Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy: New Readings


Machiavelli is chiefly known for The Prince, but his main considerations on politics are found in his later work Discourses on Livy. Despite this book's historical and theoretical importance, its complexity, length and style have often discouraged new readers and interpreters of Machiavelli from engaging with it. For this reason, the Discourses has not been given the attention it deserves. This volume of newly commissioned essays by some of the world’s leading Machiavelli experts seeks to remedy this deficiency. It is the first collective volume dedicated specifically to this profound work, covering topics such as Machiavelli’s republicanism, the relation between liberty and tyranny, the role of religion, Machiavelli’s conception of history, his writing style, his view of society as a plural and conflictive body, his suggestion of how a free state should be organized, and his notions of people and virtù.

Contributors: Jérémie Barthas, Thomas Berns, Alessandro Campi, J. Patrick Coby, Marie Gaille, Marco Geuna, Mark Jurdjevic, Cary J. Nederman, Gabriele Pedullà, Diogo Pires Aurélio, Fabio Raimondi, Andre Santos Campos, Miguel Vatter, and Camila Vergara.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Diogo Pires Aurélio is professor emeritus at the Nova University of Lisbon. He specializes in the history of political thought, more specifically on Renaissance and early modern thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes and Spinoza. Among his publications are the monographs O Mais Natural dos Regimes. Espinosa e a Democracia (Temas & Debates, 2014), Maquiavel & Herdeiros (Temas & Debates, 2012), Razão e violência (Prefácio, 2007) and the edited volumes Sovereign Justice (De Gruyter, 2011) and Terrorism. Politics, Religion and Literature (Cambridge Scholars, 2011).

Andre Santos Campos, Ph.D. (2009) is a research fellow at the Nova Institute of Philosophy, Nova University of Lisbon. His research concentrates on issues that connect contemporary political theory with jurisprudence and intellectual history. He is the author of Spinoza’s Revolutions in Natural Law (Palgrave, 2012) and the editor of Challenges to Democratic Participation (Lexington, 2014), Spinoza: Basic Concepts (Imprint Academic, 2015), Spinoza and Law (Routledge, 2016), and Sovereignty as Value (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021).
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Diogo Pires Aurélio and Andre Santos Campos
1 ‘A Never Again Attempted Work’: The Discourse-Form and the Discourses on Livy
Gabriele Pedullà
2 Machiavelli and the Lingering Mystery of Polybius VI
Cary J. Nederman
3 Machiavelli on Liberty
J. Patrick Coby
4 The Discourses on Livy: A ‘Commentary’ on the Effectual Truth of Civil Conflict
Marie Gaille
5 Republic and Constitution in Machiavelli’s Discourses
Fabio Raimondi
6 The Modes Taken by Saint Gregory: Machiavelli and the Violence of Religious Sects
Marco Geuna
7 Machiavelli’s Republican Constituent Power
Camila Vergara
8 Machiavelli and Thucydides on the Rhetoric of Immoralism
Miguel Vatter
9 The ‘Discovery of the Masses’ and the Paradox of the Fatherland
Diogo Pires Aurélio
10 The Poison and the Sword: Conspiracies and Struggle for Power in Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy
Alessandro Campi
11 The Political Economy of Machiavelli’s Discourses
Jérémie Barthas
12 Politics of Porosity: War and Freedom in Machiavelli’s Discourses
Thomas Berns
13 Guicciardini’s Considerations on the Discourses of Machiavelli
Mark Jurdjevic
Students, scholars, and researchers interested in Machiavelli and Renaissance and early modern political theory. Keywords: philosophy, intellectual history, history of ideas, Renaissance, political thought, republic.
  • Collapse
  • Expand