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Catherine H. Zuckert
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Prizes]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2007 – 12/31/2008

Machiavellian Politics

In a book on “Machiavellian politics,” I will argue that in the Discourses he uses Rome to criticize Sparta as the model of republican government. But having displaced the classical “aristocratic” notion of republicanism with a nascent model of checks and balances, he acknowledges that Roman conquests destroyed freedom everywhere. Instead of trying to conquer their neighbors, he urges his Florentine republican readers to form a federation with them. Machiavelli thus presents a new understanding of republican politics later adopted in the U.S. The “armed prophet” he praises in the Prince nevertheless remains an ever present political option and threat.