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Renaissance People. Niccolo Machiavelli. An Italian diplomat who analyzed human actions rather than spiritual issues. He focused on the selfish side of human nature. He wrote a book, The Prince , that realistically analyzed the politics of Renaissance Italy. The Prince.

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niccolo machiavelli
Niccolo Machiavelli

An Italian diplomat who analyzed human actions rather than spiritual issues. He focused on the selfish side of human nature. He wrote a book, The Prince, that realistically analyzed the politics of Renaissance Italy

the prince
The Prince
  • A book written as a gift for Lorenzo de Medici
  • Advice on how to gain and keep power as a ruler
  • The only thing a ruler should think about when making a decision is the effectiveness of the action, regardless of its ethical character
  • Monarch could be excused from performing acts of violence and deception that would be unethical in private life
a ruler should be
A ruler should be:
  • sneaky
  • Religious
  • Brave
  • Tough
  • Fierce
  • Valiant
  • Pious/devoted
  • honest
  • A ruler does not need to have these qualities, instead he should “appear to have them” (honesty, piety, faithfulness, humaneness, religious)
  • Having good qualities and “always practicing them is harmful, while appearing to practice them is useful”
  • “it is often necessary to preserve the state to act contrary to fairness, contrary to mercy, contrary to humaneness, contrary to religion
gutenberg
Gutenberg
  • German
  • Developed the first European printing press with moveable metal type
  • 1456 printed a complete edition of the Bible
printing press
Printing Press
  • Chinese invented 868
  • 1400s German engravers developed moveable type
  • Type is set in molds, inked and then pressed on sheets of paper
  • Type could be moved around and reused
  • Books could be published quickly and less expensively
  • Helped ideas spread more rapidly
shakespeare
Shakespeare
  • English playwright who got his ideas from medieval legends, classical mythology and histories of England and Ancient Rome
  • Dealt with universal human qualities such as love, ambition, jealousy and despair
  • Plays and poems still relevant to audiences today