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14:00 - 15:00 26 May 2016

How Machiavellian was Machiavelli?


IAS Common Ground, South Wing | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

The adjective Machiavellian, according to the OED, means “cunning, scheming and unscrupulous,” and is regularly applied to political figures, most recently George Osbourne. Yet can it be applied to Niccolò Machiavelli himself? This session will look at key passages from his most famous work, The Prince (written in 1513), to see whether the advice Machiavelli gave to new rulers truly was as devious and immoral as contemporaries believed. It will examine in particular the classical and Renaissance contexts of Machiavelli’s thought to ascertain just how far he deviated from the ethical standards of his day, and why his name has become synonymous with political machinations.


UCL Festival of Culture


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