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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Machiavelli and His World (HIST10361)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on knowledge and understanding of the life and works of Nicolo Machiavelli as a means of broadening and deepening knowledge of the Renaissance in Italy.
Course description The Florentine writer and political theorist Nicolo Machiavelli is one of the most original and controversial figures of the Italian Renaissance. His writings offer a stimulating and highly personal introduction to the troubled history of Italy during c. 1450-c.1530 and provide an introduction to the major themes of Renaissance culture from political duplicity and friendship to gender relations and the art of war. In this course students examine a wide range of Machiavelli's readings and place them in historical context in order to understand Machiavelli and his remarkable world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate command of the body of knowledge about Machiavelli considered in the course;
  2. read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of assigned texts by Machiavelli;
  4. develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Primary Sources
Niccolò Machiavelli, Machiavelli and His Friends: Their Personal Correspondence, edited and translated by James Atkinson and David Sices (DeKalb, 1996)

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Portable Machiavelli, edited and translated by Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa (Harmondsworth, 1979)

Secondary Reading
Erica Benner, Machiavelli¿s Prince: A New Reading (Oxford, 2013)

Robert Black, Machiavelli (London, 2013)

Alison Brown, The Renaissance (London, 1999)

Sebastian De Grazia, Machiavelli in Hell (Princeton, 1989)

Hanna F. Pitkin, Fortune is a Woman: Gender and Politics in the Thought of Niccolo Machiavelli (Berkeley, 1984)

Guido Ruggiero, Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self and Society in the Italian Renaissance (Baltimore, 2007)

Maurizio Viroli, How to Read Machiavelli (London, 2008)

John M. Najemy, A History of Florence (Oxford, 2006)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical interpretation of texts; oral and written presentation skills
Course organiserProf Stephen Bowd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3758
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Samson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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