Il principe : italienisch/deutsch = Der Fürst

by Niccolò Machiavelli

Paperback, 1995

Status

Available

Call number

CE 7204 F954

Collection

Publication

Stuttgart: Reclam

Description

Politics. Management. Nonfiction. HTML: Il Principe (The Prince) is the famous text by Florentine public servant Niccolo Machiavelli, in which he outlines the best strategy by which a prince can acquire, maintain and protect his state. Published posthumously, the text departs from his previous works, but is that for which he is remembered, and which has produced the adjective "Machiavellian". Machiavelli directives for maintaining a secure state are direct and at times brutal, taking the view that the ends justify the means..

Media reviews

The Guardian (UK)
In the introduction to his new translation of The Prince, Tim Parks tells his reader that a grasp of Machiavelli requires "some sense of the complicated political geography of Italy in the 15th and early 16th centuries"....Even with Parks's valiant modernisation, it can be a sludgy read.
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Machiavelli's name clearly became a byword for skulduggery with help from a lot of people who have never bothered to read a word he wrote...
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1 more
knjigainfo.com
Kad je reč o umešnosti vladanja, ovo nezaobilazno delo bilo je i ostalo neprevaziđeno. Postalo je pojam! Delo nastalo na velikom raskršću istorije, kada se odlučno odbacuje srednjovekovno metafizičko učenje i usvajaju empirički metodi razmišljanja, predstavlja ujedno fascinantno
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svedočanstvo razlaza između mita i realnosti, između vere i sumnje. Ovaj biser renesansne političke misli karakteriše realistično posmatranje političkih događaja i visoke moralne pobude koje su inspirisale autora. Vladalac je samo prividno apoteoza tiranina i kodeks pravila za ubijanje, čitav traktat o vladaocu svodi se na to da se u Italiji pronađe čovek koji će je ujediniti. Život i delo ovog poznatog firentinca obeležavaju kao teoretičara o osnivanju i održavanju država.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member IreneF
Other people have reviewed The Prince's content. I gave this book four stars; I would have given it five if the translation were better. This edition (Dover Thrift) is certainly economical, but the sentences are long, convoluted, and reverse subject and object. It took me a while to get through
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even though it runs only 71 pages. I had to sit there and wrestle with the verbiage as I went.

Otherwise, thought-provoking and a handbook of international relations.
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LibraryThing member pjsullivan
Does Machiavelli deserve his sinister reputation? Is he advocating evil in this book? Or only describing it? His focus is not on defending, but on acquiring and governing; that is, on imperial conquest and dominance over others. This book is about aggression. He claims that human conditions do not
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permit princes to be good, and he is right about that. They never will. But do human conditions compel people to become princes? In seizing a state, he says, cruelty is necessary. No doubt this is true, but is seizing a state necessary? Is it moral?

Machiavelli's model prince was Cesare Borgia, a ruthless imperialist, mass murderer, and rapist. Machiavelli admired him for his power, then criticized him when he lost his power. He praises King Ferdinand of Spain for his "pious cruelty," calling it an "admirable example."

Yes, Machiavelli deserves his sinister reputation. He worshipped power, believing it to be beyond good and evil. This book is a portrayal of statecraft as it is practiced in the real world, but it is also a how-to book on gaining and maintaining dominance over others. It raises interesting issues, without necessarily resolving them. It can be useful as food for thought, but don't try this at home!
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LibraryThing member CorroDonk
Looking to make a rise to power? Interested in the many ways to maintain a small province? Planning on conquering a neighboring city and winning the hearts of the people?

The Prince is for you.

By that introduction I did not mean to underplay the significance of The Prince. I found that much of what
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Machiavelli said on the maintaining power in provinces after war to be very relevant, an impressive accomplishment seeing as how this book dates to the 1500s. Most notably the guideline about which people are easily conquered, and the ease in which that group can be maintained falling into two distinct categories; Do they speak the same language and do they follow the same religion? While reading this book I considered America's venture into the Middle East, and was quite astonished to see the similarities. This book is practically a guide on political strategy and the acquisition of power.

If I knew how to add half a star to my review I would. :D
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LibraryThing member MrsLee
I read this because it is one of those books everyone says should be read. It wasn't terribly long, the translation was easily understandable and I thought I would give it a try.

What surprised me, was that I enjoyed it. I found Machiavelli's teaching style very good. He sets forth a principle, then
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illustrates it with examples from both ancient history and his times. It was easy to go from there and find examples in our modern times of most of the principles he set forth. I found myself marveling at his insight into human nature and the practicalities of leadership in a fallen world.

