Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Macchiavelli

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MACCHIAVELLI, or MACHIAVELLI, NICOLO (mak-i-a-vel′li), a Florentine statesman and historian; bom in Florence, Italy, May 3, 1469. As secretary of the council named "The Ten," a post which he held for 14 years, 14981512. he was one of the most prominent actors in the foreign and diplomatic affairs of the republic during that period. The great capacity for business and diplomacy which he showed led to his being employed on a great number of political missions, the most important of which were those to the King of France, to whom he was sent on four occasions; to the Popes Pius III. and Julius II., to Caesar Borgia, in whose camp he passed three months; and to the Emperor Maximilian. On the restoration of the Medici, in 1512, Macchiavelli was banished, and in the following year he was arrested and subjected to torture on the charge of conspiracy against the Medici, but was soon pardoned and liberated. The next eight years he spent


in retirement and literary labors, and was then again employed as ambassador. His principal works are: "II Principe" (The Prince, 1532); "Storie Florentine" (Florentine History); "Discourses on ohe First Decate of Titus Livius"; "The Art of War;" and valuable reports of his negotiations. Letters, comedies, and other writings complete the six volumes 4to. of his works, which, both in point of matter and of style, stand in the highest rank of Italian literature. He died in Florence, Italy, June 22, 1527.