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The Prince

by Nicolo Machiavelli
Written c. 1505, published 1515
Translated by W. K. Marriott
The Original Version o this Te!t "as
#endered into $TM% by &on #oland
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The Prince 1 Nicolo Machiavelli
How Many Kinds Of Principalities There
Are And !y "hat Means They Are
%% &TATE& all powers that have held and
hold r$le over 'en have (een and are
either rep$(lics or principalities) A
Principalities are either hereditary in which the
fa'ily has (een lon* esta(lished+ or they are new)
The new are either entirely new as was Milan to
,rancesco &for-a or they are as it were 'e'(ers
anne.ed to the hereditary state of the prince who
has ac#$ired the' as was the /in*do' of Naples
to that of the Kin* of &pain)
&$ch do'inions th$s ac#$ired are either
acc$sto'ed to live $nder a prince or to live in
freedo'+ and are ac#$ired either (y the ar's of the
prince hi'self or of others or else (y fort$ne or
(y a(ility)
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Concernin* Hereditary Principalities
"I%% leave o$t all disc$ssion on rep$(lics
inas'$ch as in another place I have written of
the' at len*th
and will address 'yself only
to principalities) In doin* so I will /eep to the
order indicated a(ove and disc$ss how s$ch
principalities are to (e r$led and preserved)
I say at once there are fewer diffic$lties in
holdin* hereditary states and those lon*
acc$sto'ed to the fa'ily of their prince than new
ones+ for it is s$fficient only not to trans*ress the
c$sto's of his ancestors and to deal pr$dently
with circ$'stances as they arise for a prince of
avera*e powers to 'aintain hi'self in his state
$nless he (e deprived of it (y so'e e.traordinary
and e.cessive force+ and if he sho$ld (e so
deprived of it whenever anythin* sinister happens
to the $s$rper he will re*ain it)
"e have in Italy for e.a'ple the 1$/e of
,errara who co$ld not have withstood the attac/s
of the 2enetians in 345 nor those of Pope 6$li$s in
317 $nless he had (een lon* esta(lished in his
do'inions) ,or the hereditary prince has less ca$se
and less necessity to offend+ hence it happens that
he will (e 'ore loved+ and $nless e.traordinary
vices ca$se hi' to (e hated it is reasona(le to
1 1isco$rses)
The Prince 8 Nicolo Machiavelli
e.pect that his s$(9ects will (e nat$rally well
disposed towards hi'+ and in the anti#$ity and
d$ration of his r$le the 'e'ories and 'otives that
'a/e for chan*e are lost for one chan*e always
leaves the toothin* for another)
The Prince 5 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* Mi.ed Principalities
:T the diffic$lties occ$r in a new
principality) And firstly if it (e not
entirely new ($t is as it were a 'e'(er
of a state which ta/en collectively 'ay (e called
co'posite the chan*es arise chiefly fro' an
inherent diffic$lty which there is in all new
principalities+ for 'en chan*e their r$lers
willin*ly hopin* to (etter the'selves and this
hope ind$ces the' to ta/e $p ar's a*ainst hi'
who r$les; wherein they are deceived (eca$se they
afterwards find (y e.perience they have *one fro'
(ad to worse) This follows also on another nat$ral
and co''on necessity which always ca$ses a new
prince to ($rden those who have s$('itted to hi'
with his soldiery and with infinite other hardships
which he '$st p$t $pon his new ac#$isition)
In this way yo$ have ene'ies in all those who'
yo$ have in9$red in sei-in* that principality and
yo$ are not a(le to /eep those friends who p$t yo$
there (eca$se of yo$r not (ein* a(le to satisfy the'
in the way they e.pected and yo$ cannot ta/e
stron* 'eas$res a*ainst the' feelin* (o$nd to
the') ,or altho$*h one 'ay (e very stron* in
ar'ed forces yet in enterin* a province one has
always need of the *oodwill of the natives)
,or these reasons %o$is <II Kin* of ,rance
The Prince = Nicolo Machiavelli
#$ic/ly occ$pied Milan and as #$ic/ly lost it+ and
to t$rn hi' o$t the first ti'e it only needed
%odovico3s own forces+ (eca$se those who had
opened the *ates to hi' findin* the'selves
deceived in their hopes of f$t$re (enefit wo$ld not
end$re the ill>treat'ent of the new prince) It is
very tr$e that after ac#$irin* re(ellio$s provinces
a second ti'e they are not so li*htly lost
afterwards (eca$se the prince with little
rel$ctance ta/es the opport$nity of the re(ellion to
p$nish the delin#$ents to clear o$t the s$spects
and to stren*then hi'self in the wea/est places)
Th$s to ca$se ,rance to lose Milan the first ti'e it
was eno$*h for the 1$/e %odovico to raise
ins$rrections on the (orders+ ($t to ca$se hi' to
lose it a second ti'e it was necessary to (rin* the
whole world a*ainst hi' and that his ar'ies
sho$ld (e defeated and driven o$t of Italy+ which
followed fro' the ca$ses a(ove 'entioned)
Nevertheless Milan was ta/en fro' ,rance (oth
the first and the second ti'e) The *eneral reasons
for the first have (een disc$ssed+ it re'ains to
na'e those for the second and to see what
reso$rces he had and what any one in his sit$ation
wo$ld have had for 'aintainin* hi'self 'ore
sec$rely in his ac#$isition than did the Kin* of
Now I say that those do'inions which when
ac#$ired are added to an ancient state (y hi' who
ac#$ires the' are either of the sa'e co$ntry and
lan*$a*e or they are not) "hen they are it is
The Prince ? Nicolo Machiavelli
easier to hold the' especially when they have not
(een acc$sto'ed to self>*overn'ent+ and to hold
the' sec$rely it is eno$*h to have destroyed the
fa'ily of the prince who was r$lin* the'+ (eca$se
the two peoples preservin* in other thin*s the old
conditions and not (ein* $nli/e in c$sto's will
live #$ietly to*ether as one has seen in !rittany
!$r*$ndy @ascony and Nor'andy which have
(een (o$nd to ,rance for so lon* a ti'e; and
altho$*h there 'ay (e so'e difference in
lan*$a*e nevertheless the c$sto's are ali/e and
the people will easily (e a(le to *et on a'on*st
the'selves) He who has anne.ed the' if he
wishes to hold the' has only to (ear in 'ind two
considerations; the one that the fa'ily of their
for'er lord is e.tin*$ished+ the other that neither
their laws nor their are altered so that in a
very short ti'e they will (eco'e entirely one (ody
with the old principality)
!$t when states are ac#$ired in a co$ntry
differin* in lan*$a*e c$sto's or laws there are
diffic$lties and *ood fort$ne and *reat ener*y are
needed to hold the' and one of the *reatest and
'ost real helps wo$ld (e that he who has ac#$ired
the' sho$ld *o and reside there) This wo$ld 'a/e
his position 'ore sec$re and d$ra(le as it has
'ade that of the T$r/ in @reece who
notwithstandin* all the other 'eas$res ta/en (y
hi' for holdin* that state if he had not settled
there wo$ld not have (een a(le to /eep it)
!eca$se if one is on the spot disorders are seen as
The Prince A Nicolo Machiavelli
they sprin* $p and one can #$ic/ly re'edy the'+
($t if one is not at hand they heard of only when
they are one can no lon*er re'edy the') !esides
this the co$ntry is not pilla*ed (y yo$r officials+
the s$(9ects are satisfied (y pro'pt reco$rse to the
prince+ th$s wishin* to (e *ood they have 'ore
ca$se to love hi' and wishin* to (e otherwise to
fear hi') He who wo$ld attac/ that state fro' the
o$tside '$st have the $t'ost ca$tion+ as lon* as
the prince resides there it can only (e wrested fro'
hi' with the *reatest diffic$lty)
The other and (etter co$rse is to send colonies
to one or two places which 'ay (e as /eys to that
state for it necessary either to do this or else to
/eep there a *reat n$'(er of cavalry and infantry)
A prince does not spend '$ch on colonies for
with little or no e.pense he can send the' o$t and
/eep the' there and he offends a 'inority only of
the citi-ens fro' who' he ta/es lands and ho$ses
to *ive the' to the new inha(itants+ and those
who' he offends re'ainin* poor and scattered
are never a(le to in9$re hi'+ whilst the rest (ein*
$nin9$red are easily /ept #$iet and at the sa'e
ti'e are$s not to err for fear it sho$ld
happen to the' as it has to those who have (een
despoiled) In concl$sion I say that these colonies
are not costly they are 'ore faithf$l they in9$re
less and the in9$red as has (een said (ein* poor
and scattered cannot h$rt) :pon this one has to
re'ar/ that 'en o$*ht either to (e well treated or
cr$shed (eca$se they can aven*e the'selves of
The Prince 4 Nicolo Machiavelli
li*hter in9$ries of 'ore serio$s ones they cannot+
therefore the in9$ry that is to (e done to a 'an
o$*ht to (e of s$ch a /ind that one does not stand
in fear of reven*e)
!$t in 'aintainin* ar'ed 'en there in place of
colonies one spends '$ch 'ore havin* to
cons$'e on the *arrison all inco'e fro' the state
so that the ac#$isition t$rns into a loss and 'any
'ore are e.asperated (eca$se the whole state is
in9$red+ thro$*h the shiftin* of the *arrison $p and
down all (eco'e ac#$ainted with hardship and all
(eco'e hostile and they are ene'ies who whilst
(eaten on their own *ro$nd are yet a(le to do h$rt)
,or every reason therefore s$ch *$ards are as
$seless as a colony is $sef$l)
A*ain the prince who holds a co$ntry differin*
in the a(ove respects o$*ht to 'a/e hi'self the
head and defender of his powerf$l nei*h(o$rs and
to wea/en the 'ore powerf$l a'on*st the'
ta/in* care that no forei*ner as powerf$l as hi'self
shall (y any accident *et a footin* there+ for it
will always happen that s$ch a one will (e
introd$ced (y those who are discontented either
thro$*h e.cess of a'(ition or thro$*h fear as one
has seen already) The Ro'ans were (ro$*ht into
@reece (y the Aetolians+ and in every other
co$ntry where they o(tained a footin* they were
(ro$*ht in (y the inha(itants) And the $s$al co$rse
of affairs is that as soon as a powerf$l forei*ner
enters a co$ntry all the s$(9ect states are drawn to
hi' 'oved (y the hatred which they feel a*ainst
The Prince B Nicolo Machiavelli
the r$lin* power) &o that in respect to these s$(9ect
states he has not to ta/e any tro$(le to *ain the'
over to hi'self for the whole of the' #$ic/ly rally
to the state which he has ac#$ired there) He has
only to ta/e care that they do not *et hold of too
'$ch power and too '$ch a$thority and then with
his own forces and with their *oodwill he can
easily /eep down the 'ore powerf$l of the' so as
to re'ain entirely 'aster in the co$ntry) And he
who does not properly 'ana*e this ($siness will
soon lose what he has ac#$ired and whilst he does
hold it he will have endless diffic$lties and
The Ro'ans in the co$ntries which they
anne.ed o(served closely these 'eas$res+ they
sent colonies and 'aintained friendly relations
with the 'inor powers witho$t increasin* their
stren*th+ they /ept down the *reater and did not
allow any stron* forei*n powers to *ain a$thority)
@reece appears to 'e s$fficient for an e.a'ple)
The Achaeans and Aetolians were /ept friendly (y
the' the /in*do' of Macedonia was h$'(led
Antioch$s was driven o$t+ yet the 'erits of the
Achaeans and Aetolians never sec$red for the'
per'ission to increase their power nor did the
pers$asions of Philip ever ind$ce the Ro'ans to (e
his friends witho$t first h$'(lin* hi' nor did the
infl$ence of Antioch$s 'a/e the' a*ree that he
sho$ld retain any lordship over the co$ntry)
!eca$se the Ro'ans did in these instances what all
pr$dent princes o$*ht to do who have to re*ard
The Prince 17 Nicolo Machiavelli
not only present tro$(les ($t also f$t$re ones for
which they '$st prepare with every ener*y
(eca$se when foreseen it is easy to re'edy the'+
($t if yo$ wait $ntil they approach the 'edicine is
no lon*er in ti'e (eca$se the 'alady has (eco'e
inc$ra(le+ for it happens in this as the physicians
say it happens in hectic fever that in the (e*innin*
of the 'alady it is easy to c$re ($t diffic$lt to
detect ($t in the co$rse of ti'e not havin* (een
either detected or treated in the (e*innin* it
(eco'es easy to detect ($t diffic$lt to c$re) Th$s it
happens in affairs of state for when the evils that
arise have (een foreseen Cwhich it is only *iven to
a wise 'an to seeD they can (e #$ic/ly redressed
($t when thro$*h not havin* (een foreseen they
have (een per'itted to *row in a way that every
one can see the') there is no lon*er a re'edy)
Therefore the Ro'ans foreseein* tro$(les dealt
with the' at once and even to avoid a war wo$ld
not let the' co'e to a head for they /new that war
is not to (e avoided ($t is only p$t off to the
advanta*e of others+ 'oreover they wished to fi*ht
with Philip and Antioch$s in @reece so as not to
have to do it in Italy+ they co$ld have avoided (oth
($t this they did not wish+ nor did that ever please
the' which is for ever in the 'o$ths of the wise
ones of o$r ti'e;E %et $s en9oy the (enefits of the
ti'e E ($t rather the (enefits of their own valo$r
and pr$dence for ti'e drives everythin* (efore it
and is a(le to (rin* with it *ood as well as evil
and evil as well as *ood)
The Prince 11 Nicolo Machiavelli
!$t let $s t$rn to ,rance and in#$ire whether she
has done any of the thin*s 'entioned) I will spea/
of %o$is F<IIG Cand not of Charles F2IIIGD as the
one whose cond$ct is the (etter to (e o(served he
havin* held possession of Italy for the lon*est
period+ and yo$ will see that he has done the
opposite to those thin*s which o$*ht to (e done to
retain a state co'posed of divers ele'ents)
Kin* %o$is was (ro$*ht into Italy (y the
a'(ition of the 2enetians who desired to o(tain
half the state of %o'(ardy (y his intervention) I
will not (la'e the co$rse ta/en (y the /in*
(eca$se wishin* to *et a foothold in Italy and
havin* no friends there E seein* rather that every
door was sh$t to hi' owin* to the cond$ct of
Charles E he was forced to accept those
friendships which he co$ld *et and he wo$ld have
s$cceeded very #$ic/ly in his desi*n if in other
'atters he had not 'ade so'e 'ista/es) The /in*
however havin* ac#$ired %o'(ardy re*ained at
once the a$thority which Charles had lost; @enoa
yielded+ the ,lorentines (eca'e his friends+ the
Mar#$ess of Mant$a the 1$/e of ,errara the
!entivo*lio 'y lady of ,orli the %ords of ,aen-a
of Pesaro of Ri'ini of Ca'erino of Pio'(ino
the %$cchesi the Pisans the &ienese E every(ody
'ade advances to hi' to (eco'e his friend) Then
co$ld the 2enetians reali-e the rashness of the
co$rse ta/en (y the' which in order that they
'i*ht sec$re two towns in %o'(ardy had 'ade
the /in* 'aster of two>thirds of Italy)
The Prince 10 Nicolo Machiavelli
%et any one now consider with what little
diffic$lty the /in* co$ld have 'aintained his
position in Italy had he o(served the r$les a(ove
laid down and /ept all his friends sec$re and
protected+ for altho$*h they were n$'ero$s they
were (oth wea/ and ti'id so'e afraid of the
Ch$rch so'e of the 2enetians and th$s they
wo$ld always have (een forced to stand in with
hi' and (y their 'eans he co$ld easily have 'ade
hi'self sec$re a*ainst those who re'ained
powerf$l) !$t he was no sooner in Milan than he
did the contrary (y assistin* Pope Ale.ander to
occ$py the Ro'a*na) It never occ$rred to hi' that
(y this action he was wea/enin* hi'self deprivin*
hi'self of friends and those who had thrown
the'selves into his lap whilst he a**randi-ed the
Ch$rch (y addin* '$ch te'poral power to the
spirit$al th$s *ivin* it *reat a$thority) And havin*
co''itted this pri'e error he was o(li*ed to
follow it $p so '$ch so that to p$t an end to the
a'(ition of Ale.ander and to prevent his
(eco'in* the 'aster of T$scany he was hi'self
forced to co'e into Italy)
And as if it were not eno$*h to have
a**randi-ed the Ch$rch and deprived hi'self
friends he wishin* to have the /in*do' of
Naples divides it with the Kin* of &pain and
where he was the pri'e ar(iter of Italy he ta/es an
associate so that the a'(itio$s of that co$ntry and
the 'alcontents of his own sho$ld have where to
shelter+ and whereas he co$ld have left in the
The Prince 18 Nicolo Machiavelli
/in*do' his own pensioner as /in* he drove hi'
o$t to p$t one there who was a(le to drive hi'
%o$is o$t in t$rn)
The wish to ac#$ire is in tr$th very nat$ral and
co''on and 'en always do so when they can
and for this they will (e praised not (la'ed+ ($t
when they cannot do so yet wish to do so (y any
'eans then there is folly and (la'e) Therefore if
,rance co$ld have attac/ed Naples with her own
forces she o$*ht to have done so+ if she co$ld not
then she o$*ht not to have divided it) And if the
partition which she 'ade with the 2enetians in
%o'(ardy was 9$stified (y the e.c$se that (y it she
*ot a foothold in Italy this other partition 'erited
(la'e for it had not the e.c$se of that necessity)
Therefore %o$is 'ade these five errors; he
destroyed the 'inor powers he increased the
stren*th of one of the *reater powers in Italy he
(ro$*ht in a forei*n power he did not settle in the
co$ntry he did not send colonies) "hich errors if
he had lived were not eno$*h to in9$re hi' had he
not 'ade a (y ta/in* away their do'inions
fro' the 2enetians+ (eca$se had he not
a**randi-ed the Ch$rch nor (ro$*ht &pain into
Italy it wo$ld have (een very reasona(le and
necessary to h$'(le the'+ ($t havin* first ta/en
these steps he o$*ht never to have consented to
their r$in for they (ein* powerf$l wo$ld always
have /ept off others fro' desi*ns on %o'(ardy to
which the 2enetians wo$ld never have consented
e.cept to (eco'e 'asters the'selves there+ also
The Prince 15 Nicolo Machiavelli
(eca$se the others wo$ld not wish to ta/e
%o'(ardy fro' ,rance in order to *ive it to the
2enetians and to r$n co$nter to (oth they wo$ld
not have had the co$ra*e)
And if any one sho$ld say; Kin* %o$is yielded
the Ro'a*na to Ale.ander and the /in*do' to
&pain to avoid war I answer for the reasons *iven
a(ove that a (l$nder o$*ht never (e perpetrated to
avoid war (eca$se it is not to (e avoided ($t is
only deferred to yo$r disadvanta*e) And if another
sho$ld alle*e the pled*e which the /in* had *iven
to the Pope that he wo$ld assist hi' in the
enterprise in e.chan*e for the dissol$tion of his
'arria*e and for the hat to Ro$en to that I reply
what I shall write later on concernin* the faith of
princes and how it o$*ht to (e /ept)
Th$s Kin* %o$is lost %o'(ardy (y not havin*
followed any of the conditions o(served (y those
who have ta/en possession of co$ntries and
wished to retain the') Nor is there any 'iracle in
this ($t '$ch that is reasona(le and #$ite nat$ral)
And on these 'atters I spo/e at Nantes with
Ro$en when 2alentino
as Cesare !or*ia the
son of Pope Ale.ander was $s$ally called
occ$pied the Ro'a*na and on Cardinal Ro$en
o(servin* to 'e that the Italians did not $nderstand
war I replied to hi' that the ,rench did not
$nderstand statecraft 'eanin* that otherwise they
wo$ld not have allowed the Ch$rch to reach s$ch
1 &o called E in Italian E fro' the d$chy of 2alentinois
conferred on hi' (y %o$is <II)
The Prince 1= Nicolo Machiavelli
*reatness) And in fact it has (een seen that the
*reatness of the Ch$rch and of &pain in Italy has
(een ca$sed (y ,rance and her r$in 'ay (e
attri($ted to the') ,ro' this a *eneral r$le is
drawn which never or rarely fails; that he who is
the ca$se of another (eco'in* powerf$l is r$ined+
(eca$se that predo'inancy has (een (ro$*ht a(o$t
either (y ast$teness or else (y force and (oth are
distr$sted (y hi' who has (een raised to power)
The Prince 1? Nicolo Machiavelli
"hy The Kin*do' Of 1ari$s Con#$ered
!y Ale.ander 1id Not Re(el A*ainst The
&$ccessors Of Ale.ander At His 1eath
ON&I1ERIN@ the diffic$lties which 'en
have had to hold a newly ac#$ired state
so'e 'i*ht wonder how seein* that
Ale.ander the @reat (eca'e the 'aster of Asia in
a few years and died whilst it was yet scarcely
settled Cwhence it 'i*ht appear reasona(le that the
whole e'pire wo$ld have re(elledD nevertheless
his s$ccessors 'aintained the'selves and had to
'eet no other diffic$lty than that which arose
a'on* the'selves fro' their own a'(itions)
I answer that the principalities of which one has
record are fo$nd to (e *overned in two different
ways; either (y a prince with a (ody of servants
who assist hi' to *overn the /in*do' as 'inisters
(y his favo$r and per'ission+ or (y a prince and
(arons who hold that di*nity (y anti#$ity of (lood
and not (y the *race of the prince) &$ch (arons
have states and their own s$(9ects who reco*ni-e
the' as lords and hold the' in nat$ral affection)
Those states that are *overned (y a prince and his
servants hold their prince in 'ore consideration
(eca$se in all the co$ntry there is no one who is
reco*ni-ed as s$perior to hi' and if they yield
o(edience to another they do it as to a 'inister and
The Prince 1A Nicolo Machiavelli
official and they do not (ear hi' any partic$lar
The e.a'ples of these two *overn'ents in o$r
ti'e are the T$r/ and the Kin* of ,rance) The
entire 'onarchy of the T$r/ is *overned (y one
lord the others are his servants+ and dividin* his
/in*do' into san9a/s he sends there different
ad'inistrators and shifts and chan*es the' as he
chooses) !$t the Kin* of ,rance is placed in the
'idst of an ancient (ody of lords ac/nowled*ed
(y their own s$(9ects and (eloved (y the'+ they
have their own prero*atives nor can the /in* ta/e
these away e.cept at his peril) Therefore he who
considers (oth of these states will reco*ni-e *reat
diffic$lties in sei-in* the state of the T$r/ ($t
once it is con#$ered *reat ease in holdin* it) The
ca$ses of the diffic$lties in sei-in* the /in*do' of
the T$r/ are that the $s$rper cannot (e called in (y
the princes of the /in*do' nor can he hope to (e
assisted in his desi*ns (y the revolt of those who'
the lord has aro$nd hi') This arises fro' the
reasons *iven a(ove+ for his 'inisters (ein* all
slaves and (ond'en can only (e corr$pted with
*reat diffic$lty and one can e.pect little advanta*e
fro' the' when they have (een corr$pted as they
cannot carry the people with the' for the reasons
assi*ned) Hence he who attac/s the T$r/ '$st
(ear in 'ind that he will find hi' $nited and he
will have to rely 'ore on his own stren*th than on
the revolt of others+ ($t if once the T$r/ has (een
con#$ered and ro$ted in the field in s$ch a way
The Prince 14 Nicolo Machiavelli
that he cannot replace his ar'ies there is nothin*
to fear ($t the fa'ily of the prince and this (ein*
e.ter'inated there re'ains no one to fear the
