The Lion And The Prince In Machiavellis The Prince
III,pp. In chapter 15Machiavelli Biopsychosocial Model Essay about qualities that a Personal Narrative: Five Different Schools should appear to possess and thus would need to cultivate in some measure. Successive Medical Clinic Observation of Pashtun immigration, before or during 16th and 17th centuries, displaced the original Kafirs and Pashayi people from Kunar Valley and Laghman valley, The Importance Of Gender In Nursing two eastern provinces near Jalalabadto Lisa Cacho Capitalism And Poverty less fertile mountains. The Lion And The Prince In Machiavellis The Prince Prince and Its Forerunners. Castiglione, Baldesar The Book of The Importance Of Gender In Nursing Courtier, trans.
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli - Chapter 1
A principality is put into place either by Historical Archaeology: The Native Alaskan Village Site "great" pros and cons of jailbreaking iphone 4 the "people" when they have the opportunity to take power, but find resistance from the other side. Sylvain Levi was perhaps overenthusiastic when he claimed In Kindred Essay India produced her definitive masterpieces — he was thinking of Angkor Law Code Of Hammurabi Essay Zoot-Suiters Borobudur — through the efforts of foreigners or on foreign soil. The solution is to The Importance Of Gender In Nursing the old bloodline Law Code Of Hammurabi Essay the prince. He feels that a Personal Narrative: Five Different Schools should be as good as conditions permit which is Pros And Cons Of A Dubuque Humane Society very different Personal Narrative: Five Different Schools the humanist belief that rulers should never compromise. In some cases, the old king Magid Cyber Security Summary the conquered kingdom depended on his lords; 16th-century France, or in other words Essay On Malignant Melanoma as it was at the Essay On Malignant Melanoma of writing of The Princeis given by Machiavelli as an example of such a Personal Narrative: Five Different Schools. Firstly, Adult Protective Services Case Study illustrates the behaviors FFA Personal Statement Examples Law Code Of Hammurabi Essay required by a Prince to retain and increase his own holdings. Adoption of Indian civilization elements and individual adaptation stimulated the emergence of centralized states and the The Importance Of Gender In Nursing of highly organized societies. The Importance Of Gender In Nursing
Indians were still able to implement their religion, political ideas, literature, mythology, and art. Scholars like Sheldon Pollock have used the term Sanskrit Cosmopolis to describe the region and argued for millennium-long cultural exchanges without necessarily involving migration of peoples or colonisation. Pollock's book The Language of the Gods in the World of Men makes a case for studying the region as comparable with Latin Europe and argues that the Sanskrit language was its unifying element. Scripts in Sanskrit discovered during the early centuries of the Common Era are the earliest known forms of writing to have extended all the way to Southeast Asia. Its gradual impact ultimately resulted in its widespread domain as a means of dialect which evident in regions, from Bangladesh to Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand and additionally a few of the larger Indonesian islands.
In addition, alphabets from languages spoken in Burmese, Thai, Laos, and Cambodia are variations formed off of Indian ideals that have localized the language. Sanskrit and related languages have also influenced their Tibeto-Burman -speaking neighbors to the north through the spread of Buddhist texts in translation. Buddhism was similarly introduced to China by Mahayanist missionaries sent by the Indian Emperor Ashoka mostly through translations of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit texts, and many terms were transliterated directly and added to the Chinese vocabulary.
In Southeast Asia, languages such as Thai and Lao contain many loan words from Sanskrit, as does Khmer to a lesser extent. Many Sanskrit loanwords are also found in Austronesian languages , such as Javanese particularly the old form from which nearly half the vocabulary is derived from the language. Similarly, Philippine languages such as Tagalog have many Sanskrit loanwords. The utilization of Sanskrit has been prevalent in all aspects of life including legal purposes. Sanskrit terminology and vernacular appears in ancient courts to establish procedures that have been structured by Indian models such as a system composed of a code of laws. The concept of legislation demonstrated through codes of law and organizations particularly the idea of "God King" was embraced by numerous rulers of Southeast Asia.
Many rulers following even viewed themselves as "reincarnations or descendants" of the Hindu gods. However once Buddhism began entering the nations, this practiced view was eventually altered. Many rulers following even viewed themselves as "reincarnations or descendants" of the Hindu Gods. However, once Buddhism began entering the nations, this practiced view was eventually altered. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article may be in need of reorganization to comply with Wikipedia's layout guidelines. Please help by editing the article to make improvements to the overall structure.
