The unashamedly pragmatic approach to politics that Machiavelli advocated in The Prince has fascinated the world for over four centuries. But Niccolb Machiavelli was no arm-chair pundit. Until 1512, when the Medici family returned to power and his consequent 'retirement' gave him leisure in which to write, he was an official of the Florentine chancery. As such he traveled on diplomatic missions to the courts of such magnificent rulers as Louis XII, Pope Julius II and Cesare Borgia, and played an active part in the intricate negotiations characteristic of Renaissance diplomacy. By J.R. Hale.
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