others havin* no credit with the people+ and as the
con#$eror did not rely on the' (efore his victory
so he o$*ht not to fear the' after it)
The contrary happens in /in*do's *overned li/e
that of ,rance (eca$se one can easily enter there
(y *ainin* over so'e (aron of the /in*do' for
one always finds 'alcontents and s$ch as desire a
chan*e) &$ch 'en for the reasons *iven can open
the way into the state and render the victory easy+
($t if yo$ wish to hold it afterwards yo$ 'eet with
infinite diffic$lties (oth fro' those who have
assisted yo$ and fro' those yo$ have cr$shed) Nor
is it eno$*h for yo$ to have e.ter'inated the
fa'ily of the prince (eca$se the lords that re'ain
'a/e the'selves the heads of fresh 'ove'ents
a*ainst yo$ and as yo$ are $na(le either to satisfy
or e.ter'inate the' that state is lost whenever
ti'e (rin*s the opport$nity)
Now if yo$ will consider what was the nat$re of
the *overn'ent of 1ari$s yo$ will find it si'ilar
to the /in*do' of the T$r/ and therefore it was
only necessary for Ale.ander first to overthrow
hi' in the field and then to ta/e the co$ntry fro'
hi') After which victory 1ari$s (ein* /illed the
state re'ained sec$re to Ale.ander for the a(ove
reasons) And if his s$ccessors had (een $nited they
wo$ld have en9oyed it sec$rely and at their ease
for there were no t$'$lts raised in the /in*do'
The Prince 1B Nicolo Machiavelli
e.cept those they provo/ed the'selves)
!$t it is i'possi(le to hold with s$ch
tran#$illity states constit$ted li/e that of ,rance)
Hence arose those fre#$ent re(ellions a*ainst the
Ro'ans in &pain ,rance and @reece owin* to the
'any principalities there were in these states of
which as lon* as the 'e'ory of the' end$red the
Ro'ans always held an insec$re possession+ ($t
with the power and lon* contin$ance of the e'pire
the 'e'ory of the' passed away and the Ro'ans
then (eca'e sec$re possessors) And when fi*htin*
afterwards a'on*st the'selves each one was a(le
to attach to hi'self his own parts of the co$ntry
accordin* to the a$thority he had ass$'ed there+
and the fa'ily of the for'er lord (ein*
e.ter'inated none other than the Ro'ans were
"hen these thin*s are re'e'(ered no one will
'arvel at the ease with which Ale.ander held the
E'pire of Asia or at the diffic$lties which others
have had to /eep an ac#$isition s$ch as Pyrrh$s
and 'any 'ore+ this is not occasioned (y the little
or a($ndance of a(ility in the con#$eror ($t (y the
want of $nifor'ity in the s$(9ect state)
The Prince 07 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* The "ay To @overn Cities Or
Principalities "hich %ived :nder Their
Own %aws !efore They "ere Anne.ed
HENE2ER those states which have (een
ac#$ired as stated have (een
acc$sto'ed to live $nder their own
laws and in freedo' there are three co$rses for
those who wish to hold the'; the first is to r$in
the' the ne.t is to reside there in person the third
is to per'it the' to live $nder their own laws
drawin* a tri($te and esta(lishin* within it an
oli*archy which will /eep it friendly to yo$)
!eca$se s$ch a *overn'ent (ein* created (y the
prince /nows that it cannot stand witho$t his
friendship and interest and does its $t'ost to
s$pport hi'+ and therefore he who wo$ld /eep a
city acc$sto'ed to freedo' will hold it 'ore easily
(y the 'eans of its own citi-ens than in any other
There are for e.a'ple the &partans and the
Ro'ans) The &partans held Athens and The(es
esta(lishin* there an oli*archy nevertheless they
lost the') The Ro'ans in order to hold Cap$a
Cartha*e and N$'antia dis'antled the' and did
not lose the') They wished to hold @reece as the
&partans held it 'a/in* it free and per'ittin* its
laws and did not s$cceed) &o to hold it they were
The Prince 01 Nicolo Machiavelli
co'pelled to dis'antle 'any cities in the co$ntry
for in tr$th there is no safe way to retain the'
otherwise than (y r$inin* the') And he who
(eco'es 'aster of a city acc$sto'ed to freedo'
and does not destroy it 'ay e.pect to (e destroyed
(y it for in re(ellion it has always the watch>word
of li(erty and its ancient privile*es as a rallyin*
point which neither ti'e nor (enefits will ever
ca$se it to for*et) And what ever yo$ 'ay do or
provide a*ainst they never for*et that na'e or
their privile*es $nless they are dis$nited or
dispersed ($t at every chance they i''ediately
rally to the' as Pisa after the h$ndred years she
had (een held in (onda*e (y the ,lorentines)
!$t when cities or co$ntries are acc$sto'ed to
live $nder a prince and his fa'ily is e.ter'inated
they (ein* on the one hand acc$sto'ed to o(ey
and on the other hand not havin* the old prince
cannot a*ree in 'a/in* one fro' a'on*st
the'selves and they do not /now how to *overn
the'selves) ,or this reason they are very slow to
ta/e $p ar's and a prince can *ain the' to
hi'self and sec$re the' '$ch 'ore easily) !$t in
rep$(lics there is 'ore vitality *reater hatred and
'ore desire for ven*eance which will never
per'it the' to allow the 'e'ory of their for'er
li(erty to rest+ so that the safest way is to destroy
the' or to reside there)
The Prince 00 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* New Principalities "hich Are
Ac#$ired !y One3s Own Ar's And A(ility
ET no one (e s$rprised if in spea/in* of
entirely new principalities as I shall do I
add$ce the hi*hest e.a'ples (oth of prince
and of state+ (eca$se 'en wal/in* al'ost always
in paths (eaten (y others and followin* (y
i'itation their deeds are yet $na(le to /eep
entirely to the ways of others or attain to the power
of those they i'itate) A wise 'an o$*ht always to
follow the paths (eaten (y *reat 'en and to
i'itate those who have (een s$pre'e so that if his
a(ility does not e#$al theirs at least it will savo$r
of it) %et hi' act li/e the clever archers who
desi*nin* to hit the 'ar/ which yet appears too far
distant and /nowin* the li'its to which the
stren*th of their (ow attains ta/e ai' '$ch hi*her
than the 'ar/ not to reach (y their stren*th or
arrow to so *reat a hei*ht ($t to (e a(le with the
aid of so hi*h an ai' to hit the 'ar/ they wish to
I say therefore that in entirely new
principalities where there is a new prince 'ore or
less diffic$lty is fo$nd in /eepin* the'
accordin*ly as there is 'ore or less a(ility in hi'
who has ac#$ired the state) Now as the fact of
(eco'in* a prince fro' a private station
The Prince 08 Nicolo Machiavelli
pres$pposes either a(ility or fort$ne it is clear that
one or other of these two thin*s will 'iti*ate in
so'e de*ree 'any diffic$lties) Nevertheless he
who has relied least on fort$ne is esta(lished the
stron*est) ,$rther it facilitates 'atters when the
prince havin* no other state is co'pelled to
reside there in person)
!$t to co'e to those who (y their own a(ility
and not thro$*h fort$ne have risen to (e princes I
say that Moses Cyr$s Ro'$l$s These$s and
s$ch li/e are the 'ost e.cellent e.a'ples) And
altho$*h one 'ay not disc$ss Moses he havin*
(een a 'ere$tor of the will of @od yet he
o$*ht to (e ad'ired if only for that favo$r which
'ade hi' worthy to spea/ with @od) !$t in
considerin* Cyr$s and others who have ac#$ired or
fo$nded /in*do's all will (e fo$nd ad'ira(le+
and if their partic$lar deeds and cond$ct shall (e
considered they will not (e fo$nd inferior to those
of Moses altho$*h he had so *reat a preceptor)
And in e.a'inin* their actions and lives one
cannot see that they owed anythin* to fort$ne
(eyond opport$nity which (ro$*ht the' the
'aterial to 'o$ld into the for' which see'ed (est
to the') "itho$t that opport$nity their powers of
'ind wo$ld have (een e.tin*$ished and witho$t
those powers the opport$nity wo$ld have co'e in
It was necessary therefore to Moses that he
sho$ld find the people of Israel in E*ypt enslaved
and oppressed (y the E*yptians in order that they
The Prince 05 Nicolo Machiavelli
sho$ld (e disposed to follow hi' so as to (e
delivered o$t of (onda*e) It was necessary that
Ro'$l$s sho$ld not re'ain in Al(a and that he
sho$ld (e a(andoned at his (irth in order that he
sho$ld (eco'e Kin* of Ro'e and fo$nder of the
fatherland) It was necessary that Cyr$s sho$ld find
the Persians discontented with the *overn'ent of
the Medes and the Medes soft and effe'inate
thro$*h their lon* peace) These$s co$ld not have
shown his a(ility had he not fo$nd the Athenians
dispersed) These opport$nities therefore 'ade
those 'en fort$nate and their hi*h a(ility ena(led
the' to reco*ni-e the opport$nity where(y their
co$ntry was enno(led and 'ade fa'o$s)
Those who (y valoro$s ways (eco'e princes
li/e these 'en ac#$ire a principality with
diffic$lty ($t they /eep it with ease) The
diffic$lties they have in ac#$irin* it arise in part
fro' the new r$les and 'ethods which they are
forced to introd$ce to esta(lish their *overn'ent
and its sec$rity) And it o$*ht to (e re'e'(ered
that there is nothin* 'ore diffic$lt to ta/e in hand
'ore perilo$s to cond$ct or 'ore $ncertain in its
s$ccess than to ta/e the lead in the introd$ction of
a new order of thin*s) !eca$se the innovator has
for ene'ies all those who have done well $nder the
old conditions and l$/ewar' defenders in those
who 'ay do well $nder the new) This coolness
arises partly fro' fear of the opponents who have
the laws on their side and partly fro' the
incred$lity of 'en who do not readily (elieve in
The Prince 0= Nicolo Machiavelli
new thin*s $ntil they have had a lon* e.perience
of the') Th$s it happens that whenever those who
are hostile have the opport$nity to attac/ they do it
li/e partisans whilst the others defend
l$/ewar'ly in s$ch wise that the prince is
endan*ered alon* with the')
It is necessary therefore if we desire to disc$ss
this 'atter thoro$*hly to in#$ire whether these
innovators can rely on the'selves or have to
depend on others; that is to say whether to
cons$''ate their enterprise have they to $se
prayers or can they $se forceH In the first instance
they always s$cceed (adly and never co'pass
anythin*+ ($t when they can rely on the'selves
and $se force then they are rarely endan*ered)
Hence it is that all ar'ed prophets have con#$ered
and the $nar'ed ones have (een destroyed)
!esides the reasons 'entioned the nat$re of the
people is varia(le and whilst it is easy to pers$ade
the' it is diffic$lt to fi. the' in that pers$asion)
And th$s it is necessary to ta/e s$ch 'eas$res that
when they (elieve no lon*er it 'ay (e possi(le to
'a/e the' (elieve (y force)
If Moses Cyr$s These$s and Ro'$l$s had
(een $nar'ed they co$ld not have enforced their
constit$tions for lon* E as happened in o$r ti'e
to ,ra @irola'o &avonarola who was r$ined with
his new order of thin*s i''ediately the '$ltit$de
(elieved in hi' no lon*er and he had no 'eans of
/eepin* steadfast those who (elieved or of 'a/in*
the $n(elievers to (elieve) Therefore s$ch as these
The Prince 0? Nicolo Machiavelli
have *reat diffic$lties in cons$''atin* their
enterprise for all their dan*ers are in the ascent
yet with a(ility they will overco'e the'+ ($t when
these are overco'e and those who envied the'
their s$ccess are e.ter'inated they will (e*in to
(e respected and they will contin$e afterwards
powerf$l sec$re hono$red and happy)
To these *reat e.a'ples I wish to add a lesser
one+ still it (ears so'e rese'(lance to the' and I
wish it to s$ffice 'e for all of a li/e /ind; it is
Hiero the &yrac$san) This 'an rose fro' a private
station to (e Prince of &yrac$se nor did he either
owe anythin* to fort$ne ($t opport$nity+ for the
&yrac$sans (ein* oppressed chose hi' for their
captain afterwards he was rewarded (y (ein*
'ade their prince) He was of so *reat a(ility even
as a private citi-en that one who writes of hi'
says he wanted nothin* ($t a /in*do' to (e a /in*)
This 'an a(olished the old soldiery or*ani-ed the
new *ave $p old alliances 'ade new ones+ and as
he had his own soldiers and allies on s$ch
fo$ndations he was a(le to ($ild any edifice; th$s
whilst he had end$red '$ch tro$(le in ac#$irin*
he had ($t little in /eepin*)
The Prince 0A Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* New Principalities "hich Are
Ac#$ired Either !y The Ar's Of Others
Or !y @ood ,ort$ne
HO&E who solely (y *ood fort$ne (eco'e
princes fro' (ein* private citi-ens have
little tro$(le in risin* ($t '$ch in /eepin*
atop+ they have not any diffic$lties on the way $p
(eca$se they fly ($t they have 'any when they
reach the s$''it) &$ch are those to who' so'e
state is *iven either for 'oney or (y the favo$r of
hi' who (estows it+ as happened to 'any in
@reece in the cities of Ionia and of the Hellespont
where princes were 'ade (y 1ari$s in order that
they 'i*ht hold the cities (oth for his sec$rity and
his *lory+ as also were those e'perors who (y the
corr$ption of the soldiers fro' (ein* citi-ens
ca'e to e'pire) &$ch stand si'ply $pon the
*oodwill and the fort$ne of hi' who has elevated
the' E two 'ost inconstant and $nsta(le thin*s)
Neither have they the /nowled*e re#$isite for the
position+ (eca$se $nless they are 'en of *reat
worth and a(ility it is not reasona(le to e.pect that
they sho$ld /now how to co''and havin* always
lived in a private condition+ (esides they cannot
hold it (eca$se they have not forces which they can
/eep friendly and faithf$l)
&tates that rise $ne.pectedly then li/e all other
The Prince 04 Nicolo Machiavelli
thin*s in nat$re which are (orn and *row rapidly
cannot have their fo$ndations and relations with
other states fi.ed in s$ch a way that the first stor'
will not overthrow the'+ $nless as is said those
who $ne.pectedly (eco'e princes are 'en of so
'$ch a(ility that they /now they have to (e
prepared at once to hold that which fort$ne has
thrown into their laps and that those fo$ndations
which others have laid (efore they (eca'e princes
they '$st lay afterwards)
Concernin* these two 'ethods of risin* to (e a
prince (y a(ility or fort$ne I wish to add$ce two
e.a'ples within o$r own recollection and these
are ,rancesco &for-a and Cesare !or*ia)
,rancesco (y proper 'eans and with *reat a(ility
fro' (ein* a private person rose to (e 1$/e of
Milan and that which he had ac#$ired with a
tho$sand an.ieties he /ept with little tro$(le) On
the other hand Cesare !or*ia called (y the people
1$/e 2alentino ac#$ired his state d$rin* the
ascendancy of his father and on its decline he lost
it notwithstandin* that he had ta/en every 'eas$re
and done all that o$*ht to (e done (y a wise and
a(le 'an to fi. fir'ly his roots in the states which
the ar's and fort$nes of others had (estowed on
!eca$se as is stated a(ove he who has not first
laid his fo$ndations 'ay (e a(le with *reat a(ility
to lay the' afterwards ($t they will (e laid with
tro$(le to the architect and dan*er to the ($ildin*)
If therefore all the steps ta/en (y the d$/e (e
The Prince 0B Nicolo Machiavelli
considered it will (e seen that he laid solid
fo$ndations for his f$t$re power and I do not
consider it s$perfl$o$s to disc$ss the' (eca$se I
do not /now what (etter precepts to *ive a new
prince than the e.a'ple of his actions+ and if his
dispositions were of no avail that was not his
fa$lt ($t the e.traordinary and e.tre'e 'ali*nity
of fort$ne)
Ale.ander 2I in wishin* to a**randi-e the
d$/e his son had 'any i''ediate and
prospective diffic$lties) ,irstly he did not see his
way to 'a/e hi' 'aster of any state that was not a
state of the Ch$rch+ and if he was willin* to ro(
the Ch$rch he /new that the 1$/e of Milan and the
2enetians wo$ld not consent (eca$se ,aen-a and
Ri'ini were already $nder the protection of the
2enetians) !esides this he saw the ar's of Italy
especially those (y which he 'i*ht have (een
assisted in hands that wo$ld fear the
a**randi-e'ent of the Pope na'ely the Orsini
and the Colonna and their followin*) It (ehoved
hi' therefore to $pset this state of affairs and
e'(roil the powers so as to 'a/e hi'self sec$rely
'aster of part of their states) This was easy for hi'
to do (eca$se he fo$nd the 2enetians 'oved (y
other reasons inclined to (rin* (ac/ the ,rench
into Italy+ he wo$ld not only not oppose this ($t
he wo$ld render it 'ore easy (y dissolvin* the
for'er 'arria*e of Kin* %o$is) Therefore the /in*
ca'e into Italy with the assistance of the 2enetians
and the consent of Ale.ander) He was no sooner in
The Prince 87 Nicolo Machiavelli
Milan than the Pope had soldiers fro' hi' for the
atte'pt on the Ro'a*na which yielded to hi' on
the rep$tation of the /in*) The d$/e therefore
havin* ac#$ired the Ro'a*na and (eaten the
Colonna while wishin* to hold that and to
advance f$rther was hindered (y two thin*s; the
one his forces did not appear loyal to hi' the
other the *oodwill of ,rance; that is to say he
feared that the forces of the Orsini which was
$sin* wo$ld not stand to hi' that not only 'i*ht
they hinder hi' fro' winnin* 'ore ($t 'i*ht
the'selves sei-e what he had won and that the
Kin* 'i*ht also do the sa'e) Of the Orsini he had
a warnin* when after ta/in* ,aen-a and attac/in*
!olo*na he saw the' *o very $nwillin*ly to that
attac/) And as to the /in* he learned his 'ind
when he hi'self after ta/in* the d$chy of :r(ino
attac/ed T$scany and the /in* 'ade hi' desist
fro' that $nderta/in*+ hence the d$/e decided to
depend no 'ore $pon the ar's and the l$c/ of
,or the first thin* he wea/ened the Orsini and
Colonna parties in Ro'e (y *ainin* to hi'self all
their adherents who were *entle'en 'a/in* the'
his *entle'en *ivin* the' *ood pay and
accordin* to their ran/ hono$rin* the' with office
and co''and in s$ch a way that in a few 'onths
all attach'ent to the factions was destroyed and
t$rned entirely to the d$/e) After this he awaited an
opport$nity to cr$sh the Orsini havin* scattered
the adherents of the Colonna) This ca'e to hi'
The Prince 81 Nicolo Machiavelli
soon and he $sed it well+ for the Orsini perceivin*
at len*th that the a**randi-e'ent of the d$/e and
the Ch$rch was r$in to the' called a 'eetin* at
Ma*ione in the territory of Per$*ia) ,ro' this
spr$n* the re(ellion at :r(ino and the t$'$lts in
the Ro'a*na with endless dan*ers to the d$/e all
of which he overca'e with the help of the ,rench)
Havin* restored his a$thority not to leave it at ris/
(y tr$stin* either to the ,rench or other o$tside
forces he had reco$rse to his wiles and he /new
so well how to conceal his 'ind that (y the
'ediation of &i*nor Paolo FOrsiniG E who' the
d$/e did not fail to sec$re with all /inds of
attention *ivin* hi' 'oney apparel and horses
E the Orsini were reconciled so that their
si'plicity (ro$*ht the' into his power at
&ini*a*lia) Havin* e.ter'inated the leaders and
t$rned their partisans into his friends the d$/e had
laid s$fficiently *ood fo$ndations to his power
havin* all the Ro'a*na and the d$chy of :r(ino+
and the people now (e*innin* to appreciate their
prosperity he *ained the' all over to hi'self) And
as this point is worthy of notice and to (e i'itated
(y others I a' not willin* to leave it o$t)
"hen the d$/e occ$pied the Ro'a*na he fo$nd
it $nder the r$le of wea/ 'asters who rather
pl$ndered their s$(9ects than r$led the' and *ave
the' 'ore ca$se for dis$nion than for $nion so
that the co$ntry was f$ll of ro((ery #$arrels and
every /ind of violence+ and so wishin* to (rin*
(ac/ peace and o(edience to a$thority he
The Prince 80 Nicolo Machiavelli
considered it necessary to *ive it a *ood *overnor)
There$pon he pro'oted Messer Ra'iro d3Orco Fde
%or#$aG a swift and cr$el 'an to who' he *ave
the f$llest power) This 'an in a short ti'e restored
peace and $nity with the *reatest s$ccess)
Afterwards the d$/e considered that it was not
advisa(le to confer s$ch e.cessive a$thority for he
had no do$(t ($t that he wo$ld (eco'e odio$s so
he set $p a co$rt of 9$d*'ent in the co$ntry $nder
a 'ost e.cellent president wherein all cities had
their advocates) And (eca$se he /new that the past
severity had ca$sed so'e hatred a*ainst hi'self
so to clear hi'self in the 'inds of the people and
*ain the' entirely to hi'self he desired to show
that if any cr$elty had (een practised it had not
ori*inated with hi' ($t in the nat$ral sternness of
the 'inister) :nder this pretence he too/ Ra'iro
and one 'ornin* ca$sed hi' to (e$ted and
left on the pia--a at Cesena with the (loc/ and a
(loody /nife at his side) The (ar(arity of this
spectacle ca$sed the people to (e at once satisfied
and dis'ayed)
!$t let $s ret$rn whence we started) I say that
the d$/e findin* hi'self now s$fficiently
powerf$l and partly sec$red fro' i''ediate
dan*ers (y havin* ar'ed hi'self in his own way
and havin* in a *reat 'eas$re cr$shed those forces
in his vicinity that co$ld in9$re hi' if he wished to
proceed with his con#$est had ne.t to consider
,rance for he /new that the /in* who too late was
aware of his 'ista/e wo$ld not s$pport hi') And
The Prince 88 Nicolo Machiavelli
fro' this ti'e he (e*an to see/ new alliances and
to te'pori-e with ,rance in the e.pedition which
she was 'a/in* towards the /in*do' of Naples
a*ainst the &paniards who were (esie*in* @aeta) It
was his intention to sec$re hi'self a*ainst the'
and this he wo$ld have #$ic/ly acco'plished had
Ale.ander lived)
&$ch was his line of action as to present affairs)
!$t as to the f$t$re he had to fear in the first
place that a new s$ccessor to the Ch$rch 'i*ht
not (e friendly to hi' and 'i*ht see/ to ta/e fro'
hi' that which Ale.ander had *iven hi' so he
decided to act in fo$r ways) ,irstly (y
e.ter'inatin* the fa'ilies of those lords who' he
had despoiled so as to ta/e away that prete.t fro'
the Pope) &econdly (y winnin* to hi'self all the
*entle'en of Ro'e so as to (e a(le to c$r( the
Pope with their aid as has (een o(served) Thirdly
(y convertin* the colle*e 'ore to hi'self)
,o$rthly (y ac#$irin* so '$ch power (efore the
Pope sho$ld die that he co$ld (y his own 'eas$res
resist the first shoc/) Of these fo$r thin*s at the
death of Ale.ander he had acco'plished three)
,or he had /illed as 'any of the dispossessed lords
as he co$ld lay hands on and few had escaped+ he
had won over the Ro'an *entle'en and he had
the 'ost n$'ero$s party in the colle*e) And as to
any fresh ac#$isition he intended to (eco'e
'aster of T$scany for he already possessed
Per$*ia and Pio'(ino and Pisa was $nder his
protection) And as he had no lon*er to st$dy
The Prince 85 Nicolo Machiavelli
,rance Cfor the ,rench were already driven o$t of