Needless to say, I now feel myself prepared to take on the leadership of any minor principality which would have me. World, beware!
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LibraryThing member SaraPoole
Some authors make the bestseller lists; some win Nobel prizes; only a precious few are eternalized in the language itself. Machiavelli earned his place in our consciousness and our vocabulary with a single work, “The Prince”, at once a shocking, rivetting, thought-provoking and ultimately
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unforgettable portrayal of power politics in the Renaissance that remains as fresh and relevant now as it was in the early 16th century. Machiavelli wrote from internal exile after losing his government position with the dissolution of the Florentine republic and the return to power of the Medicis. Having survived imprisonment and torture, he was allowed to retire to his farm where he grappled with the sudden change in his fortunes and took refuge in a study of the lessons he had learned while in government. The result was “The Prince”, essentially a master plan for attaining and holding power. Most infamous for Machiavelli’s refusal to bow to either sentiment or idealism, the handbook for the mega-ambitious stresses the essentially practical reality of power and warns that "it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state."
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LibraryThing member homeofharris
Everyone relates this book as explaining how to be an unethical (possibly immoral) self-centered person to attain success by back-stabbing and the like. It gives tips on how to play people against one another, etc.I must say that honestly it is really just common sense stuff. Obviously these are
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all undesirable traits to find in someone, and in fact I avoid people who live their lives with any resemblance to the methods in the book, but none of this is new. Basically it is all just politics as usual. Watch a group of how teenage girls interact with one another, ostracize a friend for a while, steal each other's boyfriends, etc. You'll learn everything you need to know about The Prince.
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LibraryThing member datrappert
It's easy to be a cynic about this book, but there is some very good psychological advice here. Such as, after a victory, make friends with your enemies, and you'll be able to trust them more than your allies, who now that you have won, will be looking to take advantage of you or overthrow you.
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Your enemies, on the other hand, will be grateful for your mercy.
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LibraryThing member jwhenderson
I have read this several times over the last twenty years, in the Basic Program and with an independent study group. That it is still relevant and worth rereading is because it is considered by most to be the authoritative text on statesmanship and power (how to obtain it as well as an illustration
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of its trappings), although certainly a shrewd one.
From this arises an argument: whether it is better to be loved than feared. I reply that one should like to be both one and the other; but since it is difficult to join them together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.
Essentially, Machiavelli advocates letting your people have their property and women, but making sure that they know what you are capable of doing if they step out of line. His seemingly amoral approach lends a modern realistic touch to this masterpiece that shows how little humanity has changed over the centuries.
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LibraryThing member watertiger
Some things never change, and so it is with The Prince by Machiavelli. Completely deplete of any moral concerns, this short book is the complete "how-to" manual in governing the masses through manipulation, cruelty and random acts of beneficence. A must read for anyone interested in the realms of
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politics. Scary stuff.
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LibraryThing member stunik
Who has power, who keeps power, and why?
LibraryThing member TadAD
Despite the aura that has grown up around this book, I don't think it's as shocking to readers in the 21st century as it evidently was to those in the early 16th; it seems pretty much "politics as usual." In fact, it seems refreshingly honest about politics, never attempting to obscure the
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acquisition and maintenance of power with claims of high or noble purposes.

I also found it interesting that...at least as far as I was concerned...there was a connotation to the term 'Machiavellian' that was a bit more self-interested than the philosophy he actually espouses.

This is definitely a book worth recommending.
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LibraryThing member Wprecht
This is a classic and available in many translations. The one pictured above isn’t the one that I have, but it is probably close enough. Avoid ones with lots of commentary and dreck added. Read the true Nick and think for yourself. I first read this while in college, but for pleasure (don’t go
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there). Then I reread it for a history course several years later. I think that I got more out of it the second time around making it one of those fairly rare books with true reread potential. There is probably more here than I got out of it, but it isn’t my main period and there are other fish to fry...

Even though Machiavelli was never a military commander, his grasp of the essentials of political strategy and it’s sometimes necessary extension, military force is excellent. This book is not for the whifty, politically correct whiners in the crowd, however. One must place this treatise in the context in which it was written, Machiavelli wrote this after being kicked out of office by Lorenzo de’ Medic in 1512. The Italy of his time was a collection of small city states at nearly constant war.

The following quote sums things up quite nicely:

"It must be understood, that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state."
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LibraryThing member jkepler
I can see how it had a huge influence in humanistic politics--it lends itself to realpolitik.
LibraryThing member surreality
The original Italian text and German translation in parallel print. Allusions and references to most events and people given as examples are added to facilitate reading.

