By Mark Jurdjevic
Like many population of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated among love and hate for his local urban. He usually wrote scathing feedback approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but in addition wrote approximately Florence with delight, patriotism, and assured wish of higher occasions. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and melancholy he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly continual experience that his urban had the entire fabrics and capability helpful for a wholesale, successful, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably positioned it, Florence used to be "truly a good and wretched city."
Mark Jurdjevic specializes in the Florentine size of Machiavelli's political concept, revealing new elements of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, so much considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political profession and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He exhibits that major and as but unrecognized elements of Machiavelli's political concept have been notably Florentine in thought, content material, and goal. From a brand new standpoint and armed with new arguments, an exceptional and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's courting to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli in basic terms unfavourable classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings used to be an instantaneous functionality of his substantial estimation of its unrealized political potential.
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Additional resources for A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought
42 This crucial observation from chapter 6 is central to Machiavelli’s adoption of prophetic language at the book’s close. The linguistic style and tone of chapter 26 were no less instructional than the chapter’s specific political and military stratagems. The Medici should [ 31 ] The Savonarolan Lens establish a new state and expel the barbarians and should follow his implicit advice and do so with religious language and imagery. To some extent, it followed that the Medici should adopt a religious banner simply because the context was propitious—the Medici ruled Florence and Rome and thus had the potential to fuse their territorial expansion with Roman spiritual and ecclesiastical leadership.
The people of Florence do not suppose themselves either ignorant or rude; nevertheless they were persuaded by Brother Girolamo Savonarola that he spoke with God. ”33 This change in tone applied as much to Machiavelli’s estimation of Savonarola’s following as to the friar himself. In the Becchi letter, he implied that only those unable or unwilling to follow Savonarola’s words closely could fail to see the contrast between the ostensible and actual purpose of his rhetoric. ”34 There is little trace here of the earlier provocative rhetoric—“he acts according to the times and colors his lies accordingly”— composed for Becchi.
In the sixth chapter of the Prince, we see Machiavelli beginning to generalize from the Florentine context to the larger relationship between prophecy and state formation. He discussed the considerable obstacles faced by legendary founders of states such as Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, and Theseus. ”42 This crucial observation from chapter 6 is central to Machiavelli’s adoption of prophetic language at the book’s close. The linguistic style and tone of chapter 26 were no less instructional than the chapter’s specific political and military stratagems.
A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought by Mark Jurdjevic