Of the Various Kinds of Princedom, and of the Ways in Which They Are AcquiredOf Hereditary PrincedomsOf Mixed PrincedomsWhy the Kingdom of Darius, Conquered by Alexander, Did Not, on Alexander's Death, Rebel Against His SuccessorsHow Cities or Provinces Which Before Their Acquisition Have Lived Under Their Own Laws Are To Be GovernedOf New Princedoms Which a Prince Acquires With His Own Arms and by MeritOf New Princedoms Acquired By the Aid of Others and By Good FortuneOf Those Who By Their Crimes Come to Be PrincesOf the Civil PrincedomHow the Strength of All Princedoms Should Be MeasuredOf Ecclesiastical PrincedomsHow Many Different Kinds of Soldiers There Are, and of MercenariesOf Auxiliary, Mixed, and National ArmsOf the Duty of a Prince In Respect of Military AffairsOf the Qualities In Respect of Which Men, and Most of all Princes, Are Praised or BlamedOf Liberality and MiserlinessOf Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It Is Better To Be Loved or FearedHow Princes Should Keep FaithThat a Prince Should Seek to Escape Contempt and HatredWhether Fortresses, and Certain Other Expedients to Which Princes Often Have Recourse, are Profitable or HurtfulHow a Prince Should Bear Himself So As to Acquire ReputationOf the Secretaries of PrincesThat Flatterers Should Be ShunnedWhy the Princes of Italy Have Lost Their StatesWhat Fortune Can Effect in Human Affairs, and How She May Be WithstoodAn Exhortation to Liberate Italy from the Barbarians
About This Text
Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince in 1513 for rulers to use as a handbook for ruling over a principality. Rather than focus on utopias or ideal republics, Machiavelli prefers “to represent things as they are in a real truth, rather than as they are imagined.” Thus, he advises rulers to rule pragmatically and to not avoid ruthlessness in order to acquire and maintain power. This controversial text turned the author’s name into an adjective (“Machiavellian”) that refers to one who premises their actions upon cunning and at times, deceit.
Composed: 1513 CE