The Prince

The Prince

Paperback Penguin Classics

By (author) Niccolo Machiavelli, Translated by George Bull, Introduction by Anthony Grafton

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 196mm x 8mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 23 December 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140449159
  • ISBN 13: 9780140449150
  • Edition statement: Reissue
  • Illustrations note: maps, bibliog , notes, chronology
  • Sales rank: 1,739

Product description

"The Prince" shocked Europe on publication with its ruthless tactics for gaining absolute power and its abandonment of conventional morality. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) came to be regarded as some by an agent of the Devil and his name taken for the intriguer 'Machevill' of Jacobean tragedy. For his treatise on statecraft Machiavelli drew upon his own experience of office under the turbulent Florentine republic, rejecting traditional values of political theory and recognizing the complicated, transient nature of political life. Concerned not with lofty ideals, but with a regime that would last, "The Prince" has become the Bible of realpolitik, and still retains its power to alarm and to instruct.

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Author information

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was appointed secretary and Second Chancellor to the Florentine Republic in 1498. He was dismissed from his post in 1512 and forced to withdraw from public life, after which time he wrote THE PRINCE, a handbook for rulers. GEORGE BULL translated widely from the Italian, including for Penguin Classics including Cellini's 'Autobiography' and Vasari's 'Lives of the Artists'. ANTHONY GRAFTON teaches European intellectual history at Princeton University.

Review quote

"[Machiavelli] can still engage our attention with remarkable immediacy, and this cannot be explained solely by the appeal of his ironic observations on human behaviour. Perhaps the most important thing is the way he can compel us to reflect on our own priorities and the reasoning behind them; it is this intrusion into our own defenses that makes reading him an intriguing experience. As a scientific exponent of the political art Machiavelli may have had few followers; it is as a provocative rhetorician that he has had his real impact on history." -from the Introduction by Dominic Baker-Smith

Table of contents

ChronologyMapIntroductionTranslator's NoteSelected BooksMachiavelli's Principal WorksLetter to the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici1IHow many kinds of principality there are and the ways in which they are acquired5IIHereditary principalities5IIIComposite principalities6IVWhy the kingdom of Darius conquered by Alexander did not rebel against his successors after his death13VHow cities or principalities which lived under their own laws should be administered after being conquered16VINew principalities acquired by one's own arms and prowess17VIINew principalities acquired with the help of fortune and foreign arms20VIIIThose who come to power by crime27IXThe constitutional principality31XHow the strength of every principality should be measured34XIEcclesiastical principalities36XIIMilitary organization and mercenary troops39XIIIAuxiliary, composite, and native troops43XIVHow a prince should organize his militia47XVThe things for which men, and especially princes, are praised or blamed49XVIGenerosity and parsimony51XVIICruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse53XVIIIHow princes should honour their word56XIXThe need to avoid contempt and hatred58XXWhether fortresses and many of the other present-day expedients to which princes have recourse are useful or not67XXIHow a prince must act to win honour71XXIIA prince's personal staff75XXIIIHow flatterers must be shunned76XXIVWhy the Italian princes have lost their states78XXVHow far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposed79XXVIExhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians82Glossary of Proper Names86Notes99