Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (/ˌmækiəˈvɛli/, also US: /ˌmɑːk-/; Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ mmakjaˈvɛlli]; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian Renaissance diplomat, philosopher and writer, best known for The Prince (Il Principe), written in 1513. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.
For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is of high importance to historians and scholars. He worked as secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power.
Machiavelli’s name came to evoke unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli advised most famously in The Prince. Machiavelli proposed that immoral behavior, such as the use of deceit and the murder of innocents, was normal and effective in politics. He also notably encouraged politicians to engage in evil when it would be necessary for political expediency. The book gained notoriety due to claims that it teaches “evil recommendations to tyrants to help them maintain their power”.
The term Machiavellian often connotes political deceit, deviousness, and realpolitik. Even though Machiavelli has become most famous for his work on principalities, scholars also give attention to the exhortations in his other works of political philosophy. While much less well known than The Prince, the Discourses on Livy (composed c. 1517) is often said to have paved the way of modern republicanism.