Machiavelli and Renaissance Italy

By J. R. Hale | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Machiavelli's Last Years: 1522-1527

LITTLE is known about Machiavelli's activities in 1522, but the early months of that year were troubled by plots against the Medici, and it is doubtful if he was able to work readily at his history until the fortunes of the family that had commissioned it were settled. Cardinal Soderini was known to be planning a triumphal return for his family, using troops hired with French money; and Cardinal Giulio was sufficiently alarmed at this prospect, when it was still little more than rumour, to attempt a further consolidation of his power within Florence. Up to this time the influence of the Medici, though dominant, had not been signed and sealed into the city's constitution. Giulio's aim was to consolidate his own position, and to pay, or at least appear to pay, for this by making the basis of the constitution more popular. Accordingly, he offered to restore the Great Council in May, and encouraged, as he had done from time to time before, advice from individual citizens on the form the constitution should take.

Machiavelli made it clear that he had no sympathy with the machinations of his old protector and chief by sending in to Giulio a new version of the plan he had submitted in 1520, but it was soon clear that the Cardinal, though ready to accept advice from him and

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