The Prince

By Niccolò Machiavelli; Peter Bondanella et al. | Go to book overview

EXPLANATORY NOTES

DEDICATORY PREFACE

5 Lorenzo de' Medici, the Magnificent: this figure, the Duke of Urbino (1492-1519) should not be confused with his more illustrious grandfather, Lorenzo il Magnifico (1449-92). Lorenzo received Machiavelli's dedication after an earlier preface to The Prince originally intended for Giuliano de' Medici, Duke of Nemours (1479-1516) had to be changed when Giuliano suddenly died. Neither of these Medici princelings ever measured up to Machiavelli's estimation of their potential, and it is ironic that they are remembered today by Michelangelo's magnificent sculptures of them for the Medici Chapel at San Lorenzo in Florence. While the bulk of The Prince was completed in 1513, this dedication was probably composed between 1516 and 1519 after Lorenzo was named Duke of Urbino by Pope Leo X (1516) but before his subsequent death (1519).


CHAPTER I

7 Francesco Sforza: the famous mercenary soldier (1401-66) who married the daughter of Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, and eventually became that city's ruler in 1450.

King of Spain: Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516) agreed to. divide the Kingdom of Naples with Louis XII of France in the Treaty of Granada ( 11 November 1500); however, the two monarchs soon disagreed over the division of the spoils, and after a number of military defeats, the French recognized Ferdinand as King of Naples in the Treaty of Blois (12 October 1505).


CHAPTER II

republics . . . elsewhere at length: while this remark has caused a great deal of debate and has led some scholars to claim that Machiavelli's Discourses were begun before The Prince (since Book I of that work deals at length with the subject), it is most

-89-

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