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CRRS Friday Workshop: Machiavelli’s The Prince at 500 Lecture – Ryan Balot

November 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The 2013/2014 Friday Workshop Series:
Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Machiavelli’s The Prince


Ryan Balot (Department of Political Science, University of Toronto)

“Machiavelli’s Military Advice”

 Friday 29 November 2013
3:30-5:00 pm
Please note the room change: Northrop Frye, Room 113

After situating The Prince in relation to the Discourses on Livy, this paper argues that Machiavelli presented his brief “advice manual” in an intentionally obscure and riddling way.  His treatment of Cesare Borgia exemplifies his method: Machiavelli both praises and criticizes Borgia and in the process leaves contradictions on the surface of his text.  The question is why Machiavelli presents his characters and teachings as he does.  Having dismissed the most popular esoteric explanations, the paper suggests that Machiavelli’s rhetorical presentation is closely tied to his reflections on the paradoxes of giving advice.  These paradoxes raise questions, in turn, about the status of Machiavelli’s own advice to princes – questions that can be addressed only by examining Machiavelli’s military advice in the context of his thinking about virtù and fortune. 

For more information, please contact the series organizer, Mauricio Suchowlansky
— mauricio.suchowlansky [at]


November 29, 2013
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Northrop Frye Building – NF 113
Victoria College 73 Queen's Park Crescent East
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7 Canada