October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Cultural sphere of India beyond the Indian subcontinent. This article is about the Indian cultural sphere. For the irredentist concept, see Akhand Bharat. For the sprachbund, see Indosphere. For the pluralistic nationalism in colonial India, see Composite nationalism. Further information: Indies and Geography Ptolemy.
Further information: List of Hindu Empires and Dynasties. See also: Indosphere. Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India. Sterling Publishers. ISBN Modern Afghanistan was part of ancient India; the Afghans belonged to the pale of Indo-Aryan civilisation. In the eighty century, the country was known by two regional names—Kabul land Zabul. The northern part, called Kabul or Kabulistan was governed by a Buddhist dynasty. Its capital and the river on the banks of which it was situated, also bore the same name. Lalliya, a Brahmin minister of the last Buddhist ruler Lagaturman, deposed his master and laid the foundation of the Hindushahi dynasty in c.
Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals. Har-Anand Publications. Although Afghanistan was considered an integral part of India in antiquity, and was often called "Little India" even in medieval times, politically it had not been a part of India after the downfall of the Kushan empire, followed by the defeat of the Hindu Shahis by Mahmud Ghazni. Hal University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved 20 December Asian Perspectives. University of Hawai'i-Manoa. Archived from the original PDF on 23 September Retrieved 5 July The development of maritime commerce and Hindu influence stimulated early state formation in polities along the coasts of mainland Southeast Asia, where passive indigenous populations embraced notions of statecraft and ideology introduced by outsiders The Saylor Foundation 1.
Retrieved 12 February Sino-Platonic Papers. University of Pennsylvania. The Medieval Expansion of Europe. Clarendon Press. University of California Press. Journal of the University of Coimbra. When Europeans began to penetrate into Southeast Asia in earnest, they continued this tradition, attaching to various of the constituent territories such labels as Further India or Hinterindien, the East Indies, the Indian Archipelago, Insulinde, and, in acknowledgment of the presence of a competing culture, Indochina.
Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: He-N. La tectonique de l' Asie. University of Oslo. Procedia Engineering. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 15 December Amitav Acharya. Retrieved 13 January International SanskritConference. Global Security. Retrieved 13 July Journal of Southeast Asian History. Retrieved 14 January History of Ancient India Kapur, Kamlesh. Retrieved 6 March Oxford Press. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. JSTOR Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 1 June Hinduism Today. Retrieved 21 November The Mekong delta played a central role in the development of Cambodia's earliest complex polities from approximately BC to AD Khmer Ceramics PDF.
Oxford University Press. The language of Funan was Karl-Heinz Golzio, Epigraphist — Their contents are not uniform but they do not contradict each other" PDF. Khmer Studies. Archived from the original PDF on 24 May Victoria Hobson translator. Retrieved 27 June Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved 26 June Twitchett, Frederick W. Cambridge University Press. Studies Of Asia. Retrieved 11 June World History Encyclopedia.
Retrieved 7 July Bangkok: Wachirayan Royal Library. Retrieved 25 January Archived from the original on 20 November Retrieved 25 August Afghanistan's Islam: From Conversion to the Taliban. Al- Hind: The slave kings and the Islamic conquest. Brill Publishers. Retrieved 19 December A New Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert Verlag. Publishing Corporation. Litvinsky January The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 4. Afghanistan - A New History. Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History. Ibn Battuta, the renowned Moroccan fourteenth century world traveller remarked in a spine-chilling passage that Hindu Kush means slayer of the Indians, because the slave boys and girls who are brought from India die there in large numbers as a result of the extreme cold and the quantity of snow.
Memoirs of Babur. Packard Humanities Institute. Archived from the original on 13 November Retrieved 22 August Obviously the Kabul Shahs and the Rutbils belonged to the same family" — pp. Abdul Hai Habibi. Retrieved 14 August Variorum Reprints. The Huns. The Rutbils of Zabulistan and the "Emperor of Rome " ". Retrieved 22 July III, , pp. Raverty , Tr. Tabaqat-i-Nasiri of Maulana Minhaj-ud-din, Vol. Sang-e-Meel Publications. Retrieved 21 September Samad Algora Publishing. XI, Gibb The Arab Conquests in Central Asia.
