SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Renaissance political theorist, Niccolo Macchiavelli (1469-1527), was an official in the Chancery of the Florentine Republic who dedicated to Lorenzo Medici a groundbreaking controversial treatise on statecraft entitled 'The Prince'. Based on practical politics as demonstrated throughout history, its essentially pragmatic approach, separating politics and religion, subjected him to bitter criticisms in Italy and abroad. In this bible of realpolitik, he disassociated political theory from theology, ethics and moral values. His doctrines were largely misunderstood and for the next four centuries he was often identified with Satan.
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