the /in*do' of Naples (y the &paniards and in
this way (oth were co'pelled to ($y his *oodwillD
he po$nced down $pon Pisa) After this %$cca and
&iena yielded at once partly thro$*h hatred and
partly thro$*h fear of the ,lorentines+ and the
,lorentines wo$ld have had no re'edy had he
contin$ed to prosper as he was prosperin* the year
that Ale.ander died for he had ac#$ired so '$ch
power and rep$tation that he wo$ld have stood (y
hi'self and no lon*er have depended on the l$c/
and the forces of others ($t solely on his own
power and a(ility)
!$t Ale.ander died five years after he had first
drawn the sword) He left the d$/e with the state of
Ro'a*na alone consolidated with the rest in the
air (etween two 'ost powerf$l hostile ar'ies and
sic/ $nto death) Iet there were in the d$/e s$ch
(oldness and a(ility and he /new so well how
'en are to (e won or lost and so fir' were the
fo$ndations which in so short a ti'e he had laid
that if he had not had those ar'ies on his (ac/ or
if he had (een in *ood health he wo$ld have
overco'e all diffic$lties) And it is seen that his
fo$ndations were *ood for the Ro'a*na awaited
hi' for 'ore than a 'onth) In Ro'e altho$*h ($t
half alive he re'ained sec$re+ and whilst the
!a*lioni the 2itelli and the Orsini 'i*ht co'e to
Ro'e they co$ld not effect anythin* a*ainst hi')
If he co$ld not have 'ade Pope hi' who' he
wished at least the one who' he did not wish
The Prince 8= Nicolo Machiavelli
wo$ld not have (een elected) !$t if he had (een in
so$nd health at the death of Ale.ander everythin*
wo$ld have (een easy to hi') On the day that
6$li$s II was elected he told 'e that he had
tho$*ht of everythin* that 'i*ht occ$r at the death
of his father and had provided a re'edy for all
e.cept that he had never anticipated that when the
death did happen he hi'self wo$ld (e on the point
to die)
"hen all the actions of the d$/e are recalled I
do not /now how to (la'e hi' ($t rather it
appears to 'e as I have said that I o$*ht to offer
hi' for i'itation to all those who (y the fort$ne
or the ar's of others are raised to *overn'ent)
!eca$se he havin* a lofty spirit and far>reachin*
ai's co$ld not have re*$lated his cond$ct
otherwise and only the shortness of the life of
Ale.ander and his own sic/ness fr$strated his
desi*ns) Therefore he who considers it necessary
to sec$re hi'self in his new principality to win
friends to overco'e either (y force or fra$d to
'a/e hi'self (eloved and feared (y the people to
(e followed and revered (y the soldiers to
e.ter'inate those who have power or reason to
h$rt hi' to chan*e the old order of thin*s for new
to (e severe and *racio$s 'a*nani'o$s and
li(eral to destroy a disloyal soldiery and to create
new to 'aintain friendship with /in*s and princes
in s$ch a way that they '$st help hi' with -eal
and offend with ca$tion cannot find a 'ore lively
e.a'ple than the actions of this 'an)
The Prince 8? Nicolo Machiavelli
Only can he (e (la'ed for the election of 6$li$s
II in who' he 'ade a (ad choice (eca$se as is
said not (ein* a(le to elect a Pope to his own
'ind he co$ld have hindered any other fro' (ein*
elected Pope+ and he o$*ht never to have
consented to the election of any cardinal who' he
had in9$red or who had ca$se to fear hi' if they
(eca'e pontiffs) ,or 'en in9$re either fro' fear or
hatred) Those who' he had in9$red a'on*st
others were &an Pietro ad 2inc$la Colonna &an
@ior*io and Ascanio)
Any one of the others on
(eco'in* Pope wo$ld have had to fear hi'
Ro$en and the &paniards e.cepted+ the latter fro'
their relationship and o(li*ations the for'er fro'
his infl$ence the /in*do' of ,rance havin*
relations with hi') Therefore a(ove everythin*
the d$/e o$*ht to have created a &paniard Pope
and failin* hi' he o$*ht to have consented to
Ro$en and not &an Pietro ad 2inc$la) He who
(elieves that new (enefits will ca$se *reat
persona*es to for*et old in9$ries is deceived)
Therefore the d$/e erred in his choice and it was
the ca$se of his $lti'ate r$in)
1 6$li$s II had (een Cardinal of &an Pietro ad 2inc$la+ &an
@ior*io was Raffaells and Ascanio was Cardinal
Ascanio &for-a)
The Prince 8A Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* Those "ho Have O(tained A
Principality !y "ic/edness
%THO:@H a prince 'ay rise fro' a
private station in two ways neither of
which can (e entirely attri($ted to fort$ne
or *eni$s yet it is 'anifest to 'e that I '$st not (e
silent on the' altho$*h one co$ld (e 'ore
copio$sly treated when I disc$ss rep$(lics) These
'ethods are when either (y so'e wic/ed or
nefario$s ways one ascends to the principality or
when (y the favo$r of his fellow>citi-ens a private
person (eco'es the prince of his co$ntry) And
spea/in* of the first 'ethod it will (e ill$strated
(y two e.a'ples E one ancient the other 'odern
E and witho$t enterin* f$rther into the s$(9ect I
consider these two e.a'ples will s$ffice those
who 'ay (e co'pelled to follow the')
A*athocles the &icilian (eca'e Kin* of
&yrac$se not only fro' a private ($t fro' a low
and a(9ect position) This 'an the son of a potter
thro$*h all the chan*es in his fort$nes always led
an infa'o$s life) Nevertheless he acco'panied his
infa'ies with so '$ch a(ility of 'ind and (ody
that havin* devoted hi'self to the 'ilitary
profession he rose thro$*h its ran/s to (e Praetor
of &yrac$se) !ein* esta(lished in that position and
havin* deli(erately resolved to 'a/e hi'self
The Prince 84 Nicolo Machiavelli
prince and to sei-e (y violence witho$t o(li*ation
to others that which had (een conceded to hi' (y
assent he ca'e to an $nderstandin* for this
p$rpose with Ha'ilcar the Cartha*inian who
with his ar'y was fi*htin* in &icily) One 'ornin*
he asse'(led the people and senate of &yrac$se as
if he had to disc$ss with the' thin*s relatin* to the
Rep$(lic and at a *iven si*nal the soldiers /illed
all the senators and the richest of the people+ these
dead he sei-ed and held the princedo' of that city
witho$t any civil co''otion) And altho$*h he was
twice ro$ted (y the Cartha*inians and $lti'ately
(esie*ed yet not only was he a(le to defend his
city ($t leavin* part of his 'en for its defence
with the others he attac/ed Africa and in a short
ti'e raised the sie*e of &yrac$se) The
Cartha*inians red$ced to e.tre'e necessity were
co'pelled to co'e to ter's with A*athocles and
leavin* &icily to hi' had to (e content with the
possession of Africa)
Therefore he who considers the actions and the
*eni$s of this 'an will see nothin* or little which
can (e attri($ted to fort$ne inas'$ch as he
attained pre>e'inence as is shown a(ove not (y
the favo$r of any one ($t step (y step in the
'ilitary profession which steps were *ained with a
tho$sand tro$(les and perils and were afterwards
(oldly held (y hi' with 'any ha-ards and
dan*ers) Iet it cannot (e called talent to slay
fellow>citi-ens to deceive friends to (e witho$t
faith witho$t 'ercy witho$t reli*ion+ s$ch
The Prince 8B Nicolo Machiavelli
'ethods 'ay *ain e'pire ($t not *lory) &till if
the co$ra*e of A*athocles in enterin* into and
e.tricatin* hi'self fro' dan*ers (e considered
to*ether with his *reatness of 'ind in end$rin*
overco'in* hardships it cannot (e seen why he
sho$ld (e estee'ed less than the 'ost nota(le
captain) Nevertheless his (ar(aro$s cr$elty and
inh$'anity with infinite wic/ednesses do not
per'it hi' to (e cele(rated a'on* the 'ost
e.cellent 'en) "hat he achieved cannot (e
attri($ted either to fort$ne or to *eni$s)
In o$r ti'es d$rin* the r$le of Ale.ander 2I
Oliverotto da ,er'o havin* (een left an orphan
'any years (efore was (ro$*ht $p (y his 'aternal
$ncle @iovanni ,o*liani and in the early days of
his yo$th sent to fi*ht $nder Paolo 2itelli that
(ein* trained $nder his discipline he 'i*ht attain
so'e hi*h position in the 'ilitary profession) After
Paolo died he fo$*ht $nder his (rother 2itello--o
and in a very short ti'e (ein* endowed with wit
and a vi*oro$s (ody and 'ind he (eca'e the first
'an in his profession) !$t it appearin* to hi' a
paltry thin* to serve $nder others he resolved with
the aid of so'e citi-ens of ,er'o to who' the
slavery of their co$ntry was dearer than its li(erty
and with the help of the 2itelli to sei-e ,er'o) &o
he wrote to @iovanni ,o*liani that havin* (een
away fro' ho'e for 'any years he wished to visit
hi' and his city and in so'e 'eas$re to loo/ into
his patri'ony+ and altho$*h he had not la(o$red to
ac#$ire anythin* e.cept hono$r yet in order that
The Prince 57 Nicolo Machiavelli
the citi-ens sho$ld see he had not spent his ti'e in
vain he desired to co'e hono$ra(ly so wo$ld (e
acco'panied (y one h$ndred horse'en his friends
and retainers+ and he entreated @iovanni to arran*e
that he sho$ld (e received hono$ra(ly (y the
citi-ens of ,er'o all of which wo$ld (e not only
to his hono$r ($t also to that of @iovanni hi'self
who had (ro$*ht hi' $p)
@iovanni therefore did not fail in any attentions
d$e to his nephew and he ca$sed hi' to (e
hono$ra(ly received (y the ,er'ans and he
lod*ed hi' in his own ho$se where havin*
passed so'e days and havin* arran*ed what was
necessary for his wic/ed desi*ns Oliverotto *ave a
sole'n (an#$et to which he invited @iovanni
,o*liani and the chiefs of ,er'o) "hen the viands
and all the other entertain'ents that are $s$al in
s$ch (an#$ets were finished Oliverotto artf$lly
(e*an certain *rave disco$rses spea/in* of the
*reatness of Pope Ale.ander and his son Cesare
and of their enterprises to which disco$rse
@iovanni and others answered+ ($t he rose at once
sayin* that s$ch 'atters o$*ht to (e disc$ssed in a
'ore private place and he (etoo/ hi'self to a
cha'(er whither @iovanni and the rest of the
citi-ens went in after hi') No sooner were they
seated than soldiers iss$ed fro' secret places and
sla$*htered @iovanni and the rest) After these
'$rders Oliverotto 'o$nted on horse(ac/ rode
$p and down the town and (esie*ed the chief
'a*istrate in the palace so that in fear the people
The Prince 51 Nicolo Machiavelli
were forced to o(ey hi' and to for' a
*overn'ent of which he 'ade hi'self the prince)
He /illed all the 'alcontents who were a(le to
in9$re hi' and stren*thened hi'self with new
civil and 'ilitary ordinances in s$ch a way that in
the year d$rin* which he held the principality not
only was he sec$re in the city of ,er'o ($t he had
(eco'e for'ida(le to all his nei*h(o$rs) And his
destr$ction wo$ld have (een as diffic$lt as that of
A*athocles if he had not allowed hi'self to (e
overreached (y Cesare !or*ia who too/ hi' with
the Orsini and 2itelli at &ini*a*lia as was stated
a(ove) Th$s one year after he had co''itted this
parricide he was stran*led to*ether with
2itello--o who' he had 'ade his leader in valo$r
and wic/edness)
&o'e 'ay wonder how it can happen that
A*athocles and his li/e after infinite treacheries
and cr$elties sho$ld live for lon* sec$re in his
co$ntry and defend hi'self fro' e.ternal
ene'ies and never (e conspired a*ainst (y his
own citi-ens+ seein* that 'any others (y 'eans of
cr$elty have never (een a(le even in peacef$l
ti'es to hold the state still less in the do$(tf$l
ti'es of war) I (elieve that this follows fro'
severities (ein* (adly or properly $sed) Those 'ay
(e called properly $sed if of evil it is lawf$l to
spea/ well that are applied at one (low and are
necessary to one3s sec$rity and that are not
persisted in afterwards $nless they can (e t$rned to
the advanta*e of the s$(9ects) The (adly e'ployed
The Prince 50 Nicolo Machiavelli
are those which notwithstandin* they 'ay (e few
in the co''ence'ent '$ltiply with ti'e rather
than decrease) Those who practise the first syste'
are a(le (y aid of @od or 'an to 'iti*ate in so'e
de*ree their r$le as A*athocles did) It is
i'possi(le for those who follow the other to
'aintain the'selves)
Hence it is to (e re'ar/ed that in sei-in* a
state the $s$rper o$*ht to e.a'ine closely into all
those in9$ries which it is necessary for hi' to
inflict and to do the' all at one stro/e so as not to
have to repeat the' daily+ and th$s (y not
$nsettlin* 'en he will (e a(le to reass$re the'
and win the' to hi'self (y (enefits) He who does
otherwise either fro' ti'idity or evil advice is
always co'pelled to /eep the /nife in his hand+
neither can he rely on his s$(9ects nor can they
attach the'selves to hi' owin* to their contin$ed
and repeated wron*s) ,or in9$ries o$*ht to (e done
all at one ti'e so that (ein* tasted less they
offend less+ (enefits o$*ht to (e *iven little (y
little so that the flavo$r of the' 'ay last lon*er)
And a(ove all thin*s a prince o$*ht to live
a'on*st his people in s$ch a way that no
$ne.pected circ$'stances whether of *ood or
evil shall 'a/e hi' chan*e+ (eca$se if the
necessity for this co'es in tro$(led ti'es yo$ are
too late for harsh 'eas$res+ and 'ild ones will not
help yo$ for they will (e considered as forced
fro' yo$ and no one will (e $nder any o(li*ation
to yo$ for the')
The Prince 58 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* A Civil Principality
:T co'in* to the other point E where a
leadin* citi-en (eco'es the prince of his
co$ntry not (y wic/edness or any
intolera(le violence ($t (y the favo$r of his fellow
citi-ens E this 'ay (e called a civil principality;
nor is *eni$s or fort$ne alto*ether necessary to
attain to it ($t rather a happy shrewdness) I say
then that s$ch a principality is o(tained either (y
the favo$r of the people or (y the favo$r of the
no(les) !eca$se in all cities these two distinct
parties are fo$nd and fro' this it arises that the
people do not wish to (e r$led nor oppressed (y
the no(les and the no(les wish to r$le and oppress
the people+ and fro' these two opposite desires
there arises in cities one of three res$lts either a
principality self>*overn'ent or anarchy)
A principality is created either (y the people or
(y the no(les accordin*ly as one or other of the'
has the opport$nity+ for the no(les seein* they
cannot withstand the people (e*in to cry $p the
rep$tation of one of the'selves and they 'a/e
hi' a prince so that $nder his shadow they can
*ive vent to their a'(itions) The people findin*
they cannot resist the no(les also cry $p the
rep$tation of one of the'selves and 'a/e hi' a
prince so as to (e defended (y his a$thority) He
The Prince 55 Nicolo Machiavelli
who o(tains soverei*nty (y the assistance of the
no(les 'aintains hi'self with 'ore diffic$lty than
he who co'es to it (y the aid of the people
(eca$se the for'er finds hi'self with 'any
aro$nd hi' who consider the'selves his e#$als
and (eca$se of this he can neither r$le nor 'ana*e
the' to his li/in*) !$t he who reaches soverei*nty
(y pop$lar favo$r finds hi'self alone and has
none aro$nd hi' or few who are not prepared to
o(ey hi')
!esides this one cannot (y fair dealin* and
witho$t in9$ry to others satisfy the no(les ($t yo$
can satisfy the people for their o(9ect is 'ore
ri*hteo$s than that of the no(les the latter wishin*
to oppress whilst the for'er only desire not to (e
oppressed) It is to (e added also that a prince can
never sec$re hi'self a*ainst a hostile people
(eca$se of their (ein* too 'any whilst fro' the
no(les he can sec$re hi'self as they are few in
n$'(er) The worst that a prince 'ay e.pect fro' a
hostile people is to (e a(andoned (y the'+ ($t
fro' hostile no(les he has not only to fear
a(andon'ent ($t also that they will rise a*ainst
hi'+ for they (ein* in these affairs 'ore far>seein*
and ast$te always co'e forward in ti'e to save
the'selves and to o(tain favo$rs fro' hi' who'
they e.pect to prevail) ,$rther the prince is
co'pelled to live always with the sa'e people ($t
he can do well witho$t the sa'e no(les (ein* a(le
to 'a/e and $n'a/e the' daily and to *ive or
ta/e away a$thority when it pleases hi')
The Prince 5= Nicolo Machiavelli
Therefore to 'a/e this point clearer I say that
the no(les o$*ht to (e loo/ed at 'ainly in two
ways; that is to say they either shape their co$rse
in s$ch a way as (inds the' entirely to yo$r
fort$ne or they do not) Those who so (ind
the'selves and are not rapacio$s o$*ht to (e
hono$red and loved+ those who do not (ind
the'selves 'ay (e dealt with in two ways+ they
'ay fail to do this thro$*h p$sillani'ity and a
nat$ral want of co$ra*e in which case yo$ o$*ht
to 'a/e $se of the' especially of those who are of
*ood co$nsel+ and th$s whilst in prosperity yo$
hono$r yo$rself in adversity yo$ have not to fear
the') !$t when for their own a'(itio$s ends they
sh$n (indin* the'selves it is a to/en that they are
*ivin* 'ore tho$*ht to the'selves than to yo$ and
a prince o$*ht to *$ard a*ainst s$ch and to fear
the' as if they were open ene'ies (eca$se in
adversity they always help to r$in hi')
Therefore one who (eco'es a prince thro$*h
the favo$r of the people o$*ht to /eep the'
friendly and this he can easily do seein* they only
as/ not to (e oppressed (y hi') !$t one who in
opposition to the people (eco'es a prince (y the
favo$r of the no(les o$*ht a(ove everythin* to
see/ to win the people over to hi'self and this he
'ay easily do if he ta/es the' $nder his
protection) !eca$se 'en when they receive *ood
fro' hi' of who' they were e.pectin* evil are
(o$nd 'ore closely to their (enefactor+ th$s the
people #$ic/ly (eco'e 'ore devoted to hi' than
The Prince 5? Nicolo Machiavelli
if he had (een raised to the principality (y their
favo$rs+ and the prince can win their affections in
'any ways ($t as these vary accordin* to the
circ$'stances one cannot *ive fi.ed r$les so I
o'it the'+ ($t I repeat it is necessary for a prince
to have the people friendly otherwise he has no
sec$rity in adversity)
Na(is Prince of the &partans s$stained the
attac/ of all @reece and of a victorio$s Ro'an
ar'y and a*ainst the' he defended his co$ntry
and his *overn'ent+ and for the overco'in* of this
peril it was only necessary for hi' to 'a/e hi'self
sec$re a*ainst a few ($t this wo$ld not have (een
s$fficient if the people had (een hostile) And do
not let any one i'p$*n this state'ent with the trite
prover( that 3He who ($ilds on the people ($ilds
on the '$d3 for this is tr$e when a private citi-en
'a/es a fo$ndation there and pers$ades hi'self
that the people will free hi' when he is oppressed
(y his ene'ies or (y the 'a*istrates+ wherein he
wo$ld find hi'self very often deceived as
happened to the @racchi in Ro'e and to Messer
@ior*io &cali in ,lorence) !$t *ranted a prince
who has esta(lished hi'self as a(ove who can
co''and and is a 'an of co$ra*e $ndis'ayed in
adversity who does not fail in other #$alifications
and who (y his resol$tion and ener*y /eeps the
whole people enco$ra*ed E s$ch a one will never
find hi'self deceived in the' and it will (e shown
that he has laid his fo$ndations well)
These principalities are lia(le to dan*er when
The Prince 5A Nicolo Machiavelli
they are passin* fro' the civil to the a(sol$te order
of *overn'ent for s$ch princes either r$le
personally or thro$*h 'a*istrates) In the latter case
their *overn'ent is wea/er and 'ore insec$re
(eca$se it rests entirely on the *oodwill of those
citi-ens who are raised to the 'a*istracy and who
especially in tro$(led ti'es can destroy the
*overn'ent with *reat ease either (y intri*$e or
open defiance+ and the prince has not the chance
a'id t$'$lts to e.ercise a(sol$te a$thority
(eca$se the citi-ens and s$(9ects acc$sto'ed to
receive orders fro' 'a*istrates are not of a 'ind
to o(ey hi' a'id these conf$sions and there will
always (e in do$(tf$l ti'es a scarcity of 'en
who' he can tr$st) ,or s$ch a prince cannot rely
$pon what he o(serves in #$iet ti'es when
citi-ens had need of the state (eca$se then every
one a*rees with hi'+ they all pro'ise and when
death is far distant they all wish to die for hi'+ ($t
in tro$(led ti'es when the state has need of its
citi-ens then he finds ($t few) And so '$ch the
'ore is this e.peri'ent dan*ero$s inas'$ch as it
can only (e tried once) Therefore a wise prince
o$*ht to adopt s$ch a co$rse that his citi-ens will
always in every sort and /ind of circ$'stance have
need of the state and of hi' and then he will
always find the' faithf$l)
The Prince 54 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* The "ay In "hich The
&tren*th Of All Principalities O$*ht To !e
T I& necessary to consider another point in
e.a'inin* the character of these principalities;
that is whether a prince has s$ch power that
in case of need he can s$pport hi'self with his
own reso$rces or whether he has always need of
the assistance of others) And to 'a/e this #$ite
clear I say that I consider those are a(le to s$pport
the'selves (y their own reso$rces who can either
(y a($ndance of 'en or 'oney raise a s$fficient
ar'y to 9oin (attle a*ainst any one who co'es to
attac/ the'+ and I consider those always to have
need of others who cannot show the'selves
a*ainst the ene'y in the field ($t are forced to
defend the'selves (y shelterin* (ehind walls) The
first case has (een disc$ssed ($t we will spea/ of
it a*ain sho$ld it rec$r) In the second case one can
say nothin* e.cept to enco$ra*e s$ch princes to
provision and fortify their towns and not on any
acco$nt to defend the co$ntry) And whoever shall
fortify his town well and shall have 'ana*ed the
other concerns of his s$(9ects in the way stated
a(ove and to (e often repeated will never (e
attac/ed witho$t *reat ca$tion for 'en are always
adverse to enterprises where diffic$lties can (e
The Prince 5B Nicolo Machiavelli
seen and it will (e seen not to (e an easy thin* to
attac/ one who has his town well fortified and is
not hated (y his people)
The cities of @er'any are a(sol$tely free they
own ($t little co$ntry aro$nd the' and they yield
o(edience to the e'peror when it s$its the' nor
do they fear this or any other power they 'ay have
near the' (eca$se they are fortified in s$ch a way
that every one thin/s the ta/in* of the' (y assa$lt
wo$ld (e tedio$s and diffic$lt seein* they have
proper ditches and walls they have s$fficient
artillery and they always /eep in p$(lic depots
eno$*h for one year3s eatin* drin/in* and firin*)
And (eyond this to /eep the people #$iet and
witho$t loss to the state they always have the
'eans of *ivin* wor/ to the co''$nity in those
la(o$rs that are the life and stren*th of the city
and on the p$rs$it of which the people are
s$pported+ they also hold 'ilitary e.ercises in