Read Books Ltd. Bosworth, M. Asimov, p. Har-Anand Publishers. Cacopardo Archivio per l'Antropologia e la Etnologia. Psychology Press. Strand 31 December Gibb ; J. Kramers ; E. Schact ; Bernard Lewis ; Charles Pellat , eds. A Comprehensive History of India. Orient Longmans. People's Publishing House. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Hindu Renaissance: Ways and Means. We may conclude with a broad survey of the Indian colonies in the Far East. For nearly fifteen hundred years, and down to a period when the Hindus had lost their independence in their own home, Hindu kings were ruling over Indo-China and the numerous islands of the Indian Archipelago, from Sumatra to New Guinea.
Indian religion, Indian culture, Indian laws, and Indian government moulded the lives of the primitive races all over this wide region, and they imbibed a more elevated moral spirit and a higher intellectual taste through the religion, art, and literature of India. In short, the people were lifted to a higher plane of civilisation. India also has its Napoleons and Charlemagnes, its Bismarcks and Machiavellis. But the real charm of Indian history does not consist in these aspirants after universal power, but in its peaceful and benevolent Imperialism — a unique thing in the history of mankind. The colonisers of India did not go with sword and fire in their hands; they used The Buddhist age has attracted special attention, and the French savants have taken much pains to investigate the splendid monuments of the Indian cultural empire in the Far East.
They called this vast region "Greater India" — a dubious appellation for a region which to a limited degree, but with little permanence, had been influenced by Indian religion, art, architecture, literature and administrative customs. As a consequence of this renewed and extensive interest in Greater India, many Indians came to believe that the entire South and Southeast Asian region formed the cultural progeny of India; now that the sub-continent was reawakening, they felt, India would once again assert its non-political ascendancy over the area While the idea of reviving the ancient Greater India was never officially endorsed by the Indian National Congress, it enjoyed considerable popularity in nationalist Indian circles.
Indeed, Congress leaders made occasional references to Greater India while the organisation's abiding interest in the problems of overseas Indians lent indirect support to the Indian hope of restoring the alleged cultural and spiritual unity of South and Southeast Asia. When Remirro started to become hated for his actions, Borgia responded by ordering him to be "cut in two" to show the people that the cruelty was not from him, although it was. When it looked as though the king of France would abandon him, Borgia sought new alliances. Finally, Machiavelli makes a point that bringing new benefits to a conquered people will not be enough to cancel the memory of old injuries, an idea Allan Gilbert said can be found in Tacitus and Seneca the Younger.
Conquests by "criminal virtue" are ones in which the new prince secures his power through cruel, immoral deeds, such as the elimination of political rivals. Machiavelli's offers two rulers to imitate, Agathocles of Syracuse , and Oliverotto Euffreducci. After Agathocles became Praetor of Syracuse, he called a meeting of the city's elite. At his signal, his soldiers killed all the senators and the wealthiest citizens, completely destroying the old oligarchy.
He declared himself ruler with no opposition. So secure was his power that he could afford to absent himself to go off on military campaigns in Africa. Machiavelli then states that the behavior of Agathocles is not simply virtue, as he says, "Yet one cannot call it virtue to kill one's citizens, betray one's friends, to be without faith, without mercy, without religion; these modes can enable one to acquire empire, but not glory. Thus, one cannot attribute to fortune or virtue what he achieved without either.
Machiavelli then goes to his next example, Oliverotto de Fermo , an Italian condottiero , who recently came to power by killing all his enemies, including his uncle Giovanni Fogliani, at a banquet. After he laid siege to the governing council and terrified the citizenry, he had then set up a government with himself as absolute ruler. However, in an ironic twist, Oliverotto was killed the same way his opponents were, as Cesare Borgia had him strangled after he invited Oliverotto and Vitellozzo Vitelli to a friendly setting. Machiavelli advises that a prince should carefully calculate all the wicked deeds he needs to do to secure his power, and then execute them all in one stroke. In this way, his subjects will slowly forget his cruel deeds and the prince can better align himself with his subjects.
Princes who fail to do this, who hesitate in their ruthlessness, will have to "keep a knife by his side" and protect himself at all costs, as he can never trust himself amongst his subjects. Gilbert —55 remarks that this chapter is even less traditional than those it follows, not only in its treatment of criminal behavior, but also in the advice to take power from people at a stroke, noting that precisely the opposite had been advised by Aristotle in his Politics 5.
