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Machiavelli’s Appreciation Of Greek Antiquity And The Ideal Of ‘Renaissance’

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines why Niccol Machiavelli held the heritage of ancient Greece in such low esteem and why he thought the Renaissance was a period of decline. Machiavellis underestimation of Greek Antiquity could also be attributed to the fact that he entertained a relatively low interest in philosophy and the arts. It is obvious that Machiavelli did not believe that he was living in a Renaissance. Nor, indeed, did he believe that he was even living in a province of a flourishing state. On the contrary, he was persuaded that a Renaissance would come if his contemporaries or, more likely, future generations imitated the ancient Romans. Machiavelli believed that Italy was still stuck in Biondos media aetas, the period which marked the disintegration of the Roman spirit, a situation which ought to end as soon as possible.

Keywords: Greek antiquity; Niccol Machiavelli; Renaissance; Roman spirit



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