The Prince is a political treatise written by Niccolò Machiavelli in the sixteenth century, approximately around 1513.
In this treatise, Machiavelli develops the idea that the aims of rulers are often at odds with morality, and that if a ruler wants to maintain power, he must be willing to act without mercy. The book even devotes a chapter to the different kinds of cruelty and mercy, and how to apply them correctly.
It is divided into 26 chapters and an epilogue. The first 12 chapters are devoted to describing the different types of principalities and how they can be acquired and maintained. The next 8 chapters are devoted to specific advice on how to rule, including such topics as how to deal with rebels, how to maintain the loyalty of the prince's subjects, and how to deal with peoples who have been conquered.
Finally, the final 6 chapters are devoted to more general advice on life, such as the importance of being both loved and feared, or the dangers of being too generous or too stingy.
Unlike other idealistic or utopian writings of the time, The Prince is written as a practical guide or manual for rulers.
A prince must have two main qualities if he wants to stay in power: virtue and fortune. On the one hand, virtue is a personal quality of strength and character, while on the other, fortune is the ability to take advantage of circumstances, good or bad. Machiavelli advises the prince to focus on virtue, since fortune is beyond the control of any individual.
This edition of The Prince is based on the English translation by Luigi Ricci.
2 hours 38 minutes (31685 words)
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Date added: 26-10-2020
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A prince must have no other objective, no other thought, nor take up any profession but that of war, its methods and its discipline, for that is the only art expected of a ruler. And it is of such great value that it not only keeps hereditary princes in power, but often raises men of lowly condition to that rank.
A prince ought, above all things, to always try in every action to develop the reputation of being a great and remarkable man.