

The plinth of the statue is inscribed: NICCOLÒ MACCHIAVELLI. The Uffizi Gallery is aware of the misspelling of Machiavelli name and states in their website: "P.S. if you spot the odd difference between the spelling of the names engraved on the statues and how we spell them now, it was the sculptors who got it wrong."

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence, Republic of Florence. No official records of Machiavelli's life appear until after the fall of Savonarola's government in 1498 when is was 29 years old. The Florentine republic had been reinstated, and Machiavelli was appointed as secretary of the Second Chancery. He soon became secretary Florence's foreign policy committee, the Council of Ten of War. In this capacity he functioned as a diplomat, traveling throughout Italy and Europe to negotiate with potential allies.

Machiavelli is most famous for his writings, especially The Prince (Il Principe), written in 1513, where is espouses his political philosophy advancing the idea of a "new prince" as opposed to the hereditary system that currently prevailed in much of Europe. Machiavelli thought that public and private morality must be separated in order to rule well. A ruler must be willing to act immorally at certain times. His philosophy has become known as Machiavellianism.

Other works by Machivelli include fictional political, and historical writings. They include:

Comedia di Callimaco: E di Lucretia, comedy, c. 1518
Mandragola (The Mandrake), comedy, 1520,
Vita di Castruccio Castracani, biography, 1520
La Clizia, drama, 1525
Belfagor arcidiavolo, novella, 1527
Dell'arte della guerra (On the Art of War) 1521
Discorsi sulla prima deca di Tito Livio (Discourses on the First 10 books of Livy) 1531
Istorie Fiorentine (History of Florence) 1532

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