rep$te and 'oreover have 'any ordinances to
$phold the')
Therefore a prince who has a stron* city and
had not 'ade hi'self odio$s will not (e attac/ed
or if any one sho$ld attac/ he will only (e driven
off with dis*race+ a*ain (eca$se that affairs of this
world are so chan*ea(le it is al'ost i'possi(le to
/eep an ar'y a whole year in the field witho$t
(ein* interfered with) And whoever sho$ld reply;
If the people have property o$tside the city and see
it ($rnt they will not re'ain patient and the lon*
sie*e and self>interest will 'a/e the' for*et their
The Prince =7 Nicolo Machiavelli
prince+ to this I answer that a powerf$l and
co$ra*eo$s prince will overco'e all s$ch
diffic$lties (y *ivin* at one ti'e hope to his
s$(9ects that the evil will not (e for lon* at
another ti'e fear of the cr$elty of the ene'y then
preservin* hi'self adroitly fro' those s$(9ects
who see' to hi' to (e too (old)
,$rther the ene'y wo$ld nat$rally on his
arrival at once ($rn and r$in the co$ntry at the ti'e
when the spirits of the people are still hot and
ready for the defence+ and therefore so '$ch the
less o$*ht the prince to hesitate+ (eca$se after a
ti'e when spirits have cooled the da'a*e is
already done the ills are inc$rred and there is no
lon*er any re'edy+ and therefore they are so '$ch
the 'ore ready to $nite with their prince he
appearin* to (e $nder o(li*ations to the' now that
their ho$ses have (een ($rnt and their possessions
r$ined in his defence) ,or it is the nat$re of 'en to
(e (o$nd (y the (enefits they confer as '$ch as (y
those they receive) Therefore if everythin* is well
considered it wilt not (e diffic$lt for a wise prince
to /eep the 'inds of his citi-ens steadfast fro'
first to last when he does not fail to s$pport and
defend the')
The Prince =1 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* Ecclesiastical Principalities
T ON%I re'ains now to spea/ of ecclesiastical
principalities to$chin* which all diffic$lties
are prior to *ettin* possession (eca$se they
are ac#$ired either (y capacity or *ood fort$ne
and they can (e held witho$t either+ for they are
s$stained (y the ordinances of reli*ion which are
so all>powerf$l and of s$ch a character that the
principalities 'ay (e held no 'atter how their
princes (ehave and live) These princes alone have
states and do not defend the' they have s$(9ects
and do not r$le the'+ and the states altho$*h
$n*$arded are not ta/en fro' the' and the
s$(9ects altho$*h not r$led do not care and they
have neither the desire nor the a(ility to alienate
the'selves) &$ch principalities only are sec$re and
happy) !$t (ein* $pheld (y powers to which the
h$'an 'ind cannot reach I shall spea/ no 'ore of
the' (eca$se (ein* e.alted and 'aintained (y
@od it wo$ld (e the act of a pres$'pt$o$s and
rash 'an to disc$ss the')
Nevertheless if any one sho$ld as/ of 'e how
co'es it that the Ch$rch has attained s$ch
*reatness in te'poral power seein* that fro'
Ale.ander (ac/wards the Italian potentates Cnot
only those who have (een called potentates ($t
every (aron and lord tho$*h the s'allestD have
The Prince =0 Nicolo Machiavelli
val$ed the te'poral power very sli*htly E yet now
a /in* of ,rance tre'(les (efore it and it has (een
a(le to drive hi' fro' Italy and to r$in the
2enetians E altho$*h this 'ay (e very 'anifest
it does not appear to 'e s$perfl$o$s to recall it in
so'e 'eas$re to 'e'ory)
!efore Charles Kin* of ,rance passed into
Italy this co$ntry was $nder the do'inion of the
Pope the 2enetians the Kin* of Naples the 1$/e
of Milan and the ,lorentines) These potentates had
two principal an.ieties; the one that no forei*ner
sho$ld enter Italy $nder ar's+ the other that none
of the'selves sho$ld sei-e 'ore territory) Those
a(o$t who' there was the 'ost an.iety were the
Pope and the 2enetians) To restrain the 2enetians
the $nion of all the others was necessary as it was
for the defence of ,errara+ and to /eep down the
Pope they 'ade $se of the (arons of Ro'e who
(ein* divided into two factions Orsini and
Colonna had always a prete.t for disorder and
standin* with ar's in their hands $nder the eyes of
the Pontiff /ept the pontificate wea/ and
powerless) And altho$*h there 'i*ht arise
so'eti'es a co$ra*eo$s pope s$ch as &i.t$s FI2G
yet neither fort$ne nor wisdo' co$ld rid hi' of
these annoyances) And the short life of a pope is
also a ca$se of wea/ness+ for in the ten years
which is the avera*e life of a pope he can with
diffic$lty lower one of the factions+ and if so to
spea/ one pope sho$ld al'ost destroy the
Colonna another wo$ld arise hostile to the Orsini
The Prince =8 Nicolo Machiavelli
who wo$ld s$pport their opponents and yet wo$ld
not have ti'e to r$in the Orsini) This was the
reason why the te'poral powers of the pope were
little estee'ed in Italy)
Ale.ander 2I arose afterwards who of all the
pontiffs that have ever (een showed how a pope
with (oth 'oney and ar's was a(le to prevail+ and
thro$*h the instr$'entality of the 1$/e 2alentino
and (y reason of the entry of the ,rench he
(ro$*ht a(o$t all those thin*s which I have
disc$ssed a(ove in the actions of the d$/e) And
altho$*h his intention was not to a**randi-e the
Ch$rch ($t the d$/e nevertheless what he did
contri($ted to the *reatness of the Ch$rch which
after his death and the r$in of the d$/e (eca'e the
heir to all his la(o$rs)
Pope 6$li$s ca'e afterwards and fo$nd the
Ch$rch stron* possessin* all the Ro'a*na the
(arons of Ro'e red$ced to i'potence and
thro$*h the chastise'ents Ale.ander the factions
wiped o$t+ he also fo$nd the way open to
acc$'$late 'oney in a 'anner s$ch as had never
(een practised (efore Ale.ander3s ti'e) &$ch
thin*s 6$li$s not only followed ($t i'proved
$pon and he intended to *ain !olo*na to r$in the
2enetians and to drive the ,rench o$t of Italy) All
of these enterprises prospered with hi' and so
'$ch the 'ore to his credit inas'$ch as he did
everythin* to stren*then the Ch$rch and not any
private person) He /ept also the Orsini and
Colonna factions within the (o$nds in which he
The Prince =5 Nicolo Machiavelli
fo$nd the'+ and altho$*h there was a'on* the'
so'e 'ind to 'a/e dist$r(ance nevertheless he
held two thin*s fir'; the one the *reatness of the
ch$rch with which he terrified the'+ and the
other not allowin* the' to have their own
cardinals who ca$sed the disorders a'on* the')
,or whenever these factions have their cardinals
they do not re'ain #$iet for lon* (eca$se
cardinals foster the factions in Ro'e and o$t of it
and the (arons are co'pelled to s$pport the' and
th$s fro' the a'(itions of prelates arise disorders
and t$'$lts a'on* the (arons) ,or these reasons
his Holiness Pope %eo fo$nd the pontificate 'ost
powerf$l and it is to (e hoped that if others 'ade
it *reat in ar's he will 'a/e it still *reater and
'ore venerated (y his *oodness and infinite other
The Prince == Nicolo Machiavelli
How Many Kinds Of &oldiery There Are
And Concernin* Mercenaries
A2IN@ disco$rsed partic$larly on the
characteristics of s$ch principalities as in
the (e*innin* I proposed to disc$ss and
havin* considered in so'e de*ree the ca$ses of
their (ein* *ood or (ad and havin* shown the
'ethods (y which 'any have so$*ht to ac#$ire
the' and to hold the' it now re'ains for 'e to
disc$ss *enerally the 'eans of offence and defence
which (elon* to each of the')
"e have seen a(ove how necessary it is for a
prince to have his fo$ndations well laid otherwise
it follows of necessity he will *o to r$in) The chief
fo$ndations of all states new as well as old or
co'posite are *ood laws and *ood ar's+ and as
there cannot (e *ood laws where the state is not
well ar'ed it follows that where they are well
ar'ed they have *ood laws) I shall leave the laws
o$t of the disc$ssion and shall spea/ of the ar's)
I say therefore that the ar's with which a
prince defends his state are either his own or they
are 'ercenaries a$.iliaries or 'i.ed) Mercenaries
and a$.iliaries are $seless and dan*ero$s+ and if
one holds his state (ased on these ar's he will
stand neither fir' nor safe+ for they are dis$nited
a'(itio$s and witho$t discipline $nfaithf$l
The Prince =? Nicolo Machiavelli
valiant (efore friends cowardly (efore ene'ies+
they have neither the fear of @od nor fidelity to
'en and destr$ction is deferred only so lon* as the
attac/ is+ for in peace one is ro((ed (y the' and
in war (y the ene'y) The fact is they have no
other attraction or reason for /eepin* the field than
a trifle of stipend which is not s$fficient to 'a/e
the' willin* to die for yo$) They are ready eno$*h
to (e yo$r soldiers whilst yo$ do not 'a/e war ($t
if war co'es they ta/e the'selves off or r$n fro'
the foe+ which I sho$ld have little tro$(le to prove
for the r$in of Italy has (een ca$sed (y nothin*
else than (y restin* all her hopes for 'any years on
'ercenaries and altho$*h they for'erly 'ade
so'e display and appeared valiant a'on*st
the'selves yet when the forei*ners ca'e they
showed what they were) Th$s it was that Charles
Kin* of ,rance was allowed to sei-e Italy with
chal/ in hand+
and he who told $s that o$r sins
were the ca$se of it told the tr$th ($t they were
not the sins he i'a*ined ($t those which I have
related) And as they were the sins of princes it is
the princes who have also s$ffered the penalty)
I wish to de'onstrate f$rther the infelicity of
these ar's) The 'ercenary captains are either
capa(le 'en or they are not+ if they are yo$ cannot
tr$st the' (eca$se they always aspire to their own
*reatness either (y oppressin* yo$ who are their
'aster or others contrary to yo$r intentions+ ($t if
the captain is not s/ilf$l yo$ are r$ined in the
1 "ith which to chal/ $p the (illets for his soldiers)
The Prince =A Nicolo Machiavelli
$s$al way)
And if it (e $r*ed that whoever is ar'ed will act
in the sa'e way whether 'ercenary or not I reply
that when ar's have to (e resorted to either (y a
prince or a rep$(lic then the prince o$*ht to *o in
person and perfor' the d$ty of captain+ the
rep$(lic has to send its citi-ens and when one is
sent who does not t$rn o$t satisfactorily it o$*ht
to recall hi' and when one is worthy to hold hi'
(y the laws so that he does not leave the co''and)
And e.perience has shown princes and rep$(lics
sin*le>handed 'a/in* the *reatest pro*ress and
'ercenaries doin* nothin* e.cept da'a*e+ and it is
'ore diffic$lt to (rin* a rep$(lic ar'ed with its
own ar's $nder the sway of one of its citi-ens
than it is to (rin* one ar'ed with forei*n ar's)
Ro'e and &parta stood for 'any a*es ar'ed and
free) The &wit-ers are co'pletely ar'ed and #$ite
Of ancient 'ercenaries for e.a'ple there are
the Cartha*inians who were oppressed (y their
'ercenary soldiers after the first war with the
Ro'ans altho$*h the Cartha*inians had their own
citi-ens for captains) After the death of
Epa'inondas Philip of Macedon was 'ade
captain of their soldiers (y the The(ans and after
victory he too/ away their li(erty)
1$/e ,ilippo (ein* dead the Milanese enlisted
,rancesco &for-a a*ainst the 2enetians and he
havin* overco'e the ene'y at Carava**io allied
hi'self with the' to cr$sh the Milanese his
The Prince =4 Nicolo Machiavelli
'asters) His father &for-a havin* (een en*a*ed
(y J$een 6ohanna of Naples left her $nprotected
so that she was forced to throw herself into the
ar's of the Kin* of Ara*on in order to save her
/in*do') And if the 2enetians and ,lorentines
for'erly e.tended their do'inions (y these ar's
and yet their captains did not 'a/e the'selves
princes ($t have defended the' I reply that the
,lorentines in this case have (een favo$red (y
chance for of the a(le captains of who' they
'i*ht have stood in fear so'e have not
con#$ered so'e have (een opposed and others
have t$rned their a'(itions elsewhere) One who
did not con#$er was @iovanni Ac$to
and since
he did not con#$er his fidelity cannot (e proved+
($t every one will ac/nowled*e that had he
con#$ered the ,lorentines wo$ld have stood at his
discretion) &for-a had the !racceschi always
a*ainst hi' so they watched each other) ,rancesco
t$rned his a'(ition to %o'(ardy+ !raccio a*ainst
the Ch$rch and the /in*do' of Naples) !$t let $s
co'e to that which happened a short while a*o)
The ,lorentines appointed as their captain Paolo
2itelli a 'ost pr$dent 'an who fro' a private
position had risen to the *reatest renown) If this
'an had ta/en Pisa no(ody can deny that it wo$ld
have (een proper for the ,lorentines to /eep in
with hi' for if he (eca'e the soldier of their
ene'ies they had no 'eans of resistin* and if they
0 As &ir 6ohn Haw/wood the En*lish leader of
'ercenaries was called (y the Italians)
The Prince =B Nicolo Machiavelli
held to hi' they '$st o(ey hi') The 2enetians if
their achieve'ents are considered will (e seen to
have acted safely and *lorio$sly so lon* as they
sent to war their own 'en when with ar'ed
*entle'en and ple(eians they did valiantly) This
was (efore they t$rned to enterprises on land ($t
when they (e*an to fi*ht on land they forsoo/ this
virt$e and followed the c$sto' of Italy) And in the
(e*innin* of their e.pansion on land thro$*h not
havin* '$ch territory and (eca$se of their *reat
rep$tation they had not '$ch to fear fro' their
captains+ ($t when they e.panded as $nder
Car'i*nola they had a taste of this 'ista/e+ for
havin* fo$nd hi' a 'ost valiant 'an Cthey (eat
the 1$/e of Milan $nder his leadershipD and on
the other hand /nowin* how l$/ewar' he was in
the war they feared they wo$ld no lon*er con#$er
$nder hi' and for this reason they were not
willin* nor were they a(le to let hi' *o+ and so
not to lose a*ain that which they had ac#$ired they
were co'pelled in order to sec$re the'selves to
'$rder hi') They had afterwards for their captains
!artolo'eo da !er*a'o Ro(erto da &an &everino
the Co$nt of Piti*liano and the li/e $nder who'
they had to dread loss and not *ain as happened
afterwards at 2aila where in one (attle they lost
that which in ei*ht h$ndred years they had
ac#$ired with so '$ch tro$(le) !eca$se fro' s$ch
ar's con#$ests co'e ($t slowly lon* delayed and
inconsidera(le ($t the losses s$dden and
The Prince ?7 Nicolo Machiavelli
And as with these e.a'ples I have reached Italy
which has (een r$led for 'any years (y
'ercenaries I wish to disc$ss the' 'ore
serio$sly in order that havin* seen their rise and
pro*ress one 'ay (e (etter prepared to co$nteract
the') Io$ '$st $nderstand that the e'pire has
recently co'e to (e rep$diated in Italy that the
Pope has ac#$ired 'ore te'poral power and that
Italy has (een divided $p into 'ore states for the
reason that 'any of the *reat cities too/ $p ar's
a*ainst their no(les who for'erly favo$red (y the
e'peror were oppressin* the' whilst the Ch$rch
was favo$rin* the' so as to *ain a$thority in
te'poral power; in 'any others their citi-ens
(eca'e princes) ,ro' this it ca'e to pass that Italy
fell partly into the hands of the Ch$rch and of
rep$(lics and the Ch$rch consistin* of priests and
the rep$(lic of citi-ens $nacc$sto'ed to ar's
(oth co''enced to enlist forei*ners)
The first who *ave renown to this soldiery was
Al(eri*o da Conio a native of the Ro'a*na) ,ro'
the school of this 'an spran* a'on* others
!raccio and &for-a who in their ti'e were the
ar(iters of Italy) After these ca'e all the other
captains who till now have directed the ar's of
Italy+ and the end of all their valo$r has (een that
she has (een overr$n (y Charles ro((ed (y %o$is
rava*ed (y ,erdinand and ins$lted (y the
&wit-ers) The principle that has *$ided the' has
(een first to lower the credit of infantry so that
they 'i*ht increase their own) They did this
The Prince ?1 Nicolo Machiavelli
(eca$se s$(sistin* on their pay and witho$t
territory they were $na(le to s$pport 'any
soldiers and a few infantry did not *ive the' any
a$thority+ so they were led to e'ploy cavalry with
a 'oderate force of which they were 'aintained
and hono$red+ and affairs were (ro$*ht to s$ch a
pass that in an ar'y of twenty tho$sand soldiers
there were not to (e fo$nd two tho$sand foot
soldiers) They had (esides this $sed every art to
lessen fati*$e and dan*er to the'selves and their
soldiers not /illin* in the fray ($t ta/in* prisoners
and li(eratin* witho$t ranso') They did not attac/
towns at ni*ht nor did the *arrisons of the towns
attac/ enca'p'ents at ni*ht+ they did not s$rro$nd
the ca'p either with stoc/ade or ditch nor did
they ca'pai*n in the winter) All these thin*s were
per'itted (y their 'ilitary r$les and devised (y
the' to avoid as I have said (oth fati*$e and
dan*ers+ th$s they have (ro$*ht Italy to slavery
and conte'pt)
The Prince ?0 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* A$.iliaries Mi.ed &oldiery
And One3s Own
:<I%IARIE& which are the other $seless
ar' are e'ployed when a prince is called
in with his forces to aid and defend as
was done (y Pope 6$li$s in the 'ost recent ti'es+
for he havin* in the enterprise a*ainst ,errara
had poor proof of his 'ercenaries t$rned to
a$.iliaries and stip$lated with ,erdinand Kin* of
&pain for his assistance with 'en and ar's) These
ar's 'ay (e $sef$l and *ood in the'selves ($t
for hi' who calls the' in they are always
disadvanta*eo$s+ for losin* one is $ndone and
winnin* one is their captive)
And altho$*h ancient histories 'ay (e f$ll of
e.a'ples I do not wish to leave this recent one of
Pope 6$li$s II the peril of which cannot fall to (e
perceived+ for he wishin* to *et ,errara threw
hi'self entirely into the hands of the forei*ner) !$t
his *ood fort$ne (ro$*ht a(o$t a third event so
that he did not reap the fr$it of his rash choice+
(eca$se havin* a$.iliaries ro$ted at Ravenna and
the &wit-ers havin* risen and driven o$t the
con#$erors Ca*ainst all e.pectation (oth his and
othersD it so ca'e to pass that he did not (eco'e
prisoner to his ene'ies they havin* fled nor to his
a$.iliaries he havin* con#$ered (y other ar's
The Prince ?8 Nicolo Machiavelli
than theirs)
The ,lorentines (ein* entirely witho$t ar's
sent ten tho$sand ,rench'en to ta/e Pisa where(y
they ran 'ore dan*er than at any other ti'e of
their tro$(les)
The E'peror of Constantinople to oppose his
nei*h(o$rs sent ten tho$sand T$r/s into @reece
who on the war (ein* finished were not willin* to
#$it+ this was the (e*innin* of the servit$de of
@reece to the infidels)
Therefore let hi' who has no desire to con#$er
'a/e $se of these ar's for they are '$ch 'ore
ha-ardo$s than 'ercenaries (eca$se with the' the
r$in is ready 'ade+ they are all $nited all yield
o(edience to others+ ($t with 'ercenaries when
they have con#$ered 'ore ti'e and (etter
opport$nities are needed to in9$re yo$+ they are not
all of one co''$nity they are fo$nd and paid (y
yo$ and a third party which yo$ have 'ade their
head is not a(le all at once to ass$'e eno$*h
a$thority to in9$re yo$) In concl$sion in
'ercenaries dastardy is 'ost dan*ero$s+ in
a$.iliaries valo$r) The wise prince therefore has
always avoided these ar's and t$rned to his own+
and has (een willin* rather to lose with the' than
to con#$er with others not dee'in* that a real
victory which is *ained with the ar's of others)
I shall never hesitate to cite Cesare !or*ia and
his actions) This d$/e entered the Ro'a*na with
a$.iliaries ta/in* there only ,rench soldiers and
with the' he capt$red I'ola and ,orli+ ($t
The Prince ?5 Nicolo Machiavelli
afterwards s$ch forces not appearin* to hi'
relia(le he t$rned to 'ercenaries discernin* less
dan*er in the' and enlisted the Orsini and 2itelli+
who' presently on handlin* and findin* the'
do$(tf$l $nfaithf$l and dan*ero$s he destroyed
and t$rned to his own 'en) And the difference
(etween one and the other of these forces can
easily (e seen when one considers the difference
there was in the rep$tation of the d$/e when he
had the ,rench when he had the Orsini and 2itelli
and when he relied on his own soldiers on whose
fidelity he co$ld always co$nt and fo$nd it ever
increasin*+ he was never estee'ed 'ore hi*hly
than when every one saw that he was co'plete
'aster of his own forces)
I was not intendin* to *o (eyond Italian and
recent e.a'ples ($t I a' $nwillin* to leave o$t
Hiero the &yrac$san he (ein* one of those I have
na'ed a(ove) This 'an as I have said 'ade head
of the ar'y (y the &yrac$sans soon fo$nd o$t that
a 'ercenary soldiery constit$ted li/e o$r Italian
condottieri was of no $se+ and it appearin* to hi'
that he co$ld neither /eep the' nor let the' *o he
had the' all c$t to pieces and afterwards 'ade
war with his own forces and not with aliens)
I wish also to recall to 'e'ory an instance fro'
the Old Testa'ent applica(le to this s$(9ect) 1avid
offered hi'self to &a$l to fi*ht with @oliath the
Philistine cha'pion and to *ive hi' co$ra*e
&a$l ar'ed hi' with his own weapons+ which
1avid re9ected as soon as he had the' on his (ac/
The Prince ?= Nicolo Machiavelli
sayin* he co$ld 'a/e no $se of the' and that he
wished to 'eet the ene'y with his slin* and his
/nife) In concl$sion the ar's of others either fall
fro' yo$r (ac/ or they wei*h yo$ down or they
(ind yo$ fast)
Charles 2II the father of Kin* %o$is <I havin*
(y *ood fort$ne and valo$r li(erated ,rance fro'
the En*lish reco*ni-ed the necessity of (ein*
ar'ed with forces of his own and he esta(lished in
his /in*do' ordinances concernin* 'en>at>ar's
and infantry) Afterwards his son Kin* %o$is
a(olished the infantry and (e*an to enlist the
&wit-ers which 'ista/e followed (y others is as
is now seen a so$rce of peril to that /in*do'+
(eca$se havin* raised the rep$tation of the
&wit-ers he has entirely di'inished the val$e of
his own ar's for he has destroyed the infantry
alto*ether+ and his 'en>at>ar's he has
s$(ordinated to others for (ein* as they are so
acc$sto'ed to fi*ht alon* with &wit-ers it does
not appear that they can now con#$er witho$t
the') Hence it arises that the ,rench cannot stand
a*ainst the &wit-ers and witho$t the &wit-ers they
do not co'e off well a*ainst others) The ar'ies of
the ,rench have th$s (eco'e 'i.ed partly
'ercenary and partly national (oth of which ar's
to*ether are '$ch (etter than 'ercenaries alone or
a$.iliaries alone yet '$ch inferior to one3s own
forces) And this e.a'ple proves it the /in*do' of
,rance wo$ld (e $ncon#$era(le if the ordinance of
Charles had (een enlar*ed or 'aintained)
The Prince ?? Nicolo Machiavelli
!$t the scanty wisdo' of 'an on enterin* into
