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 additionally wrote approximately Florence with satisfaction, patriotism, and assured desire of higher occasions. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and melancholy he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly continual experience that his urban had all of the fabrics and capability priceless for a wholesale, effective, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably placed it, Florence used to be "truly a very good and wretched city."
Mark Jurdjevic specializes in the Florentine measurement of Machiavelli's political concept, revealing new facets of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, such a lot considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political profession and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He exhibits that major and as but unrecognized features of Machiavelli's political suggestion have been pretty Florentine in notion, content material, and objective. From a brand new viewpoint and armed with new arguments, a very good and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's dating to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli merely unfavorable classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings used to be a right away functionality of his significant estimation of its unrealized political potential.
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Additional info for A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought
He preached against forgiveness of civil offenses, urging instead— again deploying a Mosaic precedent— an unfl inching willingness to enforce the death sentence. ”63 These comments seem hardly to fit the imagined reformer whom John Geerken described as someone who: “sought to deracinate fortitude and strength by totally spiritualizing them. . ” 64 Brown went on to show the impact of “the tough Savonarola” on the development of Machiavelli’s political thought. 65 Brown illuminated the way specific themes in Savonarola’s selfpresentation as a reformer in the Mosaic mold—particularly his rhetoric on arms, severe justice, prophecy, and the necessity of divine approval for new laws— affected the general development of Machiavelli’s political thought.
45, Machiavelli again expressed respect for Savonarola’s intellect, this time in terms of its impact on Florentine political institutions: “After 1494 Florence reorganized her government with the aid of Frate Girolamo Savonarola, whose writings show his learning, his prudence, his mental power. ”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.
65 Brown illuminated the way specific themes in Savonarola’s selfpresentation as a reformer in the Mosaic mold—particularly his rhetoric on arms, severe justice, prophecy, and the necessity of divine approval for new laws— affected the general development of Machiavelli’s political thought. But there are yet more precise links between the Savonarolan example, the question of force, and Machiavelli’s vocabulary in the Discourses that suggest his indebtedness to Savonarola. 30. 30 he considered envy from a different perspective, as an obstacle to effective action by virtuous citizens.
A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought by Mark Jurdjevic