2019-2020 University Catalog 
    May 29, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog archived

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HIST 307 - Seminar in Politics and History: The Machiavellian Moment

Credits: 3

Is it better to be loved or feared? How much of our destiny do we control? When are societies fit for self-rule? Can people be forced to be good? Niccolò Machiavelli, arguably the first and most controversial modern political theorist, raises issues of universal human and political concern. Yet he did so in a very specific context–the Florence of the Medici, Michelangelo, and Savonarola–at a time when Renaissance Italy stood at the summit of artistic brilliance and on the threshold of political collapse. We draw on Machiavelli’s personal, political, historical, and literary writings, and readings in history and art, as a point of entry for exploring Machiavelli’s republican vision of history and politics as he developed it in the Italian Renaissance and how it addresses such perennial issues as the corruption and regeneration of societies.


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