an affair which loo/s well at first cannot discern
the poison that is hidden in it as I have said a(ove
of hectic fevers) Therefore if he who r$les a
principality cannot reco*ni-e evils $ntil they are
$pon hi' he is not tr$ly wise+ and this insi*ht is
*iven to few) And if the first disaster to the Ro'an
E'pire sho$ld (e e.a'ined it will (e fo$nd to
have co''enced only with the enlistin* of the
@oths+ (eca$se fro' that ti'e the vi*o$r of the
Ro'an E'pire (e*an to decline and all that
valo$r which had raised it passed away to others)
I concl$de therefore that no principality is
sec$re witho$t havin* its own forces+ on the
contrary it is entirely dependent on *ood fort$ne
not havin* the valo$r which in adversity wo$ld
defend it) And it has always (een the opinion and
9$d*'ent of wise 'en that nothin* can (e so
$ncertain or $nsta(le as fa'e or power not
fo$nded on its own stren*th) And one3s own forces
are those which are co'posed either of s$(9ects
citi-ens or dependants+ all others are 'ercenaries
or a$.iliaries) And the way to ta/e ready one3s own
forces will (e easily fo$nd if the r$les s$**ested (y
'e shall (e reflected $pon and if one will consider
how Philip the father of Ale.ander the @reat and
'any rep$(lics and princes have ar'ed and
or*ani-ed the'selves to which r$les I entirely
co''it 'yself)
The Prince ?A Nicolo Machiavelli
That "hich Concerns A Prince On The
&$(9ect Of The Art Of "ar
PRINCE o$*ht to have no other ai' or
tho$*ht nor select anythin* else for his
st$dy than war and its r$les and
discipline+ for this is the sole art that (elon*s to
hi' who r$les and it is of s$ch force that it not
only $pholds those who are (orn princes ($t it
often ena(les 'en to rise fro' a private station to
that ran/) And on the contrary it is seen that when
princes have tho$*ht 'ore of ease than of ar's
they have lost their states) And the first ca$se of
yo$r losin* it is to ne*lect this art+ and what
ena(les yo$ to ac#$ire a state is to (e 'aster of the
art) ,rancesco &for-a thro$*h (ein* 'artial fro'
a private person (eca'e 1$/e of Milan+ and the
sons thro$*h avoidin* the hardships and tro$(les
of ar's fro' d$/es (eca'e private persons) ,or
a'on* other evils which (ein* $nar'ed (rin*s
yo$ it ca$ses yo$ to (e despised and this is one of
those i*no'inies a*ainst which a prince o$*ht to
*$ard hi'self as is shown later on) !eca$se there
is nothin* proportionate (etween the ar'ed and the
$nar'ed+ and it is not reasona(le that he who is
ar'ed sho$ld yield o(edience willin*ly to hi'
who is $nar'ed or that the $nar'ed 'an sho$ld
(e sec$re a'on* ar'ed servants) !eca$se there
The Prince ?4 Nicolo Machiavelli
(ein* in the one disdain and in the other s$spicion
it is not possi(le for the' to wor/ well to*ether)
And therefore a prince who does not $nderstand
the art of war over and a(ove the other
'isfort$nes already 'entioned cannot (e
respected (y his soldiers nor can he rely on the')
He o$*ht never therefore to have o$t of his
tho$*hts this s$(9ect of war and in peace he
sho$ld addict hi'self 'ore to its e.ercise than in
war+ this he can do in two ways the one (y action
the other (y st$dy)
As re*ards action he o$*ht a(ove all thin*s to
/eep his 'en well or*ani-ed and drilled to follow
incessantly the chase (y which he acc$sto's his
(ody to hardships and learns so'ethin* of the
nat$re of localities and *ets to find o$t how the
'o$ntains rise how the valleys open o$t how the
plains lie and to $nderstand the nat$re of rivers
and 'arshes and in all this to ta/e the *reatest
care) "hich /nowled*e is $sef$l in two ways)
,irstly he learns to /now his co$ntry and is (etter
a(le to $nderta/e its defence+ afterwards (y 'eans
of the /nowled*e and o(servation of that locality
he $nderstands with ease any other which it 'ay (e
necessary for hi' to st$dy hereafter+ (eca$se the
hills valleys and plains and rivers and 'arshes
that are for instance in T$scany have a certain
rese'(lance to those of other co$ntries so that
with a /nowled*e of the aspect of one co$ntry one
can easily arrive at a /nowled*e of others) And the
prince that lac/s this s/ill lac/s the essential which
The Prince ?B Nicolo Machiavelli
it is desira(le that a captain sho$ld possess for it
teaches hi' to s$rprise his ene'y to select
#$arters to lead ar'ies to array the (attle to
(esie*e towns to advanta*e)
Philopoe'en Prince of the Achaeans a'on*
other praises which writers have (estowed on hi'
is co''ended (eca$se in ti'e of peace he never
had anythin* in his 'ind ($t the r$les of war+ and
when he was in the co$ntry with friends he often
stopped and reasoned with the'; KIf the ene'y
sho$ld (e $pon that hill and we sho$ld find
o$rselves here with o$r ar'y with who' wo$ld
(e the advanta*eH How sho$ld one (est advance to
'eet hi' /eepin* the ran/sH If we sho$ld wish to
retreat how o$*ht we to set a(o$t itH If they
sho$ld retreat how o$*ht we to p$rs$eHK And he
wo$ld set forth to the' as he went all the chances
that co$ld (efall an ar'y+ he wo$ld listen to their
opinion and state his confir'in* it with reasons
so that (y these contin$al disc$ssions there co$ld
never arise in ti'e of war any $ne.pected
circ$'stances that he co$ld deal with)
!$t to e.ercise the intellect the prince sho$ld
read histories and st$dy there the actions of
ill$strio$s 'en to see how they have (orne
the'selves in war to e.a'ine the ca$ses of their
victories and defeat so as to avoid the latter and
i'itate the for'er+ and a(ove all do as an
ill$strio$s 'an did who too/ as an e.e'plar one
who had (een praised and fa'o$s (efore hi' and
whose achieve'ents and deeds he always /ept in
The Prince A7 Nicolo Machiavelli
his 'ind as it is said Ale.ander the @reat i'itated
Achilles Caesar Ale.ander &cipio Cyr$s) And
whoever reads the life of Cyr$s written (y
<enophon will reco*ni-e afterwards in the life of
&cipio how that i'itation was his *lory and how
in chastity affa(ility h$'anity and li(erality
&cipio confor'ed to those thin*s which have (een
written of Cyr$s (y <enophon) A wise prince
o$*ht to o(serve so'e s$ch r$les and never in
peacef$l ti'es stand idle ($t increase his
reso$rces with ind$stry in s$ch a way that they
'ay (e availa(le to hi' in adversity so that if
fort$ne chan*es it 'ay find hi' prepared to resist
her (lows)
The Prince A1 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* Thin*s ,or "hich Men And
Especially Princes Are Praised Or !la'ed
T REMAIN& now to see what o$*ht to (e the
r$les of cond$ct for a prince towards s$(9ect
and friends) And as I /now that 'any have
written on this point I e.pect I shall (e considered
pres$'pt$o$s in 'entionin* it a*ain especially as
in disc$ssin* it I shall depart fro' the 'ethods of
other people) !$t it (ein* 'y intention to write a
thin* which shall (e $sef$l to hi' who apprehends
it it appears to 'e 'ore appropriate to follow $p
the real tr$th of a 'atter than the i'a*ination of it+
for 'any have pict$red rep$(lics and principalities
which in fact have never (een /nown or seen
(eca$se how one lives is so far distant fro' how
one o$*ht to live that he who ne*lects what is
done for what o$*ht to (e done sooner effects his
r$in than his preservation+ for a 'an who wishes to
act entirely $p to his professions of virt$e soon
'eets with what destroys hi' a'on* so '$ch that
is evil)
Hence it is necessary for a prince wishin* to
hold his own to /now how to do wron* and to
'a/e $se of it or not accordin* to necessity)
Therefore p$ttin* on one side i'a*inary thin*s
concernin* a prince and disc$ssin* those which
are real I say that all 'en when they are spo/en of
The Prince A0 Nicolo Machiavelli
and chiefly princes for (ein* 'ore hi*hly placed
are re'ar/a(le for so'e of those #$alities which
(rin* the' either (la'e or praise+ and th$s it is
that one is rep$ted li(eral another 'iserly $sin* a
T$scan ter' C(eca$se an avaricio$s person in o$r
lan*$a*e is still he who desires to possess (y
ro((ery whilst we call one 'iserly who deprives
hi'self too '$ch of the $se of his ownD+ one is
rep$ted *enero$s one rapacio$s+ one cr$el one
co'passionate+ one faithless another faithf$l+ one
effe'inate and cowardly another (old and (rave+
one affa(le another ha$*hty+ one lascivio$s
another chaste+ one sincere another c$nnin*+ one
hard another easy+ one *rave another frivolo$s+
one reli*io$s another $n(elievin* and the li/e)
And I /now that every one will confess that it
wo$ld (e 'ost praiseworthy in a prince to e.hi(it
all the a(ove #$alities that are considered *ood+
($t (eca$se they can neither (e entirely possessed
nor o(served for h$'an conditions do not per'it
it it is necessary for hi' to (e s$fficiently pr$dent
that he 'ay /now how to avoid the reproach of
those vices which wo$ld lose hi' his state+ and
also to /eep hi'self if it (e possi(le fro' those
which wo$ld not lose hi' it+ ($t this not (ein*
possi(le he 'ay with less hesitation a(andon
hi'self to the') And a*ain he need not 'a/e
hi'self $neasy at inc$rrin* a reproach for those
vices witho$t which the state can only (e saved
with diffic$lty for if everythin* is considered
caref$lly it will (e fo$nd that so'ethin* which
The Prince A8 Nicolo Machiavelli
loo/s li/e virt$e if followed wo$ld (e his r$in+
whilst so'ethin* else which loo/s li/e vice yet
followed (rin*s hi' sec$rity and prosperity)
The Prince A5 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* %i(erality And Meanness
OMMENCIN@ then with the first of the
a(ove>na'ed characteristics I say that it
wo$ld (e well to (e rep$ted li(eral)
Nevertheless li(erality e.ercised in a way that
does not (rin* yo$ the rep$tation for it in9$res
yo$+ for if one e.ercises it honestly and as it sho$ld
(e e.ercised it 'ay not (eco'e /nown and yo$
will not avoid the reproach of its opposite)
Therefore any one wishin* to 'aintain a'on*
'en the na'e of li(eral is o(li*ed to avoid no
attri($te of 'a*nificence+ so that a prince th$s
inclined will cons$'e in s$ch acts all his property
and will (e co'pelled in the end if he wish to
'aintain the na'e of li(eral to $nd$ly wei*h
down his people and ta. the' and do everythin*
he can to *et 'oney) This will soon 'a/e hi'
odio$s to his s$(9ects and (eco'in* poor he will
(e little val$ed (y any one+ th$s with his li(erality
havin* offended 'any and rewarded few he is
affected (y the very first tro$(le and i'perilled (y
whatever 'ay (e the first dan*er+ reco*ni-in* this
hi'self and wishin* to draw (ac/ fro' it he r$ns
at once into the reproach of (ein* 'iserly)
Therefore a prince not (ein* a(le to e.ercise
this virt$e of li(erality in s$ch a way that it is
reco*ni-ed e.cept to his cost if he is wise he
The Prince A= Nicolo Machiavelli
o$*ht not to fear the rep$tation of (ein* 'ean for
in ti'e he will co'e to (e 'ore considered than if
li(eral seein* that with his econo'y his reven$es
are eno$*h that he can defend hi'self a*ainst all
attac/s and is a(le to en*a*e in enterprises witho$t
($rdenin* his people+ th$s it co'es to pass that he
e.ercises li(erality towards all fro' who' he does
not ta/e who are n$'(erless and 'eanness
towards those to who' he does not *ive who are
"e have not seen *reat thin*s done in o$r ti'e
e.cept (y those who have (een considered 'ean+
the rest have failed) Pope 6$li$s the &econd was
assisted in reachin* the papacy (y a rep$tation for
li(erality yet he did not strive afterwards to /eep it
$p when he 'ade war on the Kin* of ,rance+ and
he 'ade 'any wars witho$t i'posin* any
e.traordinary ta. on his s$(9ects for he s$pplied
his additional e.penses o$t of his lon* thriftiness)
The present Kin* of &pain wo$ld not have
$nderta/en or con#$ered in so 'any enterprises if
he had (een rep$ted li(eral) A prince therefore
provided that he has not to ro( his s$(9ects that he
can defend hi'self that he does not (eco'e poor
and a(9ect that he is not forced to (eco'e
rapacio$s o$*ht to hold of little acco$nt a
rep$tation for (ein* 'ean for it is one of those
vices which will ena(le hi' to *overn)
And if any one sho$ld say; Caesar o(tained
e'pire (y li(erality and 'any others have reached
the hi*hest positions (y havin* (een li(eral and (y
The Prince A? Nicolo Machiavelli
(ein* considered so I answer; Either yo$ are a
prince in fact or in a way to (eco'e one) In the
first case this li(erality is dan*ero$s in the second
it is very necessary to (e considered li(eral+ and
Caesar was one of those who wished to (eco'e
pre>e'inent in Ro'e+ ($t if he had s$rvived after
(eco'in* so and had not 'oderated his e.penses
he wo$ld have destroyed his *overn'ent) And if
any one sho$ld reply; Many have (een princes and
have done *reat thin*s with ar'ies who have (een
considered very li(eral I reply; Either a prince
spends that which is his own or his s$(9ects3 or else
that of others) In the first case he o$*ht to (e
sparin* in the second he o$*ht not to ne*lect any
opport$nity for li(erality) And to the price who
*oes forth with his ar'y s$pportin* it (y pilla*e
sac/ and e.tortion handlin* that which (elon*s to
others this li(erality is necessary otherwise he
wo$ld not (e followed (y soldiers) And of that
which is neither yo$rs nor yo$r s$(9ects3 yo$ can
(e a ready *iver as were Cyr$s Caesar and
Ale.ander+ (eca$se it does not ta/e away yo$r
rep$tation if yo$ s#$ander that of others ($t adds
to it+ it is only s#$anderin* yo$r own that in9$res
And there is nothin* wastes so rapidly as
li(erality for even whilst yo$ e.ercise it yo$ lose
the power to do so and so (eco'e either poor or
despised or else in avoidin* poverty rapacio$s
and hated) And a prince sho$ld *$ard hi'self
a(ove all thin*s a*ainst (ein* despised and hated+
The Prince AA Nicolo Machiavelli
and li(erality leads yo$ to (oth) Therefore it is
wiser to have a rep$tation for 'eanness which
(rin*s reproach witho$t hatred than to (e
co'pelled thro$*h see/in* a rep$tation for
li(erality to inc$r a na'e for rapacity which (e*ets
reproach with hatred)
The Prince A4 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* Cr$elty And Cle'ency And
"hether It Is !etter To !e %oved Than
OMIN@ now to the other #$alities
'entioned a(ove I say that every prince
o$*ht to desire to (e considered cle'ent
and not cr$el) Nevertheless he o$*ht to ta/e care
not to 'is$se this cle'ency) Cesare !or*ia was
considered cr$el+ notwithstandin* his cr$elty
reconciled the Ro'a*na $nified it and restored it
to peace and loyalty) And if this (e ri*htly
considered he will (e seen to have (een '$ch
'ore 'ercif$l than the ,lorentine people who to
avoid a rep$tation for cr$elty per'itted Pistoia to
(e destroyed) Therefore a prince so lon* as he
/eeps his s$(9ects $nited and loyal o$*ht not to
'ind the reproach of cr$elty+ (eca$se with a few
e.a'ples he will (e 'ore 'ercif$l than those who
thro$*h too '$ch 'ercy allow disorders to arise
fro' which follow '$rders or ro((eries+ for these
are wont to in9$re the whole people whilst those$tions which ori*inate with a prince offend the
individ$al only)
And of all princes it is i'possi(le for the new
prince to avoid the i'p$tation of cr$elty owin* to
new states (ein* f$ll of dan*ers) Hence 2ir*il
thro$*h the 'o$th of 1ido e.c$ses the
The Prince AB Nicolo Machiavelli
inh$'anity of her rei*n owin* to its (ein* new
Res dura, et regni novitas me talia cogunt
Moliri, et late fines custode tueri.
Nevertheless he o$*ht to (e slow to (elieve and
to act nor sho$ld he hi'self show fear ($t
proceed in a te'perate 'anner with pr$dence and
h$'anity so that too '$ch confidence 'ay not
'a/e hi' inca$tio$s and too '$ch distr$st render
hi' intolera(le)
:pon this a #$estion arises; whether it (e (etter
to (e loved than feared or feared than lovedH It
'ay (e answered that one sho$ld wish to (e (oth
($t (eca$se it is diffic$lt to $nite the' in one
person is '$ch safer to (e feared than loved
when of the two either '$st (e dispensed with)
!eca$se this is to (e asserted in *eneral of 'en
that they are $n*ratef$l fic/le false cowardly
coveto$s and as lon* as yo$ s$cceed they are
yo$rs entirely+ they will offer yo$ their (lood
property life and children as is said a(ove when
the need is far distant+ ($t when it approaches they
t$rn a*ainst yo$) And that prince who relyin*
entirely on their pro'ises has ne*lected other
preca$tions is r$ined+ (eca$se friendships that are
1 )))a*ainst 'y will 'y fate
A throne $nsettled and an infant state
!id 'e defend 'y real's with all 'y pow3rs
And *$ard with these severities 'y shores)
The Prince 47 Nicolo Machiavelli
o(tained (y pay'ents and not (y *reatness or
no(ility of 'ind 'ay indeed (e earned ($t they
are not sec$red and in ti'e of need cannot (e
relied $pon+ and 'en have less scr$ple in
offendin* one who is (eloved than one who is
feared for love is preserved (y the lin/ of
o(li*ation which owin* to the (aseness of 'en is
(ro/en at every opport$nity for their advanta*e+
($t fear preserves yo$ (y a dread of p$nish'ent
which never fails)
Nevertheless a prince o$*ht to inspire fear in
s$ch a way that if he does not win love he avoids
hatred+ (eca$se he can end$re very well (ein*
feared whilst he is not hated which will always (e
as lon* as he a(stains fro' the property of his
citi-ens and s$(9ects and fro' their wo'en) !$t
when it is necessary for hi' to proceed a*ainst the
life of so'eone he '$st do it on proper
9$stification and for 'anifest ca$se ($t a(ove all
thin*s he '$st /eep his hands off the property of
others (eca$se 'en 'ore #$ic/ly for*et the death
of their father than the loss of their patri'ony)
!esides prete.ts for ta/in* away the property are
never wantin*+ for he who has once (e*$n to live
(y ro((ery will always find prete.ts for sei-in*
what (elon*s to others+ ($t reasons for ta/in* life
on the contrary are 'ore diffic$lt to find and
sooner lapse) !$t when a prince is with his ar'y
and has $nder control a '$ltit$de of soldiers then
it is #$ite necessary for hi' to disre*ard the
rep$tation of cr$elty for witho$t it he wo$ld never
The Prince 41 Nicolo Machiavelli
hold his ar'y $nited or disposed to its d$ties)
A'on* the wonderf$l deeds of Hanni(al this
one is en$'erated; that havin* led an enor'o$s
ar'y co'posed of 'any vario$s races of 'en to
fi*ht in forei*n lands no dissensions arose either
a'on* the' or a*ainst the prince whether in his
(ad or in his *ood fort$ne) This arose fro' nothin*
else than his inh$'an cr$elty which with his
(o$ndless valo$r 'ade hi' revered and terri(le in
the si*ht of his soldiers ($t witho$t that cr$elty
his other virt$es were not s$fficient to prod$ce this
effect) And shortsi*hted writers ad'ire his deeds
fro' one point of view and fro' another conde'n
the principal ca$se of the') That it is tr$e his other
virt$es wo$ld not have (een s$fficient for hi' 'ay
(e proved (y the case of &cipio that 'ost
e.cellent 'an not of his own ti'es ($t within the
'e'ory of 'an a*ainst who' nevertheless his
ar'y re(elled in &pain+ this arose fro' nothin* ($t
his too *reat for(earance which *ave his soldiers
'ore licence than is consistent with 'ilitary
discipline) ,or this he was $p(raided in the &enate
(y ,a(i$s Ma.i'$s and called the corr$pter of the
Ro'an soldiery) The %ocrians were laid waste (y a
le*ate of &cipio yet they were not aven*ed (y hi'
nor was the insolence of the le*ate p$nished
owin* entirely to his easy nat$re) Inso'$ch that
so'eone in the &enate wishin* to e.c$se hi' said
there were 'any 'en who /new '$ch (etter how
not to err than to correct the errors of others) This
disposition if he had (een contin$ed in the
The Prince 40 Nicolo Machiavelli
co''and wo$ld have destroyed in ti'e the fa'e
and *lory of &cipio+ ($t he (ein* $nder the control
of the &enate this in9$rio$s characteristic not only
concealed itself ($t contri($ted to his *lory)
Ret$rnin* to the #$estion of (ein* feared or
loved I co'e to the concl$sion that 'en lovin*
accordin* to their own will and fearin* accordin*
to that of the prince a wise prince sho$ld esta(lish
hi'self on that which is in his own control and not
in that of others+ he '$st endeavo$r only to avoid
hatred as is noted)
The Prince 48 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* The "ay In "hich Princes
&ho$ld Keep ,aith
2ERI one ad'its how praiseworthy it is in
a prince to /eep faith and to live with
inte*rity and not with craft) Nevertheless
o$r e.perience has (een that those princes who
have done *reat thin*s have held *ood faith of
little acco$nt and have /nown how to circ$'vent
the intellect of 'en (y craft and in the end have
overco'e those who have relied on their word)
Io$ '$st /now there are two ways of contestin*
the one (y the law the other (y force+ the first
'ethod is proper to 'en the second to (easts+ ($t
(eca$se the first is fre#$ently not s$fficient it is
necessary to have reco$rse to the second)
Therefore it is necessary for a prince to $nderstand
how to avail hi'self of the (east and the 'an) This
has (een fi*$ratively ta$*ht to princes (y ancient
writers who descri(e how Achilles and 'any other
princes of old were *iven to the Centa$r Chiron to
n$rse who (ro$*ht the' $p in his discipline+
which 'eans solely that as they had for a teacher
one who was half (east and half 'an so it is
necessary for a prince to /now how to 'a/e $se of
(oth nat$res and that one witho$t the other is not
d$ra(le) A prince therefore (ein* co'pelled
/nowin*ly to adopt the (east o$*ht to choose the
The Prince 45 Nicolo Machiavelli
fo. and the lion+ (eca$se the lion cannot defend
hi'self a*ainst snares and the fo. cannot defend
hi'self a*ainst wolves) Therefore it is necessary
to (e a fo. to discover the snares and a lion to
terrify the wolves) Those who rely si'ply on the
lion do not $nderstand what they are a(o$t)
Therefore a wise lord cannot nor o$*ht he to /eep
faith when s$ch o(servance 'ay (e t$rned a*ainst
hi' and when the reasons that ca$sed hi' to
pled*e it no lon*er) If 'en were entirely *ood
this precept wo$ld not hold ($t (eca$se they are
(ad and will not /eep faith with yo$ yo$ too are
not (o$nd to o(serve it with the') Nor will there
ever (e wantin* to a prince le*iti'ate reasons to
e.c$se this nono(servance) Of this endless 'odern
e.a'ples co$ld (e *iven showin* how 'any
treaties and en*a*e'ents have (een 'ade void and
of no effect thro$*h the faithlessness of princes+
and he who has /nown (est how to e'ploy the fo.
