HIST 38195: ST IN EUROPE: MACHIAVELLI | Kent State University

HIST 38195: ST IN EUROPE: MACHIAVELLI

Course Name: HIST 38195: ST IN EUROPE: MACHIAVELLI

Description: Niccolò Machiavelli published his most famous and controversial book, The Prince, almost exactly 500 years ago.  Largely on the strength of this volume, he has variously been described as a teacher of evil and as the brilliant originator of modern political theory.   This course will examine Machiavelli and his works from various angles.  Is he really so Machiavellian, after all?  How well do his ideas stand up to philosophical scrutiny?  To what extent were his ideas molded by contemporary Florentine circumstances?  How applicable are his ideas to leadership today?   We will read from The Prince and The Discourses in translation, as well as several important secondary sources.  We will visit sites important to him in the Florence area, most notably Casa Machiavelli in nearby San Casciano, which remains much today as it was a half a millennium ago when, exiled from his beloved Florence, Machiavelli wrote The Prince even as he gazed from his hilltop estate upon the Duomo and the rest of Florence’s skyline merely a dozen kilometers away.  

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: None