A great and wretched city : promise and failure in by Mark Jurdjevic

By Mark Jurdjevic

Like many population of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated among love and hate for his local urban. He frequently wrote scathing feedback approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but in addition wrote approximately Florence with delight, patriotism, and assured desire of higher instances. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and depression he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly power feel that his urban had all of the fabrics and power valuable for a wholesale, victorious, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably placed it, Florence used to be "truly an exceptional and wretched city."

Mark Jurdjevic specializes in the Florentine size of Machiavelli's political concept, revealing new facets of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, so much considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political occupation and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He exhibits that major and as but unrecognized elements of Machiavelli's political inspiration have been fantastically Florentine in notion, content material, and objective. From a brand new point of view and armed with new arguments, a superb and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's dating to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli basically adverse classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings used to be an immediate functionality of his significant estimation of its unrealized political potential.

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But if Weinstein’s fi rst contention is correct and Machiavelli did so, the second contention—that Machiavelli was at the same time signalling a critique of prophetic politics— seems strained at best because it requires him to speak in a language whose assumptions he rejected. Chapter 26 urged the Medici to introduce new institutions that would enable them to lead a unified pan-Italian army to expel the French and Spanish forces plaguing the peninsula. The chapter should thus be interpreted in tandem with the sixth chapter that discussed institutional innovation and the introduction of new customs.

53 The fi rst and third of the previous examples of Machiavelli’s most blunt statements of admiration also contain his two most frank and explicit condemnations of the friar. Both condemnations refer to a single moment: Savonarola’s conduct during the aftermath of a failed conspiracy in 1497 to restore Piero de’ Medici to power. In the First Decennale, Machiavelli’s praise of Savonarola was immediately followed by an indictment of his impact on Florence: “[Venice] brought against your walls your mighty exile; from this came burial for five citizens.

14 Becchi faced an inherently difficult task since neither of the principal antagonists, Savonarola and Alexander, were diplomatically inclined by nature. But it seems that Becchi’s difficulties were increased by his reluctance to compromise hard-won alliances at the Roman court by persistent lobbying on behalf of a person for whom he had little sympathy. Cardinals Podocataro and Lopez had already warned Becchi against the Florentine govern[ 20 ] The Savonarolan Lens ment’s ill-considered loyalty to Savonarola.

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