9780739100707

Machiavelli's Romans Liberty and Greatness in the Discourses on Livy

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780739100707

  • ISBN10:

    073910070X

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-05-13
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
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Summary

Although Machiavelli is usually considered a pioneer among modern political philosophers, he read deeply in and was greatly influenced by the works of classical Roman thinkers such as Livy. There is thus a fundamental tension between the modern and the ancient within Machiavelli's philosophy; he is both a precursor to the Enlightenment and a throwback to republican Rome.

This is the main thesis behind Patrick Coby's innovative study of the neglected Machiavellian classic Discourses on Livy. Coby argues that scholars have been too quick to dismiss the ancient antecedents of Machiavelli's thought, particularly with regard to the modes and orders of the Roman republic. The book seeks to resolve the central paradox of the Discourses, that Machiavelli recommends adoption of Roman modes and orders even though those modes and orders destroyed the virtu, the strength, which Machiavelli would have moderns resuscitate by imitating Rome. A sophisticated, highly engaging book, Machiavelli's Romans will be of special interest to political theorists, Renaissance scholars,

Author Biography

J. Patrick Coby is professor of government at Smith College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Reading the Discourses
1(20)
Part One: Rome
Why Rome?
21(34)
Rome's ``Inside'' Modes and Orders
55(38)
Rome's Humors
93(20)
Rome's ``Outside'' Modes and Orders
113(36)
Rome's Captains
149(46)
Part Two: Machiavelli
Machiavelli's Modes and Orders
195(30)
Machiavelli's Middle Ways
225(24)
What Machiavelli Wants
249(36)
Notes 285(62)
Bibliography 347(12)
Index 359(8)
About the Author 367

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