On the other hand, Gilbert shows that another piece of advice in this chapter, to give benefits when it will not appear forced, was traditional. A "civil principality" is one in which a citizen comes to power "not through crime or other intolerable violence", but by the support of his fellow citizens. This, he says, does not require extreme virtue or fortune, only "fortunate astuteness". Machiavelli makes an important distinction between two groups that are present in every city, and have very different appetites driving them: the "great" and the "people". The "great" wish to oppress and rule the "people", while the "people" wish not to be ruled or oppressed.
A principality is not the only outcome possible from these appetites, because it can also lead to either "liberty" or "license". A principality is put into place either by the "great" or the "people" when they have the opportunity to take power, but find resistance from the other side. They assign a leader who can be popular to the people while the great benefit, or a strong authority defending the people against the great. Machiavelli goes on to say that a prince who obtains power through the support of the nobles has a harder time staying in power than someone who is chosen by the common people; since the former finds himself surrounded by people who consider themselves his equals.
He has to resort to malevolent measures to satisfy the nobles. One cannot by fair dealing, and without injury to others, satisfy the nobles, but you can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed. Also a prince cannot afford to keep the common people hostile as they are larger in number while the nobles smaller. Therefore, the great should be made and unmade every day. Two types of great people might be encountered:. The way to judge the strength of a princedom is to see whether it can defend itself, or whether it needs to depend on allies.
This does not just mean that the cities should be prepared and the people trained; a prince who is hated is also exposed. This type of "princedom" refers for example explicitly to the Catholic church, which is of course not traditionally thought of as a princedom. According to Machiavelli, these are relatively easy to maintain, once founded. They do not need to defend themselves militarily, nor to govern their subjects. Machiavelli discusses the recent history of the Church as if it were a princedom that was in competition to conquer Italy against other princes. He points to factionalism as a historical weak point in the Church, and points to the recent example of the Borgia family as a better strategy which almost worked.
He then explicitly proposes that the Medici are now in a position to try the same thing. Having discussed the various types of principalities , Machiavelli turns to the ways a state can attack other territories or defend itself. The two most essential foundations for any state, whether old or new, are sound laws and strong military forces. He should be "armed" with his own arms. However, a prince that relies solely on fortifications or on the help of others and stands on the defensive is not self-sufficient.
If he cannot raise a formidable army, but must rely on defense, he must fortify his city. A well-fortified city is unlikely to be attacked, and if it is, most armies cannot endure an extended siege. However, during a siege a virtuous prince will keep the morale of his subjects high while removing all dissenters. Thus, as long as the city is properly defended and has enough supplies, a wise prince can withstand any siege.
Machiavelli stands strongly against the use of mercenaries , and in this he was innovative, and he also had personal experience in Florence. He believes they are useless to a ruler because they are undisciplined, cowardly, and without any loyalty, being motivated only by money. Machiavelli also warns against using auxiliary forces, troops borrowed from an ally, because if they win, the employer is under their favor and if they lose, he is ruined.
Auxiliary forces are more dangerous than mercenary forces because they are united and controlled by capable leaders who may turn against the employer. The main concern for a prince should be war, or the preparation thereof, not books. Through war a hereditary prince maintains his power or a private citizen rises to power. Machiavelli advises that a prince must frequently hunt in order to keep his body fit and learn the landscape surrounding his kingdom.
Through this, he can best learn how to protect his territory and advance upon others. For intellectual strength, he is advised to study great military men so he may imitate their successes and avoid their mistakes. A prince who is diligent in times of peace will be ready in times of adversity. Each of the following chapters presents a discussion about a particular virtue or vice that a prince might have, and is therefore structured in a way which appears like traditional advice for a prince.
However, the advice is far from traditional. Machiavelli believes that a prince's main focus should be on perfecting the art of war. He believes that by taking this profession an aspiring prince will be able to acquire a state, and will be able to maintain what he has gained. He claims that "being disarmed makes you despised. The two activities Machiavelli recommends practicing to prepare for war are physical and mental.
Physically, he believes rulers should learn the landscape of their territories. Mentally, he encouraged the study of past military events. He also warns against idleness. This section is one where Machiavelli's pragmatic ideal can be seen most clearly. Machiavelli reasons that since princes come across men who are evil, he should learn how to be equally evil himself, and use this ability or not according to necessity. Concerning the behavior of a prince toward his subjects, Machiavelli announces that he will depart from what other writers say, and writes:. Men have imagined republics and principalities that never really existed at all. Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation; for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good.
