The Florentine History in VIII Books.

"TIS I ALONE THAT CAN TEACH YOU TO MAKE WARRE, I KNOW WHAT THE GREATEST CONQUERORS KNEW AND ARE": Rare second edition in English of Machiavelli's Florentine History

The Florentine History in VIII Books.



Item Number: 129537

London: Printed for Charles Harper, and John Amery, 1674.

Rare second edition in English of Machiavelli’s Florentine History, the first edition to appear after Thomas Bedingfield’s version in 1595. Octavo, bound in full morroco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in five compartments within raised gilt bands, quadruple gilt ruling and cornerpieces to the front and rear panels, gilt turn-ins. In near fine condition with occasional spotting. Ownership names to the front free endpaper and title page. Scarce in commerce.

First published posthumously in 1532, Machiavelli's Florentine History was commissioned by Giulio de' Medici, later Pope Clement VII, not as a eulogy of the Republic of Florence of which Machiavelli had been titled "il segretario", but as glorification of the Medici family. After the crisis of 1513, with arrests for conspiracy, torture and after being sentenced to house arrest, Machiavelli's relationship with the Medici family passively began to mend itself. If the dedication of Il Principe (1513) to Lorenzo II de' Medici had not any effect, part of the then dominant faction of Florence was not against him, and instead granted him an appointment. The first of the eight books presents a general history of the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the beginning of the 15th century; books II, III and IV present the history of Florence before the Medici rise; and the final four books speak to the fight for power that ended with the Medicean lordship, closing with he death of Lorenzo il Magnifico.

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