A coldly pragmatic look at power play and its tools. Chilling at times, but rational and also clever. It's a very practical
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approach to the philosophy of power, and despite almost all examples being Machiavelli's contemporaries, the ideas still hold true. A fascinating text to read.
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LibraryThing member soylentgreen23
Could it be that we have Machiavelli wrong? Is he really the devil? Having read his short treatise on what he suggests a newly crowned prince to do to maintain control of his territory, I admit that some of what he suggests is harsh, but I don't think he's evil. Not by a long shot.
LibraryThing member gottfried_leibniz
This is an interesting book on Political Philosophy, I think it falls under Realism.
Machiavelli doesn't want to systematize but simply shares from his experience.
As I kept reading the book, I had to reflect a lot of the ideas and try to draw conclusions from this world. I think, most of what he
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says stands True.

I learnt about power distribution in a political system.
Machiavelli says if it is concentrated with just one person (King), and people under him are servants, then if the King is toppled, it is easier to maintain the Kingdom in the long run. This reminds me of North Korea, I do not see a long future for it anyway.

Meanwhile, if there are nobles, barons who share some influence then it will be difficult to maintain if toppled. I was thinking of China, which I used to think has a good political system.
They do not waste time in election et cetera, however, the disadvantage in Chinese political system is that, if a new political party takes over, they will maintain the whole population under control. Meanwhile, it is difficult in America because the power is distributed differently. I can see how the Founders of America were cautious and knew all systems inside out.

I was surprised to find that Machiavelli supports people who believe in God for defense (Army) are better. He goes on to say that it is easier to train them as they will be Loyal to you.
The people who depend only on money will desert you. He says ministries who only think of them are fickle minded, this reminds me of political system of Tamil Nadu. I wonder how long the Government can run? Based on Machiavelli's writings, not long.

He also talks about weakness of mercenaries, which, I think was one of the causes of downfall –– Roman and Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Empire's Janissaries started to decline in power due to lack of training, corruption.

The Roman empire started to bring mercenaries from Germanic tribes. There's always a tension between common people and nobles. Machiavelli says, common people are more important and the Prince ought to give them first priority.

"As the observance of religious rites is the foundation of a republic's greatness, so disrespect for them is the source of its ruin."

"Where a fear of God is lacking, the state must either fail or be sustained by a fear of the ruler which may substitute for the lack of religion."
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LibraryThing member Sandydog1
Cold, calculating, and objectively cruel. You can't help but to think about today's political leaders.
LibraryThing member charlie68
Very gritty, earthy book on the means of gaining and holding power. Deals with humans as they are as the introduction points out. A lot of the points made in the book are in use in todays politics eventhough people may not want to think so. Like every book that I think in general misses the mark,
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there is substantial grains of truth in it.
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LibraryThing member clfisha
I do not often (or um ever) find myself reading political treatises but the evils of Machiavellian politics is so hyped I was intrigued.

Broken down into different methods of acquiring, then keeping land, then to turning to discuss various details such the merits of fear or how to gain nobility its
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a short, eminently readable and fascinating account of politics of a very different time.

Its not really evil, more that the morality question is just ignored. Take his wonderful advice on keeping your word: Don't (although the trick is you must always been seen to be keep it). So immoral and it cynical maybe (whether meant as a satire or not I cannot comment) but I found it hard to be offended by it, especially if viewed in a historical context and it definitely needs that context otherwise it would be a much poorer book.
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LibraryThing member RGazala
As has been true the past 500 years, any would-be power monger's bedside table unadorned with a copy of this slim treatise is shamefully naked. This is an excellent translation by Peter Constantine, filled with helpful footnotes and capped by a solid bibliography.
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
His very name has become, like that of Hobbes and Nietzsche, a byword for a cold, brutal ruthlessness. It's even said on the Wiki that he helped make "Old Nick" a term for the Devil (something the introduction to my edition denies) and political philosopher Leo Strauss called him "the teacher of
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evil." His book The Prince is one of the most influential books of all time and is known as the Bible of realpolitik, and Machiavelli is seen by some as the father of political science. In a letter Machiavelli claimed his "little work" (it's less than a hundred pages in paperback) was designed to examine the state, "discussing what a principality is, what kinds there are, how they are acquired, how they are maintained, why they are lost." The heart of his advice to the ruler is to be "prepared to vary his conduct as the winds of fortune and changing circumstances constrain him and … not deviate from right conduct if possible, but be capable of entering upon the path of wrongdoing when this becomes necessary." Thus The Prince can be said to be at the other end of the scale to utopian thinking; it's utterly pragmatic. And given my lack of sympathy for utopian schemes, you'd think this would be more to my taste. Yet in some ways I see both approaches as similar. Both sorts of thinking believe that ends justify the means. Utopian schemes from Plato to Mao willingly bend humans like pretzels to fit their ideals--Machiavelli wants his rulers to manipulate, deceive, and force his subjects to his ends, without worrying about whether the means are moral. Without caring about principles, what's left is just naked power.