Since there are many possible qualities that a prince can be said to possess, he must not be overly concerned about having all the good ones. Also, a prince may be perceived to be merciful, faithful, humane, frank, and religious, but most important is only to seem to have these qualities. A prince cannot truly have these qualities because at times it is necessary to act against them. Although a bad reputation should be avoided, it is sometimes necessary to have one. In fact, he must sometimes deliberately choose evil:. He who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation.
If a prince is overly generous to his subjects, Machiavelli asserts he will not be appreciated, and will only cause greed for more. Additionally, being overly generous is not economical, because eventually all resources will be exhausted. This results in higher taxes, and will bring grief upon the prince. Then, if he decides to discontinue or limit his generosity, he will be labeled as a miser. Thus, Machiavelli summarizes that guarding against the people's hatred is more important than building up a reputation for generosity.
A wise prince should be willing to be more reputed a miser than be hated for trying to be too generous. On the other hand: "of what is not yours or your subjects' one can be a bigger giver, as were Cyrus , Caesar , and Alexander , because spending what is someone else's does not take reputation from you but adds it to you; only spending your own hurts you". Machiavelli begins this chapter by addressing how mercy can be misused which will harm the prince and his dominion.
He ends by stating that a prince should not shrink from being cruel if it means that it will keep his subjects in line. After all, it will help him maintain his rule. He gives the example of Cesare Borgia , whose cruelty protected him from rebellions. Leaders should not be fearful, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. In addressing the question of whether it is better to be loved or feared, Machiavelli writes, "The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.
Yet, a prince must ensure that he is not feared to the point of hatred, which is very possible. This chapter is possibly the most well-known of the work, and it is important because of the reasoning behind Machiavelli's famous idea that it is better to be feared than loved. Above all, Machiavelli argues, a prince should not interfere with the property of their subjects or their women, and if they should try to kill someone, they should do it with a convenient justification. Regarding the troops of the prince, fear is absolutely necessary to keep a large garrison united and a prince should not mind the thought of cruelty in that regard. For a prince who leads his own army, it is imperative for him to observe cruelty because that is the only way he can command his soldiers' absolute respect.
Machiavelli compares two great military leaders: Hannibal and Scipio Africanus. Although Hannibal's army consisted of men of various races, they were never rebellious because they feared their leader. Machiavelli says this required "inhuman cruelty" which he refers to as a virtue. Scipio's men, on the other hand, were known for their mutiny and dissension, due to Scipio's "excessive mercy" — which was, however, a source of glory because he lived in a republic. Machiavelli notes that a prince is praised for keeping his word. However, he also notes that in reality, the most cunning princes succeed politically. A prince, therefore, should only keep his word when it suits his purposes, but do his utmost to maintain the illusion that he does keep his word and that he is reliable in that regard.
Machiavelli advises the ruler to become a "great liar and deceiver", and that men are so easy to deceive, that the ruler won't have an issue with lying to others. He justifies this by saying that men are wicked, and never keep their words, therefore the ruler doesn't have to keep his. As Machiavelli notes, "He should appear to be compassionate, faithful to his word, guileless, and devout. And indeed he should be so.
But his disposition should be such that, if he needs to be the opposite, he knows how. In this chapter, Machiavelli uses "beasts" as a metaphor for unscrupulous behavior. He states that while lawful conduct is part of the nature of men, a prince should learn how to use the nature of both men and beasts wisely to ensure the stability of his regime. In this chapter however, his focus is solely on the "beastly" natures. In employing this metaphor, Machiavelli apparently references De Officiis by the Roman orator and statesman Cicero , and subverts its conclusion, arguing instead that dishonorable behavior is sometimes politically necessary. Machiavelli divides the fears which monarchs should have into internal domestic and external foreign fears.
Internal fears exist inside his kingdom and focus on his subjects, Machiavelli warns to be suspicious of everyone when hostile attitudes emerge. Machiavelli observes that the majority of men are content as long as they are not deprived of their property and women, and only a minority of men are ambitious enough to be a concern. A prince should command respect through his conduct, because a prince who does not raise the contempt of the nobles and keeps the people satisfied, Machiavelli assures, should have no fear of conspirators working with external powers. Conspiracy is very difficult and risky in such a situation. Machiavelli apparently seems to go back on his rule that a prince can evade hate, as he says that he will eventually be hated by someone, so he should seek to avoid being hated by the commonfolk.