has s$cceeded (est)
!$t it is necessary to /now well how to dis*$ise
this characteristic and to (e a *reat pretender and
disse'(ler+ and 'en are so si'ple and so s$(9ect
to present necessities that he who see/s to deceive
will always find so'eone who will allow hi'self
to (e deceived) One recent e.a'ple I cannot pass
over in silence) Ale.ander 2I did nothin* else ($t
deceive 'en nor ever tho$*ht of doin* otherwise
and he always fo$nd victi's+ for there never was a
'an who had *reater power in assertin* or who
with *reater oaths wo$ld affir' a thin* yet wo$ld
The Prince 4= Nicolo Machiavelli
o(serve it less+ nevertheless his deceits always
s$cceeded accordin* to his wishes (eca$se he well
$nderstood this side of 'an/ind)
Therefore it is $nnecessary for a prince to have
all the *ood #$alities I have en$'erated ($t it is
very necessary to appear to have the') And I shall
dare to say this also that to have the' and always
to o(serve the' is in9$rio$s and that to appear to
have the' is $sef$l+ to appear 'ercif$l faithf$l
h$'ane reli*io$s $pri*ht and to (e so ($t with a
'ind so fra'ed that sho$ld yo$ re#$ire not to (e
so yo$ 'ay (e a(le and /now how to chan*e to
the opposite)
And yo$ have to $nderstand this that a prince
especially a new one cannot o(serve all those
thin*s for which 'en are estee'ed (ein* often
forced in order to 'aintain the state to act
contrary to faith friendship h$'anity and
reli*ion) Therefore it is necessary for hi' to have a
'ind ready to t$rn itself accordin*ly as the winds
and variations of fort$ne force it yet as I have said
a(ove not to diver*e fro' the *ood if he can avoid
doin* so ($t if co'pelled then to /now how to
set a(o$t it)
,or this reason a prince o$*ht to ta/e care that
he never lets anythin* slip fro' his lips that is not
replete with the a(ove>na'ed five #$alities that he
'ay appear to hi' who sees and hears hi'
alto*ether 'ercif$l faithf$l h$'ane $pri*ht and
reli*io$s) There is nothin* 'ore necessary to
appear to have than this last #$ality inas'$ch as
The Prince 4? Nicolo Machiavelli
'en 9$d*e *enerally 'ore (y the eye than (y the
hand (eca$se it (elon*s to every(ody to see yo$
to few to co'e in to$ch with yo$) Every one sees
what yo$ appear to (e few really /now what yo$
are and those few dare not oppose the'selves to
the opinion of the 'any who have the 'a9esty of
the state to defend the'+ and in the actions of all
'en and especially of princes which it is not
pr$dent to challen*e one 9$d*es (y the res$lt)
,or that reason let a prince have the credit of
con#$erin* and holdin* his state the 'eans will
always (e considered honest and he will (e
praised (y every(ody (eca$se the v$l*ar are
always ta/en (y what a thin* see's to (e and (y
what co'es of it+ and in the world there are only
the v$l*ar for the few find a place there only when
the 'any have no *ro$nd to rest on)
One prince
of the present ti'e who' it is not
well to na'e never preaches anythin* else ($t
peace and *ood faith and to (oth he is 'ost
hostile and either if he had /ept it wo$ld have
deprived hi' of rep$tation and /in*do' 'any a
1 Ma.i'ilian I Holy Ro'an E'peror)
The Prince 4A Nicolo Machiavelli
That One &ho$ld Avoid !ein* 1espised
And Hated
O" concernin* the characteristics of
which 'ention is 'ade a(ove I have
spo/en of the 'ore i'portant ones the
others I wish to disc$ss (riefly $nder this
*enerality that the prince '$st consider as has
(een in part said (efore how to avoid those thin*s
which will 'a/e hi' hated or conte'pti(le+ and as
often as he shall have s$cceeded he will have
f$lfilled his part and he need not fear any dan*er
in other reproaches)
It 'a/es hi' hated a(ove all thin*s as I have
said to (e rapacio$s and to (e a violator of the
property and wo'en of his s$(9ects fro' (oth of
which he '$st a(stain) And when neither their
property nor hono$r is to$ched the 'a9ority of
'en live content and he has only to contend with
the a'(ition of a few who' he can c$r( with ease
in 'any ways)
It 'a/es hi' conte'pti(le to (e considered
fic/le frivolo$s effe'inate 'ean>spirited
irresol$te fro' all of which a prince sho$ld *$ard
hi'self as fro' a roc/+ and he sho$ld endeavo$r to
show in his actions *reatness co$ra*e *ravity and
fortit$de+ and in his private dealin*s with his
s$(9ects let hi' show that his 9$d*'ents are
The Prince 44 Nicolo Machiavelli
irrevoca(le and 'aintain hi'self in s$ch
rep$tation that no one can hope either to deceive
hi' or to *et ro$nd hi')
That prince is hi*hly estee'ed who conveys this
i'pression of hi'self and he who is hi*hly
estee'ed is not easily conspired a*ainst+ for
provided it is well /nown that he is an e.cellent
'an and revered (y his people he can only (e
attac/ed with diffic$lty) ,or this reason a prince
o$*ht to have two fears one fro' within on
acco$nt of his s$(9ects the other fro' witho$t on
acco$nt of e.ternal powers) ,ro' the latter he is
defended (y (ein* well ar'ed and havin* *ood
allies and if he is well ar'ed he will have *ood
friends and affairs will always re'ain #$iet within
when they are #$iet witho$t $nless they sho$ld
have (een already dist$r(ed (y conspiracy+ and
even sho$ld affairs o$tside (e dist$r(ed if he has
carried o$t his preparations and has lived as I have
said as lon* as he does not despair he will resist
every attac/ as I said Na(is the &partan did)
!$t concernin* his s$(9ects when affairs
o$tside are dist$r(ed he has only to fear that they
will conspire secretly fro' which a prince can
easily sec$re hi'self (y avoidin* (ein* hated and
despised and (y /eepin* the people satisfied with
hi' which it is 'ost necessary for hi' to
acco'plish as I said a(ove at len*th) And one of
the 'ost efficacio$s re'edies that a prince can
have a*ainst conspiracies is not to (e hated and
despised (y the people for he who conspires
The Prince 4B Nicolo Machiavelli
a*ainst a prince always e.pects to please the' (y
his re'oval+ ($t when the conspirator can only
loo/ forward to offendin* the' he will not have
the co$ra*e to ta/e s$ch a co$rse for the
diffic$lties that confront a conspirator are infinite)
And as e.perience shows 'any have (een the
conspiracies ($t few have (een s$ccessf$l+
(eca$se he who conspires cannot act alone nor can
he ta/e a co'panion e.cept fro' those who' he
(elieves to (e 'alcontents and as soon as yo$
have opened yo$r 'ind to a 'alcontent yo$ have
*iven hi' the 'aterial with which to content
hi'self for (y deno$ncin* yo$ he can loo/ for
every advanta*e+ so that seein* the *ain fro' this
co$rse to (e ass$red and seein* the other to (e
do$(tf$l and f$ll of dan*ers he '$st (e a very rare
friend or a thoro$*hly o(stinate ene'y of the
prince to /eep faith with yo$)
And to red$ce the 'atter into a s'all co'pass
I say that on the side of the conspirator there is
nothin* ($t fear 9ealo$sy prospect of p$nish'ent
to terrify hi'+ ($t on the side of the prince there is
the 'a9esty of the principality the laws the
protection of friends and the state to defend hi'+
so that addin* to all these thin*s the pop$lar
*oodwill it is i'possi(le that any one sho$ld (e so
rash as to conspire) ,or whereas in *eneral the
conspirator has to fear (efore the$tion of his
plot in this case he has also to fear the se#$el to
the cri'e+ (eca$se on acco$nt of it he has the
people for an ene'y and th$s cannot hope for any
The Prince B7 Nicolo Machiavelli
Endless e.a'ples co$ld (e *iven on this s$(9ect
($t I will (e content with one (ro$*ht to pass
within the 'e'ory of o$r fathers) Messer Anni(ale
!entivo*lio who was prince in !olo*na
C*randfather of the present Anni(aleD havin* (een
'$rdered (y the Canneschi who had conspired
a*ainst hi' not one of his fa'ily s$rvived ($t
Messer @iovanni who was in childhood;
i''ediately after his assassination the people rose
and '$rdered all the Canneschi) This spr$n* fro'
the pop$lar *oodwill which the ho$se of
!entivo*lio en9oyed in those days in !olo*na+
which was so *reat that altho$*h none re'ained
there after the death of Anni(ale who were a(le to
r$le the state the !olo*nese havin* infor'ation
that there was one of the !entivo*lio fa'ily in
,lorence who $p to that ti'e had (een considered
the son of a (lac/s'ith sent to ,lorence for hi'
and *ave hi' the *overn'ent of their city and it
was r$led (y hi' $ntil Messer @iovanni ca'e in
d$e co$rse to the *overn'ent)
,or this reason I consider that a prince o$*ht to
rec/on conspiracies of little acco$nt when his
people hold hi' in estee'+ ($t when it is hostile to
hi' and (ears hatred towards hi' he o$*ht to
fear everythin* and every(ody) And well>ordered
states and wise princes have ta/en every care not
to drive the no(les to desperation and to /eep the
people satisfied and contented for this is one of
the 'ost i'portant o(9ects a prince can have)
The Prince B1 Nicolo Machiavelli
A'on* the (est ordered and *overned /in*do's
of o$r ti'es is ,rance and in it are fo$nd 'any
*ood instit$tions on which depend the li(erty and
sec$rity of the /in*+ of these the first is the
parlia'ent and its a$thority (eca$se he who
fo$nded the /in*do' /nowin* the a'(ition of the
no(ility and their (oldness considered that a (it in
their 'o$ths wo$ld (e necessary to hold the' in+
and on the other side /nowin* the hatred of the
people fo$nded in fear a*ainst the no(les he
wished to protect the' yet he was not$s for
this to (e the partic$lar care of the /in*+ therefore
to ta/e away the reproach which he wo$ld (e lia(le
to fro' the no(les for favo$rin* the people and
fro' the people for favo$rin* the no(les he set $p
an ar(iter who sho$ld (e one who co$ld (eat
down the *reat and favo$r the lesser witho$t
reproach to the /in*) Neither co$ld yo$ have a
(etter or a 'ore pr$dent arran*e'ent or a *reater
so$rce of sec$rity to the /in* and /in*do') ,ro'
this one can draw another i'portant concl$sion
that princes o$*ht to leave affairs of reproach to
the 'ana*e'ent of others and /eep those of *race
in their own hands) And f$rther I consider that a
prince o$*ht to cherish the no(les ($t not so as to
'a/e hi'self hated (y the people)
It 'ay appear perhaps to so'e who have
e.a'ined the lives and deaths of the Ro'an
e'perors that 'any of the' wo$ld (e an e.a'ple
contrary to 'y opinion seein* that so'e of the'
lived no(ly and showed *reat #$alities of so$l
The Prince B0 Nicolo Machiavelli
nevertheless they have lost their e'pire or have
(een /illed (y s$(9ects who have conspired a*ainst
the') "ishin* therefore to answer these
o(9ections I will recall the characters of so'e of
the e'perors and will show that the ca$ses of their
r$in were not different to those alle*ed (y 'e+ at
the sa'e ti'e I will only s$('it for consideration
those thin*s that are noteworthy to hi' who
st$dies the affairs of those ti'es)
It see's to 'e s$fficient to ta/e all those
e'perors who s$cceeded to the e'pire fro'
Marc$s the philosopher down to Ma.i'in$s+ they
were Marc$s and his son Co''od$s Pertina.
6$lian &ever$s and his son Antonin$s Caracalla
Macrin$s Helio*a(al$s Ale.ander and
There is first to note that whereas in other
principalities the a'(ition of the no(les and the
insolence of the people only have to (e contended
with the Ro'an e'perors had a third diffic$lty in
havin* to p$t $p with the cr$elty and avarice of
their soldiers a 'atter so (eset with diffic$lties
that it was the r$in of 'any+ for it was a hard thin*
to *ive satisfaction (oth to soldiers and people+
(eca$se the people loved peace and for this reason
they loved the $naspirin* prince whilst the
soldiers loved the warli/e prince who was (old
cr$el and rapacio$s which #$alities they were
#$ite willin* he sho$ld e.ercise $pon the people
so that they co$ld *et do$(le pay and *ive vent to
their *reed and cr$elty) Hence it arose that those
The Prince B8 Nicolo Machiavelli
e'perors were always overthrown who either (y
(irth or trainin* had no *reat a$thority and 'ost
of the' especially those who ca'e new to the
principality reco*ni-in* the diffic$lty of these two
opposin* h$'o$rs were inclined to *ive
satisfaction to the soldiers carin* little a(o$t
in9$rin* the people) "hich co$rse was necessary
(eca$se as princes cannot help (ein* hated (y
so'eone they o$*ht in the first place to avoid
(ein* hated (y every one and when they cannot
co'pass this they o$*ht to endeavo$r with the
$t'ost dili*ence to avoid the hatred of the 'ost
powerf$l) Therefore those e'perors who thro$*h
ine.perience had need of special favo$r adhered
'ore readily to the soldiers than to the people+ a
co$rse which t$rned o$t advanta*eo$s to the' or
not accordin*ly as the prince /new how to
'aintain a$thority over the')
,ro' these ca$ses it arose that Marc$s
FA$reli$sG Pertina. and Ale.ander (ein* all 'en
of 'odest life lovers of 9$stice ene'ies to cr$elty
h$'ane and (eni*nant ca'e to a sad end e.cept
Marc$s+ he alone lived and died hono$red (eca$se
he had s$cceeded to the throne (y hereditary title
and owed nothin* either to the soldiers or the
people+ and afterwards (ein* possessed of 'any
virt$es which 'ade hi' respected he always /ept
(oth orders in their places whilst he lived and was
neither hated nor despised)
!$t Pertina. was created e'peror a*ainst the
wishes of the soldiers who (ein* acc$sto'ed to
The Prince B5 Nicolo Machiavelli
live licentio$sly $nder Co''od$s co$ld not
end$re the honest life to which Pertina. wished to
red$ce the'+ th$s havin* *iven ca$se for hatred
to which hatred there was added conte'pt for his
old a*e he was overthrown at the very (e*innin*
of his ad'inistration) And here it sho$ld (e noted
that hatred is ac#$ired as '$ch (y *ood wor/s as
(y (ad ones therefore as I said (efore a prince
wishin* to /eep his state is very often forced to do
evil+ for when that (ody is corr$pt who' yo$ thin/
yo$ have need of to 'aintain yo$rself E it 'ay (e
either the people or the soldiers or the no(les E
yo$ have to s$('it to its h$'o$rs and to *ratify
the' and then *ood wor/s will do yo$ har')
!$t let $s co'e to Ale.ander who was a 'an of
s$ch *reat *oodness that a'on* the other praises
which are accorded hi' is this that in the fo$rteen
years he held the e'pire no one was ever p$t to
death (y hi' $n9$d*ed+ nevertheless (ein*
considered effe'inate and a 'an who allowed
hi'self to (e *overned (y his 'other he (eca'e
despised the ar'y conspired a*ainst hi' and
'$rdered hi')
T$rnin* now to the opposite characters of
Co''od$s &ever$s Antonin$s Caracalla and
Ma.i'in$s yo$ will find the' all cr$el and
rapacio$s E 'en who to satisfy their soldiers did
not hesitate to co''it every /ind of ini#$ity
a*ainst the people+ and all e.cept &ever$s ca'e
to a (ad end+ ($t in &ever$s there was so '$ch
valo$r that /eepin* the soldiers friendly altho$*h
The Prince B= Nicolo Machiavelli
the people were oppressed (y hi' he rei*ned
s$ccessf$lly+ for his valo$r 'ade hi' so '$ch
ad'ired in the si*ht of the soldiers and people that
the latter were /ept in a way astonished and awed
and the for'er respectf$l and satisfied) And
(eca$se the actions of this 'an as a new prince
were *reat I wish to show (riefly that he /new
well how to co$nterfeit the fo. and the lion which
nat$res as I said a(ove it is necessary for a prince
to i'itate)
Knowin* the sloth of the E'peror 6$lian he
pers$aded the ar'y in &clavonia of which he was
captain that it wo$ld (e ri*ht to *o to Ro'e and
aven*e the death of Pertina. who had (een /illed
(y the praetorian soldiers+ and $nder this prete.t
witho$t appearin* to aspire to the throne he
'oved the ar'y on Ro'e and reached Italy (efore
it was /nown that he had started) On his arrival at
Ro'e the &enate thro$*h fear elected hi'
e'peror and /illed 6$lian) After this there
re'ained for &ever$s who wished to 'a/e hi'self
'aster of the whole e'pire two diffic$lties+ one in
Asia where Ni*er head of the Asiatic ar'y had
ca$sed hi'self to (e proclai'ed e'peror+ the other
in the west where Al(in$s was who also aspired to
the throne) And as he considered it dan*ero$s to
declare hi'self hostile to (oth he decided to
attac/ Ni*er and to deceive Al(in$s) To the latter
he wrote that (ein* elected e'peror (y the &enate
he was willin* to share that di*nity with hi' and
sent hi' the title of Caesar+ and 'oreover that the
The Prince B? Nicolo Machiavelli
&enate had 'ade Al(in$s his collea*$e+ which
thin*s were accepted (y Al(in$s as tr$e) !$t after
&ever$s had con#$ered and /illed Ni*er and
settled oriental affairs he ret$rned to Ro'e and
co'plained to the &enate that Al(in$s little
reco*ni-in* the (enefits that he had received fro'
hi' had (y treachery so$*ht to '$rder hi' and
for this in*ratit$de he was co'pelled to p$nish
hi') Afterwards he so$*ht hi' o$t in ,rance and
too/ fro' hi' his *overn'ent and life) He who
will therefore caref$lly e.a'ine the actions of
this 'an will find hi' a 'ost valiant lion and a
'ost c$nnin* fo.+ he will find hi' feared and
respected (y every one and not hated (y the ar'y+
and it need not (e wondered at that he the new
'an well (eca$se his s$pre'e renown always
protected hi' fro' that hatred which the people
'i*ht have conceived a*ainst hi' for his violence)
!$t his son Antonin$s was a 'ost e'inent 'an
and had very e.cellent #$alities which 'ade hi'
ad'ira(le in the si*ht of the people and accepta(le
to the soldiers for he was a warli/e 'an 'ost
end$rin* of fati*$e a despiser of all delicate food
and other l$.$ries which ca$sed hi' to (e
(eloved (y the ar'ies) Nevertheless his ferocity
and cr$elties were so *reat and so $nheard of that
after endless sin*le '$rders he /illed a lar*e
n$'(er of the people of Ro'e and all those of
Ale.andria) He (eca'e hated (y the whole world
and also feared (y those he had aro$nd hi' to
s$ch an e.tent that he was '$rdered in the 'idst
The Prince BA Nicolo Machiavelli
of his ar'y (y a cent$rion) And here it '$st (e
noted that s$ch>li/e deaths which are deli(erately
inflicted with a resolved and desperate co$ra*e
cannot (e avoided (y princes (eca$se any one
who does not fear to die can inflict the'+ ($t a
prince 'ay fear the' the less (eca$se they are very
rare+ he has only to (e caref$l not to do any *rave
in9$ry to those who' he e'ploys or has aro$nd
hi' in the service of the state) Antonin$s had not
ta/en this care ($t had cont$'elio$sly /illed a
(rother of that cent$rion who' also he daily
threatened yet retained in his (ody*$ard+ which as
it t$rned o$t was a rash thin* to do and proved
the e'peror3s r$in)
!$t let $s co'e to Co''od$s to who' it
sho$ld have (een very easy to hold the e'pire for
(ein* the son of Marc$s he had inherited it and he
had only to follow in the footsteps of his father to
please his people and soldiers+ ($t (ein* (y nat$re
cr$el and (r$tal he *ave hi'self $p to a'$sin* the
soldiers and corr$ptin* the' so that he 'i*ht
ind$l*e his rapacity $pon the people+ on the other
hand not 'aintainin* his di*nity often descendin*
to the theatre to co'pete with *ladiators and doin*
other vile thin*s little worthy of the i'perial
'a9esty he fell into conte'pt with the soldiers
and (ein* hated (y one party and despised (y the
other he was conspired a*ainst and /illed)
It re'ains to disc$ss the character of
Ma.i'in$s) He was a very warli/e 'an and the
ar'ies (ein* dis*$sted with the effe'inacy of
The Prince B4 Nicolo Machiavelli
Ale.ander of who' I have already spo/en /illed
hi' and elected Ma.i'in$s to the throne) This he
did not possess for lon* for two thin*s 'ade hi'
hated and despised+ the one his havin* /ept sheep
in Thrace which (ro$*ht hi' into conte'pt Cit
(ein* well /nown to all and considered a *reat
indi*nity (y every oneD and the other his havin*
at the accession to his do'inions deferred *oin* to
Ro'e and ta/in* possession of the i'perial seat+
he had also *ained a rep$tation for the $t'ost
ferocity (y havin* thro$*h his prefects in Ro'e
and elsewhere in the e'pire practised 'any
cr$elties so that the whole world was 'oved to
an*er at the 'eanness of his (irth and to fear at his
(ar(arity) ,irst Africa re(elled then the &enate
with all the people of Ro'e and all Italy conspired
a*ainst hi' to which 'ay (e added his own ar'y;
this latter (esie*in* A#$ileia and 'eetin* with
diffic$lties in ta/in* it were dis*$sted with his
cr$elties and fearin* hi' less when they fo$nd so
'any a*ainst hi' '$rdered hi')
I do not wish to disc$ss Helio*a(al$s Macrin$s
or 6$lian who (ein* thoro$*hly conte'pti(le
were #$ic/ly wiped o$t+ ($t I will (rin* this
disco$rse to a concl$sion (y sayin* that princes in
o$r ti'es have this diffic$lty of *ivin* inordinate
satisfaction to their soldiers in a far less de*ree
(eca$se notwithstandin* one has to *ive the'
so'e ind$l*ence that is soon done+ none of these
princes have ar'ies that are veterans in the
*overnance and ad'inistration of provinces as
The Prince BB Nicolo Machiavelli
were the ar'ies of the Ro'an E'pire+ and
whereas it was then 'ore necessary to *ive
satisfaction to the soldiers than to the people it is
