Machiavelli: The man behind the legend

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Niccolo` Machiavelli, an intelligent Florentine statesman, a passionate philosopher, and a great thinker in the turning point from Middle Ages to Modern World. His name remains one of the most controversial names of political history today.

Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy on May 3, 1469. He was the second son of Bernardo di Niccolo` Machiavelli, a lawyer, and Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli, his wife. His family had been counted among the wealthy and prominent of the city from the 13th century onward (Britt Online).

His intelligence was seen throughout his life by on lookers. Little is known of his early life, but he might have been involved in overthrowing the Savonarolist government in 1498. He lived a nondescript childhood in Florence, learning more in the books in the luxury of his home than he did at school (Britt Online). His main political experience in his youth was watching Savonarola from afar.

Soon after Savonarola was executed, Machiavelli entered the Florentine government. He was the second in command being secretary of the Ten of Balìa and serving in the chancellery of the Florentine republic (Gilbert). His position quickly rose, and he was soon engaging in diplomatic missions. He met many of the important politicians of his day, such as the Pope and the King of France, but none had more impact on him than a prince of the Papal States, Cesare Borgia. Borgia was a cunning, cruel man. Machiavelli did not like Borgia's ways, but he thought that with a ruler like Borgia, the Florentines could unite Italy, which was Machiavelli's goal throughout his life.

He had a passion for doing what he felt his heart led him. During the Renaissance, Italy was a scene of intense political conflict involving Florence, Milan, Venice, and Naples, Spain, and...