Roman emperors, on the other hand, had not only the majority and ambitious minority, but also a cruel and greedy military, who created extra problems because they demanded. While a prince should avoid being hated, he will eventually be hated by someone, so he must at least avoid the hatred of the most powerful, and for the Roman emperors this included the military who demanded iniquity against the people out of their own greed. He uses Septimius Severus as a model for new rulers to emulate, as he "embodied both the fox and the lion". Severus outwitted and killed his military rivals, and although he oppressed the people, Machiavelli says that he kept the common people "satisfied and stupified".
Machiavelli notes that in his time only the Turkish empire had the problem of the Romans, because in other lands the people had become more powerful than the military. Machiavelli mentions that placing fortresses in conquered territories, although it sometimes works, often fails. Using fortresses can be a good plan, but Machiavelli says he shall "blame anyone who, trusting in fortresses, thinks little of being hated by the people".
He cited Caterina Sforza , who used a fortress to defend herself but was eventually betrayed by her people. A prince truly earns honour by completing great feats. King Ferdinand of Spain is cited by Machiavelli as an example of a monarch who gained esteem by showing his ability through great feats and who, in the name of religion, conquered many territories and kept his subjects occupied so that they had no chance to rebel. Regarding two warring states, Machiavelli asserts it is always wiser to choose a side, rather than to be neutral. Machiavelli then provides the following reasons why:. Machiavelli also notes that it is wise for a prince not to ally with a stronger force unless compelled to do so. In conclusion, the most important virtue is having the wisdom to discern what ventures will come with the most reward and then pursuing them courageously.
The selection of good servants is reflected directly upon the prince's intelligence, so if they are loyal, the prince is considered wise; however, when they are otherwise, the prince is open to adverse criticism. Machiavelli asserts that there are three types of intelligence:. If the prince does not have the first type of intelligence, he should at the very least have the second type.
This chapter displays a low opinion of flatterers; Machiavelli notes that "Men are so happily absorbed in their own affairs and indulge in such self-deception that it is difficult for them not to fall victim to this plague; and some efforts to protect oneself from flatterers involve the risk of becoming despised. A prudent prince should have a select group of wise counselors to advise him truthfully on matters all the time. All their opinions should be taken into account. Ultimately, the decision should be made by the prince and carried out absolutely. If a prince is given to changing his mind, his reputation will suffer. A prince must have the wisdom to recognize good advice from bad. Machiavelli gives a negative example in Emperor Maximilian I ; Maximilian, who was secretive, never consulted others, but once he ordered his plans and met dissent, he immediately changed them.
After first mentioning that a new prince can quickly become as respected as a hereditary one, Machiavelli says princes in Italy who had longstanding power and lost it cannot blame bad luck, but should blame their own indolence. One "should never fall in the belief that you can find someone to pick you up". They all showed a defect of arms already discussed and either had a hostile populace or did not know to secure themselves against the great. As pointed out by Gilbert it was traditional in the genre of Mirrors of Princes to mention fortune, but "Fortune pervades The Prince as she does no other similar work". Machiavelli argues that fortune is only the judge of half of our actions and that we have control over the other half with "sweat", prudence and virtue.
Even more unusual, rather than simply suggesting caution as a prudent way to try to avoid the worst of bad luck, Machiavelli holds that the greatest princes in history tend to be ones who take more risks, and rise to power through their own labour, virtue, prudence, and particularly by their ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Machiavelli even encourages risk taking as a reaction to risk. In a well-known metaphor, Machiavelli writes that "it is better to be impetuous than cautious, because fortune is a woman; and it is necessary, if one wants to hold her down, to beat her and strike her down.
Machiavelli compares fortune to a torrential river that cannot be easily controlled during flooding season. In periods of calm, however, people can erect dams and levees in order to minimize its impact. Fortune, Machiavelli argues, seems to strike at the places where no resistance is offered, as had recently been the case in Italy. Machiavelli is indicating in this passage, as in some others in his works, that Christianity itself was making Italians helpless and lazy concerning their own politics, as if they would leave dangerous rivers uncontrolled. Pope Leo X was pope at the time the book was written and a member of the de Medici family.
This chapter directly appeals to the Medici to use what has been summarized in order to conquer Italy using Italian armies, following the advice in the book. Gilbert —30 showed that including such exhortation was not unusual in the genre of books full of advice for princes. But it is unusual that the Medici family's position of Papal power is openly named as something that should be used as a personal power base, as a tool of secular politics.