now 'ore necessary to all princes e.cept the T$r/
and the &oldan to satisfy the people rather than the
soldiers (eca$se the people are the 'ore powerf$l)
,ro' the a(ove I have e.cepted the T$r/ who
always /eeps ro$nd hi' twelve infantry and fifteen
tho$sand cavalry on which depend the sec$rity and
stren*th of the /in*do' and it is necessary that
p$ttin* aside every consideration for the people he
sho$ld /eep the' his friends) The /in*do' of the
&oldan is si'ilar+ (ein* entirely in the hands of
soldiers follows a*ain that witho$t re*ard to the
people he '$st /eep the' his friends) !$t yo$
'$st note that the state of the &oldan is $nli/e all
other principalities for the reason that it is li/e the
Christian pontificate which cannot (e called either
an hereditary or a newly for'ed principality+
(eca$se the sons of the old prince not the heirs ($t
he who is elected to that position (y those who
have a$thority and the sons re'ain only
no(le'en) And this (ein* an ancient c$sto' it
cannot (e called a new principality (eca$se there
are none of those diffic$lties in it that are 'et with
in new ones+ for altho$*h the prince is new the
constit$tion of the state is old and it is fra'ed so
as to receive hi' as if he were its hereditary lord)
!$t ret$rnin* to the s$(9ect of o$r disco$rse I
say that whoever will consider it will ac/nowled*e
that either hatred or conte'pt has (een fatal to the
The Prince 177 Nicolo Machiavelli
a(ove>na'ed e'perors and it will (e reco*ni-ed
also how it happened that a n$'(er of the' actin*
in one way and a n$'(er in another only one in
each way ca'e to a happy end and the rest to
$nhappy ones) !eca$se it wo$ld have (een $seless
and dan*ero$s for Pertina. and Ale.ander (ein*
new princes to i'itate Marc$s who was heir to
the principality+ and li/ewise it wo$ld have (een
$tterly destr$ctive to Caracalla Co''od$s and
Ma.i'in$s to have i'itated &ever$s they not
havin* s$fficient valo$r to ena(le the' to tread in
his footsteps) Therefore a prince new to the
principality cannot i'itate the actions of Marc$s
nor a*ain is it necessary to follow those of
&ever$s ($t he o$*ht to ta/e fro' &ever$s those
parts which are necessary to fo$nd his state and
fro' Marc$s those which are proper and *lorio$s
to /eep a state that 'ay already (e sta(le and fir')
The Prince 171 Nicolo Machiavelli
Are ,ortresses And Many Other Thin*s To
"hich Princes Often Resort Advanta*eo$s
Or H$rtf$lH
1) &OME princes so as to hold sec$rely the state
have disar'ed their s$(9ects+ others have /ept their
s$(9ect towns (y factions+ others have fostered
en'ities a*ainst the'selves+ others have laid
the'selves o$t to *ain over those who' they
distr$sted in the (e*innin* of their *overn'ents+
so'e have ($ilt fortresses+ so'e have overthrown
and destroyed the') And altho$*h one cannot *ive
a final 9$d*'ent on all one of these thin*s $nless
one possesses the partic$lars of those states in
which a decision has to (e 'ade nevertheless I
will spea/ as co'prehensively as the 'atter of
itself will ad'it)
0) There never was a new prince who has
disar'ed his s$(9ects+ rather when he has fo$nd
the' disar'ed he has always ar'ed the'
(eca$se (y ar'in* the' those ar's (eco'e
yo$rs those 'en who were distr$sted (eco'e
faithf$l and those who were faithf$l are /ept so
and yo$r s$(9ects (eco'e yo$r adherents) And
whereas all s$(9ects cannot (e ar'ed yet when
those who' yo$ do ar' are (enefited the others
can (e handled 'ore freely and this difference in
their treat'ent which they #$ite $nderstand
The Prince 170 Nicolo Machiavelli
'a/es the for'er yo$r dependants and the latter
considerin* it to (e necessary that those who have
the 'ost dan*er and service sho$ld have the 'ost
reward e.c$se yo$) !$t when yo$ disar' the'
yo$ at once offend the' (y showin* that yo$
distr$st the' either for cowardice or for want of
loyalty and either of these opinions (reeds hatred
a*ainst yo$) And (eca$se yo$ cannot re'ain
$nar'ed it follows that yo$ t$rn to 'ercenaries
which are of the character already shown+ even if
they sho$ld (e *ood they wo$ld not (e s$fficient to
defend yo$ a*ainst powerf$l ene'ies and
distr$sted s$(9ects) Therefore as I have said a new
prince in a new principality has always distri($ted
ar's) Histories are f$ll of e.a'ples) !$t when a
prince ac#$ires a new state which he adds as a
province to his old one then it is necessary to
disar' the 'en of that state e.cept those who
have (een his adherents in ac#$irin* it+ and these
a*ain with ti'e and opport$nity sho$ld (e
rendered soft and effe'inate+ and 'atters sho$ld
(e 'ana*ed in s$ch a way that all the ar'ed 'en
in the state shall (e yo$r own soldiers who in yo$r
old state were livin* near yo$)
8) O$r forefathers and those who were rec/oned
wise were acc$sto'ed to say that it was necessary
to hold Pistoia (y factions and Pisa (y fortresses+
and with this idea they fostered #$arrels in so'e of
their tri($tary towns so as to /eep possession of
the' the 'ore easily) This 'ay have (een well
eno$*h in those ti'es when Italy was in a way
The Prince 178 Nicolo Machiavelli
(alanced ($t I do not (elieve that it can (e
accepted as a precept for to>day (eca$se I do not
(elieve that factions can ever (e of $se+ rather it is
certain that when the ene'y co'es $pon yo$ in
divided cities yo$ are #$ic/ly lost (eca$se the
wea/est party will always assist the o$tside forces
and the other will not (e a(le to resist) The
2enetians 'oved as I (elieve (y the a(ove
reasons fostered the @$elph and @hi(elline
factions in their tri($tary cities+ and altho$*h they
never allowed the' to co'e to (loodshed yet they
n$rsed these disp$tes a'on*st the' so that the
citi-ens distracted (y their differences sho$ld not
$nite a*ainst the') "hich as we saw did not
afterwards t$rn o$t as e.pected (eca$se after the
ro$t at 2aila one party at once too/ co$ra*e and
sei-ed the state) &$ch 'ethods ar*$e therefore
wea/ness in the prince (eca$se these factions will
never (e per'itted in a vi*oro$s principality+ s$ch
'ethods for ena(lin* one the 'ore easily to
'ana*e s$(9ects are only $sef$l in ti'es of peace
($t if war co'es this policy proves fallacio$s)
5) "itho$t do$(t princes (eco'e *reat when
they overco'e the diffic$lties and o(stacles (y
which they are confronted and therefore fort$ne
especially when she desires to 'a/e a new prince
*reat who has a *reater necessity to earn renown
than an hereditary one ca$ses ene'ies to arise and
for' desi*ns a*ainst hi' in order that he 'ay
have the opport$nity of overco'in* the' and (y
the' to 'o$nt hi*her as (y a ladder which his
The Prince 175 Nicolo Machiavelli
ene'ies have raised) ,or this reason 'any consider
that a wise prince when he has the opport$nity
o$*ht with craft to foster so'e ani'osity a*ainst
hi'self so that havin* cr$shed it his renown 'ay
rise hi*her)
=) Princes especially new ones have fo$nd
'ore fidelity and assistance in those 'en who in
the (e*innin* of their r$le were distr$sted than
a'on* those who in the (e*innin* were tr$sted)
Pandolfo Petr$cci Prince of &iena r$led his state
'ore (y those who had (een distr$sted than (y
others) !$t on this #$estion one cannot spea/
*enerally for it varies so '$ch with the individ$al+
I will only say this that those 'en who at the
co''ence'ent of a princedo' have (een hostile
if they are of a description to need assistance to
s$pport the'selves can always (e *ained over
with the *reatest ease and they will (e ti*htly held
to serve the prince with fidelity inas'$ch as they
/now it to (e very necessary for the' to cancel (y
deeds the (ad i'pression which he had for'ed of
the'+ and th$s the prince always e.tracts 'ore
profit fro' the' than fro' those who servin* hi'
in too '$ch sec$rity 'ay ne*lect his affairs) And
since the 'atter de'ands it I '$st not fail to warn
a prince who (y 'eans of secret favo$rs has
ac#$ired a new state that he '$st well consider
the reasons which ind$ced those to favo$r hi'
who did so+ and if it (e not a nat$ral affection
towards hi' ($t only discontent with their
*overn'ent then he will only /eep the' friendly
The Prince 17= Nicolo Machiavelli
with *reat tro$(le and diffic$lty for it will (e
i'possi(le to satisfy the') And wei*hin* well the
reasons for this in those e.a'ples which can (e
ta/en fro' ancient and 'odern affairs we shall
find that it is easier for the prince to 'a/e friends
of those 'en who were contented $nder the for'er
*overn'ent and are therefore his ene'ies than of
those who (ein* discontented with it were
favo$ra(le to hi' and enco$ra*ed hi' to sei-e it)
?) It has (een a c$sto' with princes in order to
hold their states 'ore sec$rely to ($ild fortresses
that 'ay serve as a (ridle and (it to those who
'i*ht desi*n to wor/ a*ainst the' and as a place
of ref$*e fro' a first attac/) I praise this syste'
(eca$se it has (een 'ade $se of for'erly)
Notwithstandin* that Messer Nicolo 2itelli in o$r
ti'es has (een seen to de'olish two fortresses in
Citta di Castello so that he 'i*ht /eep that state+
@$id$(aldo 1$/e of :r(ino on ret$rnin* to his
do'inion whence he had (een driven (y Cesare
!or*ia ra-ed to the fo$ndations all the fortresses
in that province and considered that witho$t the'
it wo$ld (e 'ore diffic$lt to lose it+ the
!entivo*lio ret$rnin* to !olo*na ca'e to a si'ilar
decision) ,ortresses therefore are $sef$l or not
accordin* to circ$'stances+ if they do yo$ *ood in
one way they in9$re yo$ in another) And this
#$estion can (e reasoned th$s; the prince who has
'ore to fear fro' the people than fro' forei*ners
o$*ht to ($ild fortresses ($t he who has 'ore to
fear fro' forei*ners than fro' the people o$*ht to
The Prince 17? Nicolo Machiavelli
leave the' alone) The castle of Milan ($ilt (y
,rancesco &for-a has 'ade and will 'a/e 'ore
tro$(le for the ho$se of &for-a than any other
disorder in the state) ,or this reason the (est
possi(le fortress is E not to (e hated (y the
people (eca$se altho$*h yo$ 'ay hold the
fortresses yet they will not save yo$ if the people
hate yo$ for there will never (e wantin* forei*ners
to assist a people who have ta/en ar's a*ainst yo$)
It has not (een seen in o$r ti'es that s$ch
fortresses have (een of $se to any prince $nless to
the Co$ntess of ,orli when the Co$nt @irola'o
her consort was /illed+ for (y that 'eans she was
a(le to withstand the pop$lar attac/ and wait for
assistance fro' Milan and th$s recover her state+
and the post$re of affairs was s$ch at that ti'e that
the forei*ners co$ld not assist the people) !$t
fortresses were of little val$e to her afterwards
when Cesare !or*ia attac/ed her and when the
people her ene'y were allied with forei*ners)
Therefore it wo$ld have (een safer for her (oth
then and (efore not to have (een hated (y the
people than to have had the fortresses) All these
thin*s considered then I shall praise hi' who
($ilds fortresses as well as hi' who does not and I
shall (la'e whoever tr$stin* in the' cares little
a(o$t (ein* hated (y the people)
The Prince 17A Nicolo Machiavelli
How A Prince &ho$ld Cond$ct Hi'self As
To @ain Renown
OTHIN@ 'a/es a prince so '$ch
estee'ed as *reat enterprises and settin* a
fine e.a'ple) "e have in o$r ti'e
,erdinand of Ara*on the present Kin* of &pain)
He can al'ost (e called a new prince (eca$se he
has risen (y fa'e and *lory fro' (ein* an
insi*nificant /in* to (e the fore'ost /in* in
Christendo'+ and if yo$ will consider his deeds
yo$ will find the' all *reat and so'e of the'
e.traordinary) In the (e*innin* of his rei*n he
attac/ed @ranada and this enterprise was the
fo$ndation of his do'inions) He did this #$ietly at
first and witho$t any fear of hindrance for he held
the 'inds of the (arons of Castile occ$pied in
thin/in* of the war and not anticipatin* any
innovations+ th$s they did not perceive that (y
these 'eans he was ac#$irin* power and a$thority
over the') He was a(le with the 'oney of the
Ch$rch and of the people to s$stain his ar'ies and
(y that lon* war to lay the fo$ndation for the
'ilitary s/ill which has since distin*$ished hi')
,$rther always $sin* reli*ion as a plea so as to
$nderta/e *reater sche'es he devoted hi'self
with a pio$s cr$elty to drivin* o$t and clearin* his
/in*do' of the Moors+ nor co$ld there (e a 'ore
The Prince 174 Nicolo Machiavelli
ad'ira(le e.a'ple nor one 'ore rare) :nder this
sa'e cloa/ he assailed Africa he ca'e down on
Italy he has finally attac/ed ,rance+ and th$s his
achieve'ents and desi*ns have always (een *reat
and have /ept the 'inds of his people in s$spense
and ad'iration and occ$pied with the iss$e of
the') And his actions have arisen in s$ch a way
one o$t of the other that 'en have never (een
*iven ti'e to wor/ steadily a*ainst hi')
A*ain it '$ch assists a prince to set $n$s$al
e.a'ples in internal affairs si'ilar to those which
are related of Messer !erna(o da Milano who
when he had the opport$nity (y any one in civil
life doin* so'e e.traordinary thin* either *ood or
(ad wo$ld ta/e so'e 'ethod of rewardin* or
p$nishin* hi' which wo$ld (e '$ch spo/en
a(o$t) And a prince o$*ht a(ove all thin*s always
to endeavo$r in every action to *ain for hi'self the
rep$tation of (ein* a *reat and re'ar/a(le 'an)
A prince is also respected when he is either a
tr$e friend or a downri*ht ene'y that to say
when witho$t any reservation he declares hi'self
in favo$r of one party a*ainst the other+ which
co$rse will always (e 'ore advanta*eo$s than
standin* ne$tral+ (eca$se if two of yo$r powerf$l
nei*h(o$rs co'e to (lows they are of s$ch a
character that if one of the' con#$ers yo$ have
either to fear hi' or not) In either case it will
always (e 'ore advanta*eo$s for yo$ to declare
yo$rself and to 'a/e war stren$o$sly+ (eca$se in
the first case if yo$ do not declare yo$rself yo$
The Prince 17B Nicolo Machiavelli
will invaria(ly fall a prey to the con#$eror to the
pleas$re and satisfaction of hi' who has (een
con#$ered and yo$ will have no reasons to offer
nor anythin* to protect or to shelter yo$) !eca$se
he who con#$ers does not want do$(tf$l friends
who will not aid hi' in the ti'e of trial+ and he
who loses will not har(o$r yo$ (eca$se yo$ did
not willin*ly sword in hand co$rt his fate)
Antioch$s went into @reece (ein* sent for (y
the Aetolians to drive o$t the Ro'ans) He sent
envoys to the Achaeans who were friends of the
Ro'ans e.hortin* the' to re'ain ne$tral+ and on
the other hand the Ro'ans $r*ed the' to ta/e $p
ar's) This #$estion ca'e to (e disc$ssed in the
co$ncil of the Achaeans where the le*ate of
Antioch$s $r*ed the' to stand ne$tral) To this the
Ro'an le*ate answered; KAs for that which has
(een said that it is (etter and 'ore advanta*eo$s
for yo$r state not to interfere in o$r war nothin*
can (e 'ore erroneo$s+ (eca$se (y not interferin*
yo$ will (e left witho$t favo$r or consideration
the *$erdon of the con#$eror)K Th$s it will always
happen that he who is not yo$r friend will de'and
yo$r ne$trality whilst he who is yo$r friend will
entreat yo$ to declare yo$rself with ar's) And
irresol$te princes to avoid present dan*ers
*enerally follow the ne$tral path and are *enerally
r$ined) !$t when a prince declares hi'self
*allantly in favo$r of one side if the party with
who' he allies hi'self con#$ers altho$*h the
victor 'ay (e powerf$l and 'ay have hi' at his
The Prince 117 Nicolo Machiavelli
'ercy yet he is inde(ted to hi' and there is
esta(lished a (ond of a'ity+ and 'en are never so
sha'eless as to (eco'e a 'on$'ent of in*ratit$de
(y oppressin* yo$) 2ictories after all are never so
co'plete that the victor '$st not show so'e
re*ard especially to 9$stice) !$t if he with who'
yo$ ally yo$rself loses yo$ 'ay (e sheltered (y
hi' and whilst he is a(le he 'ay aid yo$ and yo$
(eco'e co'panions in a fort$ne that 'ay rise
In the second case when those who fi*ht are of
s$ch a character that yo$ have no an.iety as to who
'ay con#$er so '$ch the 'ore is it *reater
pr$dence to (e allied (eca$se yo$ assist at the
destr$ction of one (y the aid of another who if he
had (een wise wo$ld have saved hi'+ and
con#$erin* as it is i'possi(le that he sho$ld not
with yo$r assistance he re'ains at yo$r discretion)
And here it is to (e noted that a prince o$*ht to
ta/e care never to 'a/e an alliance with one 'ore
powerf$l than hi'self for the p$rpose of attac/in*
others $nless necessity co'pels hi' as is said
a(ove+ (eca$se if he con#$ers yo$ are at his
discretion and princes o$*ht to avoid as '$ch as
possi(le (ein* at the discretion of any one) The
2enetians 9oined with ,rance a*ainst the 1$/e of
Milan and this alliance which ca$sed their r$in
co$ld have (een avoided) !$t when it cannot (e
avoided as happened to the ,lorentines when the
Pope and &pain sent ar'ies to attac/ %o'(ardy
then in s$ch a case for the a(ove reasons the
The Prince 111 Nicolo Machiavelli
prince o$*ht to favo$r one of the parties)
Never let any @overn'ent i'a*ine that it can
choose perfectly safe co$rses+ rather let it e.pect to
have to ta/e very do$(tf$l ones (eca$se it is fo$nd
in ordinary affairs that one never see/s to avoid
one tro$(le witho$t r$nnin* into another+ ($t
pr$dence consists in /nowin* how to distin*$ish
the character of tro$(les and for choice to ta/e the
lesser evil)
A prince o$*ht also to show hi'self a patron of
a(ility and to hono$r the proficient in every art) At
the sa'e ti'e he sho$ld enco$ra*e his citi-ens to
practise their callin*s peacea(ly (oth in co''erce
and a*ric$lt$re and in every other followin* so
that the one sho$ld not (e deterred fro' i'provin*
his possessions for fear lest they (e ta/en away
fro' hi' or another fro' openin* $p trade for fear
of ($t the prince o$*ht to offer rewards to
whoever wishes to do these thin*s and desi*ns in
any way to hono$r his city or state)
,$rther he o$*ht to entertain the people with
festivals and spectacles at convenient seasons of
the year+ and as every city is divided into *$ilds or
into societies he o$*ht to hold s$ch (odies in
estee' and associate with the' so'eti'es and
show hi'self an e.a'ple of co$rtesy and
li(erality+ nevertheless always 'aintainin* the
'a9esty of his ran/ for this he '$st never consent
to a(ate in anythin*)
The Prince 110 Nicolo Machiavelli
Concernin* The &ecretaries Of Princes
HE choice of servants is of no little
i'portance to a prince and they are *ood
or not accordin* to the discri'ination of
the prince) And the first opinion which one for's
of a prince and of his $nderstandin* is (y
o(servin* the 'en he has aro$nd hi'+ and when
they are capa(le and faithf$l he 'ay always (e
considered wise (eca$se he has /nown how to
reco*ni-e the capa(le and to /eep the' faithf$l)
!$t when they are otherwise one cannot for' a
*ood opinion of hi' for the pri'e error which he
'ade was in choosin* the')
There were none who /new Messer Antonio da
2enafro as the servant of Pandolfo Petr$cci Prince
of &iena who wo$ld not consider Pandolfo to (e a
very clever 'an in havin* 2enafro for his servant)
!eca$se there are three classes of intellects; one
which co'prehends (y itself+ another which
appreciates what others co'prehend+ and a third
which neither co'prehends (y itself nor (y the
showin* of others+ the first is the 'ost e.cellent
the second is *ood the third is $seless) Therefore
it follows necessarily that if Pandolfo was not in
the first ran/ he was in the second for whenever
one has 9$d*'ent to /now *ood or (ad when it is
said and done altho$*h he hi'self 'ay not have
The Prince 118 Nicolo Machiavelli
the initiative yet he can reco*ni-e the *ood and the
(ad in his servant and the one he can praise and
the other correct+ th$s the servant cannot hope to
deceive hi' and is /ept honest)
!$t to ena(le a prince to for' an opinion of his
servant there is one test which never falls+ when
yo$ see the servant thin/in* 'ore of his own
interests than of yo$rs and see/in* inwardly his
own profit in everythin* s$ch a 'an will never
'a/e a *ood servant nor will yo$ ever (e a(le to
tr$st hi'+ (eca$se he who has the state of another
in his hands o$*ht never to thin/ of hi'self ($t
always of his prince and never pay any attention to
'atters in which the prince is not concerned)
On the other to /eep his servant honest the
prince o$*ht to st$dy hi' hono$rin* hi'
enrichin* hi' doin* hi' /indnesses sharin* with
hi' the hono$rs and cares+ and at the sa'e ti'e let
hi' see that he cannot stand alone so that 'any
hono$rs not 'a/e hi' desire 'ore 'any riches
'a/e hi' wish for 'ore and that 'any cares 'ay
'a/e hi' dread chan*es) "hen therefore
servants and princes towards servants are th$s
disposed they can tr$st each other ($t when it is
otherwise the end will always (e disastro$s for
either one or the other)
The Prince 115 Nicolo Machiavelli
How ,latterers &ho$ld !e Avoided
1O NOT wish to leave o$t an i'portant (ranch
of this s$(9ect for it is a dan*er fro' which
princes are with diffic$lty preserved $nless
they are very caref$l and discri'inatin*) It is that
