By Mark Jurdjevic
Like many population of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated among love and hate for his local urban. He usually wrote scathing comments approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but additionally wrote approximately Florence with satisfaction, patriotism, and assured desire of higher occasions. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and melancholy he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly chronic experience that his urban had all of the fabrics and capability worthwhile for a wholesale, successful, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably positioned it, Florence used to be "truly a good and wretched city."
Mark Jurdjevic makes a speciality of the Florentine size of Machiavelli's political inspiration, revealing new facets of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, so much considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political profession and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He indicates that major and as but unrecognized elements of Machiavelli's political inspiration have been exceedingly Florentine in proposal, content material, and objective. From a brand new point of view and armed with new arguments, an exceptional and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's courting to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli simply damaging classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings used to be an immediate functionality of his massive estimation of its unrealized political potential.
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Extra resources for A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought
The content of the letter, however, [ 24 ] The Savonarolan Lens complicates and contradicts its tone, betraying a far from straightforward fascination with the friar and the Florentine reaction to him. Few have commented on the extraordinary richness of the letter, the degree to which Savonarola was Machiavelli’s fi rst occasion to meditate on the role of religion in public life, the formation of faction, and the power of rhetoric, speech, and culture. Machiavelli examined the relationship between Savonarola’s self-proclaimed powers of prophecy and the unity of his following and hence investigated the implications of prophecy as a political phenomenon and religion as a source of political authority.
But there is nevertheless an evident growing impatience in Becchi’s correspondence with Savonarola and the regime that tolerated him. As the confl ict continued, Becchi elaborated with increasing detail the precise criticisms and mockery circulating in Rome of Savonarola and the Florentines. ”16 On March 26 he wrote that public opinion in the Roman court viewed the authority permitted Savonarola and his fanciulli—gangs of boys who publicly enforced Savonarola’s moral agenda— as dishonorable, disgraceful, and outright dangerous, adding that given the ubiquity of such statements and the stature and authority of those who voiced them, their judgment was difficult for him to contradict.
For this reason, it is awkward to conclude, as Sasso, Martelli, and others have done, that Machiavelli’s political reading of Savonarola’s sermons constituted an indictment of Savonarola’s piety. Rather, we see a consistent approach to religious language and imagery that Machiavelli fi rst displayed in his reflection on Savonarola. Machiavelli’s discussion of Numa’s duplicity, its constitutive role in the foundation of Roman religion, and the larger pattern to which it conforms all invoke the Savonarola of the Becchi letter.
A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli's Florentine Political Thought by Mark Jurdjevic