The Prince

The Prince

Introduction by:
Notes by:

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140449150
  • 144 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Rejecting the traditional values of political theory, Machiavelli drew upon his own experiences of office in the turbulent Florentine republic to write his celebrated treatise on statecraft. While Machiavelli was only one of the many Florentine “prophets of force,” he differed from the ruling elite in recognizing the complexity and fluidity of political life.

Table of Contents

Translator’s Note
Selected Books
Machiavelli’s Principal Works
Letter to the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici1
IHow many kinds of principality there are and the ways in which they are acquired5
IIHereditary principalities5
IIIComposite principalities6
IVWhy the kingdom of Darius conquered by Alexander did not rebel against his successors after his death13
VHow cities or principalities which lived under their own laws should be administered after being conquered16
VINew principalities acquired by one’s own arms and prowess17
VIINew principalities acquired with the help of fortune and foreign arms20
VIIIThose who come to power by crime27
IXThe constitutional principality31
XHow the strength of every principality should be measured34
XIEcclesiastical principalities36
XIIMilitary organization and mercenary troops39
XIIIAuxiliary, composite, and native troops43
XIVHow a prince should organize his militia47
XVThe things for which men, and especially princes, are praised or blamed49
XVIGenerosity and parsimony51
XVIICruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse53
XVIIIHow princes should honour their word56
XIXThe need to avoid contempt and hatred58
XXWhether fortresses and many of the other present-day expedients to which princes have recourse are useful or not67
XXIHow a prince must act to win honour71
XXIIA prince’s personal staff75
XXIIIHow flatterers must be shunned76
XXIVWhy the Italian princes have lost their states78
XXVHow far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposed79
XXVIExhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians82
Glossary of Proper Names86