The Prince

By Niccolò Machiavelli; Peter Bondanella et al. | Go to book overview
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which he found them; and although there were some leaders among them who wanted to make changes, there were two things which held them back: one, the power of the Church, which frightened them; and, two, not having any of their own family as cardinals, for these were the source of the conflicts among them. These factions will never be at peace as long as they have cardinals, since such men foster factions, both in Rome and outside it, and those barons are compelled to defend them; and thus, from the ambitions of the prelates are born the discords and the tumults among the barons. Therefore, His Holiness Pope Leo* has found the papacy very powerful indeed; and it is to be hoped that if his predecessors made it great by feats of arms, he will, through his bounty and his infinite virtues, make it very great and worthy of reverence.


On the Various Kinds of Troops and Mercenary

Having treated in detail all the characteristics of those principalities which I proposed to discuss at the beginning, and having considered, to some extent, the reasons for their success or shortcomings, and having demonstrated the ways by which many have tried to acquire them and to maintain them, it remains for me now to speak in general terms of the kinds of offence and defence that can be adopted by each of the previously mentioned principalities. We have said above that a prince must have laid firm foundations; otherwise he will of necessity come to grief. And the principal foundations of all states, the new as well as the old or mixed, are good laws and good armies. And since there cannot exist good laws where there are no good armies, and where there are good armies there must be good laws, I shall leave aside the treatment of laws and discuss the armed forces.

Let me say, therefore, that the armies with which a prince defends his state are made up of his own people, or of mercenaries,


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The Prince
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