So why rate this so high? Well, I at least appreciate Machiavelli's style compared to that of so many political thinkers. One thing at least all commentators agree on is that his writing is succinct and lucid--and memorable. Hard to forget such precepts as "politics has no relation to morals" and "it is better to be feared than loved" and "a prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise" and "Fortune is a woman, and if you want to stay on top of her, you have to knock her around." The man can turn a phrase. Fun and chilling to read at the same time--and great insight into politics and the minds of many politicians. And given Machiavelli's experience as a diplomat and head of a militia, and his deep pragmatism, it's not like even principled statesman working for their ideals should ignore his advice--if only as a warning.
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LibraryThing member SarahEBear
This is a difficult book to rate as it isn't exactly something that one enjoys reading. It is, however, well research and well written (or translated). "The Prince" reflects the political machinations of the day and is a guide to maintaining power over the people. It has been described as an "evil"
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book but I don't agree. Any 'evil' related to the book would be the result of how the advice (and which advice) is applied to a certain situation, by certain individuals. It is very matter-of-fact and is based on astute observations of human behaviour. It is mercifully short and makes for an interesting read.
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LibraryThing member muir
Practical advice for people who manage healthcare.
LibraryThing member Mithalogica
Machiavelli, and his best-known work were and remain deeply misunderstood. It is common to hear Machiavelli's Prince described as being without or above 'ordinary moral of ethical concerns.' This is absolutely an incorrect, and frankly, careless reading of the text.

Yes, Machiavelli says that the
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Prince cannot afford to place his own personal virtue ethics above the good of the state. However, this is not to say Machiavelli would have the Prince be with immoral, or amoral. Rather, Machiavelli demands that the Prince always put the greater good of the state, and it's people before his own, personal priorities. In every case, he condemns tyranny, needless cruelty, and the pursuit of personal power and wealth in the part of the ruler. He likewise consistently commends the actions of those who place the public good above their own.

Machiavelli's treatise acknowledges the sad fact that, given the failings of human nature, a good ruler may have to do things or act in ways which a good private citizen would not. After all, a private citizen may refrain from killing another individual, but a servant of the state may often have to do just that. Consider soldiers, officers of the law, or employees of corrections facilities where the death penalty is enforced. We do not condemn these individuals because we recognize that they are acting on the behalf of a larger entity, with larger interests. Machiavelli is utterly clear that the Prince is the servant of the state, never the other way around. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Prince never to shrink from an odious task that is in the best interests of the state. As such, his own personal ethics (which Machiavelli encourages, as long as they do not prevent him from acting in the best interests of the state) must be set aside to allow for a much higher ethical burden.

I do not, however, think this is the best translation of The Prince. I recommend Skinner's translation, in the Cambridge series on political thought.
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LibraryThing member Mithalogica
Machiavelli, and his best-known work were and remain deeply misunderstood. It is common to hear Machiavelli's Prince described as being without or above 'ordinary moral of ethical concerns.' This is absolutely an incorrect, and frankly, careless reading of the text.

Yes, Machiavelli says that the
Show More
Prince cannot afford to place his own personal virtue ethics above the good of the state. However, this is not to say Machiavelli would have the Prince be with immoral, or amoral. Rather, Machiavelli demands that the Prince always put the greater good of the state, and it's people before his own, personal priorities. In every case, he condemns tyranny, needless cruelty, and the pursuit of personal power and wealth in the part of the ruler. He likewise consistently commends the actions of those who place the public good above their own.

Machiavelli's treatise acknowledges the sad fact that, given the failings of human nature, a good ruler may have to do things or act in ways which a good private citizen would not. After all, a private citizen may refrain from killing another individual, but a servant of the state may often have to do just that. Consider soldiers, officers of the law, or employees of corrections facilities where the death penalty is enforced. We do not condemn these individuals because we recognize that they are acting on the behalf of a larger entity, with larger interests. Machiavelli is utterly clear that the Prince is the servant of the state, never the other way around. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Prince never to shrink from an odious task that is in the best interests of the state. As such, his own personal ethics (which Machiavelli encourages, as long as they do not prevent him from acting in the best interests of the state) must be set aside to allow for a much higher ethical burden.

Skinner's translation (one of the Cambridge series on political thought) is superb, possibly the most faithful to Machiavelli's original, and includes additional material that lay the text open to a fresh and balanced reading.
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Language

Original publication date

1532
1513

ISBN

3150012198 / 9783150012192
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