Undergraduate Course: MACHIAVELLI AND POLITICS, CULTURE AND SOCIETY IN RENAISSANCE ITALY, 1494 TO c. 1540 (LLLE07028)
|School||Centre for Open Learning
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Niccolò Machiavelli is probably the most famous writer and political thinker of Renaissance Italy and his works, in particular The Prince, are still widely read today. The course aims to introduce students to his key books (The Prince, excerpts from The Discourses and The Art of War) and plays (particularly The Mandrake Root). Readings will be accompanied by lectures on Italian society and politics during the upheavals of the so-called Italian Wars (1494-c.1530) and the changing political situation in Machiavelli's native city, Florence, which accompanied the fortunes of the Medici family. The course will also examine the cultural trends of the period and look at the role of diplomacy through Machiavelli's own years in the service of the Florentine Republic.
1. Florence and Italy in 1494: the Humanist movement; Lorenzo the Magnificent and Machiavelli's early life
2. Italian Wars: why did France invade in 1494? What were the consequences. The Savonarolan years.
3. Machiavelli in Chancery: 1498-1512. (Extracts from Machiavelli's Legations) Examine the role of diplomacy and the growing power of the Borgias.
4. Cesare Borgia: The Prince and a review of Machiavelli's judgement. The reign of Julius II: "Out with the Barbarians"
5. Machiavelli in exile and The Prince: A class discussion of this book: the role of virtù and fortune. An overview of new research.
6. Florentine government under Pier Soderini. Machiavelli on the question of Republicanism (read extracts from The Prince and The Discourses). Art and politics in Florence.
7. The Discourses: Machiavelli's true legacy. Class discussion of selected chapters.
8. Machiavelli the playwright: The Mandrake Root. Class viewing of DVD (75 mins), followed by discussion.
9. Warfare and Italy: 1514-1527. New artillery and militia. (selected chapters from The Art of War). The Sack of Rome in 1527.
10. The Fortunes of the Medici: Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, Alessandro de Medici and Cosimo de Medici. Florence and the Last Republic of 1527-29 leading to ducal power. Machiavelli's legacy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Lifelong Learning - Session 1
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One 2,000-word essay worth 100% of the total mark.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- show an understanding of the political and cultural situation of Italy on the cusp of the early modern period
- analyse the main themes of Machiavelli's key works
- critically assess certain works of art and architecture in Florence during the period in question (1494-c.1540)
- demonstrate the acquired knowledge and skills in their essay.
|Robert Black, Machiavelli, Routledge 2013|
The Cambridge Companion to Machiavelli [available as electronic resource from university library], ed. J. M. Najemy
Hanna Pitkin, Fortune is a Woman: Gender and Politics in the Thought of Niccolo Machiavelli, University of Chicago Press, 1999
Quentin Skinner, A Short Introduction to Machiavelli, OUP 2000
Maurizio Viroli, Machiavelli's God, Princeton University Press, 2010/2012
Corrado Vivanti, Niccolo Machiavelli. An Intellectual Biography, trans. Simon MacMIchael, Princeton University Press
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Acquiring and comparing materials from a variety of sources (primary sources, lectures, secondary works)
Evaluating different approaches to and explanations of material
Exercising informed critical judgement
Participating in general discussion about the examples and concepts examined
|Course organiser||Dr Sally Crumplin
|Course secretary||Mr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832