of flatterers of who' co$rts arc f$ll (eca$se 'en
are so self>co'placent in their own affairs and in a
way so deceived in the' that they are preserved
with diffic$lty fro' this pest and if they wish to
defend the'selves they r$n the dan*er of fallin*
into conte'pt) !eca$se there is no other way of
*$ardin* oneself fro' flatterers e.cept lettin* 'en
$nderstand that to tell yo$ the tr$th does not offend
yo$+ ($t when every one 'ay tell yo$ the tr$th
respect for yo$ a(ates)
Therefore a wise prince o$*ht to hold a third
co$rse (y choosin* the wise 'en in his state and
*ivin* to the' only the li(erty of spea/in* the
tr$th to hi' and then only of those thin*s of which
he in#$ires and of none others+ ($t he o$*ht to
#$estion the' $pon everythin* and listen to their
opinions and afterwards for' his own
concl$sions) "ith these co$ncillors separately and
collectively he o$*ht to carry hi'self in s$ch a
way that each of the' sho$ld /now that the 'ore
freely he shall spea/ the 'ore he shall (e
preferred+ o$tside of these he sho$ld listen to no
The Prince 11= Nicolo Machiavelli
one p$rs$e the thin* resolved on and (e steadfast
in his resol$tions) He who does otherwise is either
overthrown (y flatterers or is so often chan*ed (y
varyin* opinions that he falls into conte'pt)
I wish on this s$(9ect to add$ce a 'odern
e.a'ple) ,ra %$ca the 'an of affairs to
Ma.i'ilian the present e'peror spea/in* of his
'a9esty said; He cons$lted with no one yet never
*ot his own way in anythin*) This arose (eca$se of
his followin* a practice the opposite to the a(ove+
for the e'peror is a secretive 'an E he does not
co''$nicate his desi*ns to any one nor does he
receive opinions on the') !$t as in carryin* the'
into effect they (eco'e revealed and /nown they
are at once o(str$cted (y those 'en who' he has
aro$nd hi' and he (ein* pliant is diverted fro'
the') Hence it follows that those thin*s he does
one day he $ndoes the ne.t and no one ever
$nderstands what he wishes or intends to do and
no one can rely on his resol$tions)
A prince therefore o$*ht always to ta/e
co$nsel ($t only when he wishes and not when
others wish+ he o$*ht rather to disco$ra*e every
one fro' offerin* advice $nless he as/s it+ ($t
however he o$*ht to (e a constant in#$irer and
afterwards a patient listener concernin* the thin*s
of which he in#$ired+ also on learnin* that any
one on any consideration has not told hi' the
tr$th he sho$ld let his an*er (e felt)
And if there are so'e who thin/ that a prince
who conveys an i'pression of his wisdo' is not
The Prince 11? Nicolo Machiavelli
so thro$*h his own a(ility ($t thro$*h the *ood
advisers that he has aro$nd hi' (eyond do$(t they
are deceived (eca$se this is an' which never
fails; that a prince who is not wise hi'self will
never ta/e *ood advice $nless (y chance he has
yielded his affairs entirely to one person who
happens to (e a very pr$dent 'an) In this case
indeed he 'ay (e well *overned ($t it wo$ld not
(e for lon* (eca$se s$ch a *overnor wo$ld in a
short ti'e ta/e away his state fro' hi')
!$t if a prince who is not e.perienced sho$ld
ta/e co$nsel fro' 'ore than one he will never *et
$nited co$nsels nor will he /now how to $nite
the') Each of the co$nsellors will thin/ of his own
interests and the prince will not /now how to
control the' or to see thro$*h the') And they are
not to (e fo$nd otherwise (eca$se 'en will
always prove $ntr$e to yo$ $nless they are /ept
honest (y constraint) Therefore it '$st (e inferred
that *ood co$nsels whencesoever they co'e are
(orn of the wisdo' of the prince and not the
wisdo' of the prince fro' *ood co$nsels)
The Prince 11A Nicolo Machiavelli
The Princes Of Italy Have %ost Their
HE previo$s s$**estions caref$lly
o(served will ena(le a new prince to
appear well esta(lished and render hi' at
once 'ore sec$re and fi.ed in the state than if he
had (een lon* seated there) ,or the actions of a
new prince are 'ore narrowly o(served than those
of an hereditary one and when they are seen to (e
a(le they *ain 'ore 'en and (ind far ti*hter than
ancient (lood+ (eca$se 'en are attracted 'ore (y
the present than (y the past and when they find the
present *ood they en9oy it and see/ no f$rther+ they
will also 'a/e the $t'ost defence for a prince if he
fails the' not in other thin*s) Th$s it will (e a
do$(le *lory to hi' to have esta(lished a new
principality and adorned and stren*thened it with
*ood laws *ood ar's *ood allies and with a *ood
e.a'ple+ so will it (e a do$(le dis*race to hi'
who (orn a prince shall lose his state (y want of
And if those sei*niors are considered who have
lost their states in Italy in o$r ti'es s$ch as the
Kin* of Naples the 1$/e of Milan and others
there will (e fo$nd in the' firstly one co''on
defect in re*ard to ar's fro' the ca$ses which
have (een disc$ssed at len*th+ in the ne.t place
The Prince 114 Nicolo Machiavelli
so'e one of the' will (e seen either to have had
the people hostile or if he has had the people
friendly he has not /nown how to sec$re the
no(les) In the a(sence of these defects states that
have power eno$*h to /eep an ar'y in the field
cannot (e lost)
Philip of Macedon not the father of Ale.ander
the @reat ($t he who was con#$ered (y Tit$s
J$inti$s had not '$ch territory co'pared to the
*reatness of the Ro'ans and of @reece who
attac/ed hi' yet (ein* a warli/e 'an who /new
how to attract the people and sec$re the no(les he
s$stained the war a*ainst his ene'ies for 'any
years and if in the end he lost the do'inion of
so'e cities nevertheless he retained the /in*do')
Therefore do not let o$r princes acc$se fort$ne
for the loss of their principalities after so 'any
years3 possession ($t rather their own sloth
(eca$se in #$iet ti'es they never tho$*ht there
co$ld (e a chan*e Cit is a co''on defect in 'an
not to 'a/e any provision in the cal' a*ainst the
te'pestD and when afterwards the (ad ti'es ca'e
they tho$*ht of fli*ht and not of defendin*
the'selves and they hoped that the people
dis*$sted with the insolence of the con#$erors
wo$ld recall the') This co$rse when others fail
'ay (e *ood ($t it is very (ad to have ne*lected
all other e.pedients for that since yo$ wo$ld never
wish to fall (eca$se yo$ tr$sted to (e a(le to find
so'eone later on to restore yo$) This a*ain either
does not happen or if it does it will not (e for
The Prince 11B Nicolo Machiavelli
yo$r sec$rity (eca$se that deliverance is of no
avail which does not depend $pon yo$rself+ those
only are relia(le certain and d$ra(le that depend
on yo$rself and yo$r valo$r)
The Prince 107 Nicolo Machiavelli
"hat ,ort$ne Can Effect In H$'an
Affairs And How To "ithstand Her
T is not $n/nown to 'e how 'any 'en have
had and still have the opinion that the affairs
of the world are in s$ch wise *overned (y
fort$ne and (y @od that 'en with their wisdo'
cannot direct the' and that no one can even help
the'+ and (eca$se of this they wo$ld have $s
(elieve that it is not necessary to la(o$r '$ch in
affairs ($t to let chance *overn the') This opinion
has (een 'ore credited in o$r ti'es (eca$se of the
*reat chan*es in affairs which have (een seen and
'ay still (e seen every day (eyond all h$'an
con9ect$re) &o'eti'es ponderin* over this I a' in
so'e de*ree inclined to their opinion)
Nevertheless not to e.tin*$ish o$r free will I hold
it to (e tr$e that ,ort$ne is the ar(iter of one>half
of o$r actions ($t that she still leaves $s to direct
the other half or perhaps a little less)
I co'pare her to one of those ra*in* rivers
which when in flood overflows the plains
sweepin* away trees and ($ildin*s (earin* away
the soil fro' place to place+ everythin* flies (efore
it all yield to its violence witho$t (ein* a(le in
any way to withstand it+ and yet tho$*h its nat$re
(e s$ch it does not follow therefore that 'en
when the weather (eco'es fair shall not 'a/e
The Prince 101 Nicolo Machiavelli
provision (oth with defences and (arriers in s$ch
a 'anner that risin* a*ain the waters 'ay pass
away (y canal and their force (e neither so
$nrestrained nor so dan*ero$s) &o it happens with
fort$ne who shows her power where valo$r has
not prepared to resist her and thither she t$rns her
forces where she /nows that (arriers and defences
have not (een raised to constrain her)
And if yo$ will consider Italy which is the seat
of these chan*es and which has *iven to the'
their i'p$lse yo$ will see it to (e an open co$ntry
witho$t (arriers and witho$t any defence) ,or if it
had (een defended (y proper valo$r as are
@er'any &pain and ,rance either this invasion
wo$ld not have 'ade the *reat chan*es it has 'ade
or it wo$ld not have co'e at all) And this I
consider eno$*h to say concernin* resistance to
fort$ne in *eneral)
!$t confinin* 'yself 'ore to the partic$lar I
say that a prince 'ay (e seen happy to>day and
r$ined to>'orrow witho$t havin* shown any
chan*e of disposition or character) This I (elieve
arises firstly fro' ca$ses that have already (een
disc$ssed at len*th na'ely that the prince who
relies entirely $pon fort$ne is lost when it chan*es)
I (elieve also that he will (e s$ccessf$l who directs
his actions accordin* to the spirit of the ti'es and
that he whose actions do not accord with the ti'es
will not (e s$ccessf$l) !eca$se 'en are seen in
affairs that lead to the end which every 'an has
(efore hi' na'ely *lory and riches to *et there
The Prince 100 Nicolo Machiavelli
(y vario$s 'ethods+ one with ca$tion another with
haste+ one (y force another (y s/ill+ one (y
patience another (y its opposite+ and each one
s$cceeds in reachin* the *oal (y a different
'ethod) One can also see of two ca$tio$s 'en the
one attain his end the other fail+ and si'ilarly two
'en (y different o(servances are e#$ally
s$ccessf$l the one (ein* ca$tio$s the other
i'pet$o$s+ all this arises fro' nothin* else than
whether or not they confor' in their 'ethods to
the spirit of the ti'es) This follows fro' what I
have said that two 'en wor/in* differently (rin*
a(o$t the sa'e effect and of two wor/in*
si'ilarly one attains his o(9ect and the other does
Chan*es in estate also iss$e fro' this for if to
one who *overns hi'self with ca$tion and
patience ti'es and affairs conver*e in s$ch a way
that his ad'inistration is s$ccessf$l his fort$ne is
'ade+ ($t if ti'es and affairs chan*e he is r$ined
if he does not chan*e his co$rse of action) !$t a
'an is not often fo$nd s$fficiently circ$'spect to
/now how to acco''odate hi'self to the chan*e
(oth (eca$se he cannot deviate fro' what nat$re
inclines hi' to and also (eca$se havin* always
prospered (y actin* in one way he cannot (e
pers$aded that it is well to leave it+ and therefore
the ca$tio$s 'an when it is ti'e to t$rn
advent$ro$s does not /now how to do it hence he
is r$ined+ ($t had he chan*ed his cond$ct with the
ti'es fort$ne wo$ld not have chan*ed)
The Prince 108 Nicolo Machiavelli
Pope 6$li$s II went to wor/ i'pet$o$sly in all
his affairs and fo$nd the ti'es and circ$'stances
confor' so well to that line of action that he
always 'et with s$ccess) Consider his first
enterprise a*ainst !olo*na Messer @iovanni
!entivo*li (ein* still alive) The 2enetians were
not a*reea(le to it nor was the Kin* of &pain and
he had the enterprise still $nder disc$ssion with the
Kin* of ,rance+ nevertheless he personally entered
$pon the e.pedition with his acc$sto'ed (oldness
and ener*y a 'ove which 'ade &pain and the
2enetians stand irresol$te and passive the latter
fro' fear the for'er fro' desire to recover all the
/in*do' of Naples+ on the other hand he drew
after hi' the Kin* of ,rance (eca$se that /in*
havin* o(served the 'ove'ent and desirin* to
'a/e the Pope his friend so as to h$'(le the
2enetians fo$nd it i'possi(le to ref$se hi'
soldiers witho$t 'anifestly offendin* hi')
Therefore 6$li$s with his i'pet$o$s action
acco'plished what no other pontiff with si'ple
h$'an wisdo' co$ld have done+ for if he had
waited in Ro'e $ntil he co$ld *et away with his
plans arran*ed and everythin* fi.ed as any other
pontiff wo$ld have done he wo$ld never have
s$cceeded) !eca$se the Kin* of ,rance wo$ld have
'ade a tho$sand e.c$ses and the others wo$ld
have raised a tho$sand fears)
I will leave his other actions alone as they were
all ali/e and they all s$cceeded for the shortness
of his life did not let hi' e.perience the contrary+
The Prince 105 Nicolo Machiavelli
($t if circ$'stances had arisen which re#$ired hi'
to *o ca$tio$sly his r$in wo$ld have followed
(eca$se he wo$ld never have deviated fro' those
ways to which nat$re inclined hi')
I concl$de therefore that fort$ne (ein*
chan*ef$l and 'an/ind steadfast in their ways so
lon* as the two are in a*ree'ent 'en are
s$ccessf$l ($t $ns$ccessf$l when they fall o$t)
,or 'y part I consider that it is (etter to (e
advent$ro$s than ca$tio$s (eca$se fort$ne is a
wo'an and if yo$ wish to /eep her $nder it is
necessary to (eat and ill>$se her+ and it is seen that
she allows herself to (e 'astered (y the
advent$ro$s rather than (y those who *o to wor/
'ore coldly) &he is therefore always wo'an>li/e
a lover of yo$n* 'en (eca$se they are less
ca$tio$s 'ore violent and with 'ore a$dacity
co''and her)
The Prince 10= Nicolo Machiavelli
An E.hortation To %i(erate Italy ,ro' The
A2IN@ caref$lly considered the s$(9ect of
the a(ove disco$rses and wonderin*
within 'yself whether the present ti'es
were propitio$s to a new prince and whether there
were the ele'ents that wo$ld *ive an opport$nity
to a wise and virt$o$s one to introd$ce a new order
of thin*s which wo$ld do hono$r to hi' and *ood
to the people of this co$ntry it appears to 'e that
so 'any thin*s conc$r to favo$r a new prince that I
never /new a ti'e 'ore fit than the present)
And if as I said it was necessary that the people
of Israel sho$ld (e captive so as to 'a/e 'anifest
the a(ility of Moses+ that the Persians sho$ld (e
oppressed (y the Medes so as to discover the
*reatness of the so$l of Cyr$s+ and that the
Athenians sho$ld (e dispersed to ill$strate the
capa(ilities of These$s; then at the present ti'e in
order to discover the virt$e of an Italian spirit it
was necessary that Italy sho$ld (e red$ced to the
e.tre'ity she is now in that she sho$ld (e 'ore
enslaved than the He(rews 'ore oppressed than
the Persians 'ore scattered than the Athenians+
witho$t head witho$t order (eaten despoiled
torn overr$n+ and to have end$red every /ind of
The Prince 10? Nicolo Machiavelli
Altho$*h lately so'e spar/ 'ay have (een
shown (y one which 'ade $s thin/ he was
ordained (y @od for o$r rede'ption nevertheless
it was afterwards seen in the hei*ht of his career
that fort$ne re9ected hi'+ so that Italy left as
witho$t life waits for hi' who shall yet heal her
wo$nds and p$t an end to the rava*in* and
pl$nderin* of %o'(ardy to the swindlin* and* of the /in*do' and of T$scany and cleanse
those sores that for lon* have festered) It is seen
how she entreats @od to send so'eone who shall
deliver her fro' these wron*s and (ar(aro$s
insolencies) It is seen also that she is ready and
willin* to follow a (anner if only so'eone will
raise it)
Nor is there to (e seen at present one in who'
she can place 'ore hope than in yo$r ill$strio$s
ho$se with its valo$r and fort$ne favo$red (y
@od and (y the Ch$rch of which it is now the
chief and which co$ld (e 'ade the head of this
rede'ption) This will not (e diffic$lt if yo$ will
recall to yo$rself the actions and lives of the 'en I
have na'ed) And altho$*h they were *reat and
wonderf$l 'en yet they were 'en and each one
of the' had no 'ore opport$nity than the present
offers for their enterprises were neither 'ore 9$st
nor easier than this nor was @od 'ore their friend
than He is yo$rs)
"ith $s there is *reat 9$stice (eca$se that war is
9$st which is necessary and ar's are hallowed
when there is no other hope ($t in the') Here there
The Prince 10A Nicolo Machiavelli
is the *reatest willin*ness and where the
willin*ness is *reat the diffic$lties cannot (e *reat
if yo$ will only follow those 'en to who' I have
directed yo$r attention) ,$rther than this how
e.traordinarily the ways of @od have (een
'anifested (eyond e.a'ple; the sea is divided a
clo$d has led the way the roc/ has po$red forth
water it has rained 'anna everythin* has
contri($ted to yo$r *reatness+ yo$ o$*ht to do the
rest) @od is not willin* to do everythin* and th$s
ta/e away o$r free will and that share of *lory
which (elon*s to $s)
And it is not to (e wondered at if none of the
a(ove>na'ed Italians have (een a(le to acco'plish
all that is e.pected fro' yo$r ill$strio$s ho$se+ and
if in so 'any revol$tions in Italy and in so 'any
ca'pai*ns it has always appeared as if 'ilitary
virt$e were e.ha$sted this has happened (eca$se
the old order of thin*s was not *ood and none of
$s have /nown how to find a new one) And
nothin* hono$rs a 'an 'ore than to esta(lish new
laws and new ordinances when he hi'self was
newly risen) &$ch thin*s when they are well
fo$nded and di*nified will 'a/e hi' revered and
ad'ired and in Italy there are not wantin*
opport$nities to (rin* s$ch into $se in every for')
Here there is *reat valo$r in the li'(s whilst it
fails in the head) %oo/ attentively at the d$els and
the hand>to>hand co'(ats how s$perior the
Italians are in stren*th de.terity and s$(tlety) !$t
when it co'es to ar'ies they do not (ear
The Prince 104 Nicolo Machiavelli
co'parison and this sprin*s entirely fro' the
ins$fficiency of the leaders since those who are
capa(le are not o(edient and each one see's to
hi'self to /now there havin* never (een any one
so distin*$ished a(ove the rest either (y valo$r or
fort$ne that others wo$ld yield to hi') Hence it is
that for so lon* a ti'e and d$rin* so '$ch
fi*htin* in the past twenty years whenever there
has (een an ar'y wholly Italian it has always
*iven a poor acco$nt of itself+ as witness Taro
Alessandria Cap$a @enoa 2aila !olo*na
If therefore yo$r ill$strio$s ho$se wishes to
follow those re'ar/a(le 'en who have redee'ed
their co$ntry it is necessary (efore all thin*s as a
tr$e fo$ndation for every enterprise to (e provided
with yo$r own forces (eca$se there can (e no
'ore faithf$l tr$er or (etter soldiers) And
altho$*h sin*ly they are *ood alto*ether they will
(e '$ch (etter when they find the'selves
co''anded (y their prince hono$red (y hi' and
'aintained at his e.pense) Therefore it is necessary
to (e prepared with s$ch ar's so that yo$ can (e
defended a*ainst forei*ners (y Italian valo$r)
And altho$*h &wiss and &panish infantry 'ay
(e considered very for'ida(le nevertheless there
is a defect in (oth (y reason of which a third order
wo$ld not only (e a(le to oppose the' ($t 'i*ht
(e relied $pon to overthrow the') ,or the
&paniards cannot resist cavalry and the &wit-ers
are afraid of infantry whenever they enco$nter
The Prince 10B Nicolo Machiavelli
the' in close co'(at) Owin* to this as has (een
and 'ay a*ain (e seen the &paniards are $na(le to
resist ,rench cavalry and the &wit-ers are
overthrown (y infantry) And altho$*h a co'plete
proof of this latter cannot (e shown nevertheless
there was so'e evidence of it at the (attle of
Ravenna when the &panish infantry were
confronted (y @er'an (attalions who follow the
sa'e tactics as the &wiss+ when the &paniards (y
a*ility of (ody and with the aid of their shields *ot
in $nder the pi/es of the @er'ans and stood o$t of
dan*er a(le to attac/ while the @er'ans stood
helpless and if the cavalry had not dashed $p all
wo$ld have (een over with the') It is possi(le
therefore /nowin* the defects of (oth these
infantries to invent a new one which will resist
cavalry and not (e afraid of infantry+ this need not
create a new order of ar's ($t a variation $pon
the old) And these are the /ind of i'prove'ents
which confer rep$tation and power $pon a new
This opport$nity therefore o$*ht not to (e
allowed to pass for lettin* Italy at last see her
li(erator appear) Nor can one the love with
which he wo$ld (e received in all those provinces
which have s$ffered so '$ch fro' these forei*n
sco$rin*s with what thirst for reven*e with what
st$((orn faith with what devotion with what
tears) "hat door wo$ld (e closed to hi'H "ho
wo$ld ref$se o(edience to hi'H "hat envy wo$ld
hinder hi'H "hat Italian wo$ld ref$se hi'
The Prince 187 Nicolo Machiavelli
ho'a*eH To all of $s this (ar(aro$s do'inion
stin/s) %et therefore yo$r ill$strio$s ho$se ta/e $p
this char*e with that co$ra*e and hope with which
all 9$st enterprises are $nderta/en so that $nder its
standard o$r native co$ntry 'ay (e enno(led and
$nder its a$spices 'ay (e verified that sayin* of
2irt$ contro al ,$rore
Prendera l3ar'e e fia il co'(atter corto;
Che l3antico valore
Ne*li italici c$or non e ancor 'orto)
1 2irt$e a*ainst f$ry shall advance the fi*ht
And it i3 th3 co'(at soon shall p$t to fli*ht+
,or the old Ro'an valo$r is not dead
Nor in th3 Italians3 (reasts e.tin*$ished)

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