Machiavelli the art of war

However, his basic notion of emulating Roman practices was slowly and pragmatically adapted by many later rulers and commanders, most notably Maurice of Nassau [4] and Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.

And as the opportunity has not come to me to be able to show the preparations I would make to bring the military to your ancient organization, and it I have not done so, I cannot be blamed either by you or by others.

At the end of the sixteenth century, for instance, Justus Lipsiusin his influential writings on military affairs, also treated the Roman military order as a permanently valid model.

machiavelli 10 rules of power

Whence there resulted that many men were killed because of their insolence, for they gave the Empire and took it away from anyone they wished, and it often occurred that at one time there were many Emperors created by the several armies. FABRIZIO: I will tell you: if I should have to organize an army where there is none, it would be necessary to select all those men who were more capable, as long as they were of military age, in order to instruct them as I would tell them: but if I should have to make the Deletto in places where the army was already organized, in order to supplement it, I would take those of seventeen years of age, because the others having been taken for some time would have been selected and instructed.

Whence it is clearer than the sun, that if that man had practiced war as his profession, and by means of it thought to obtain some advantage for himself, having so many provinces which he could plunder, he would not have asked permission to return to take care of his fields, as each day he could have obtained more than the value of all his possessions.

None the less, whoever considers everything well, will easily find the answer, for this thing of keeping on the men at arms is a corrupt thing and not good. And as they now begun freely to permit men assigned to the army to practice military matters as their profession, there soon resulted that these men became insolent, and they became formidable to the Senate and damaging to the Emperor.

Fabrizio advocates the lifting of soldiers among the common people who will have been educated and trained regularly to be ready when the time came to serve under arms to protect their homeland. Men who want to do something, ought first to prepare themselves with all industry, in order when the opportunity is seen to be prepared to achieve that which they have proposed.

COSIMO: You have made me turn this profession art of soldiering back almost to nothing, and I had supposed it to be the most excellent and most honorable of any: so that if you do not clarify this better, I will not be satisfied; for if it is as you say, I do not know whence arises the glory of Caesar, Pompey, Scipio, Marcellus, and of so many Roman Captains who are celebrated for their fame as the Gods.

COSIMO: If we first desired to hear your discussion of these matters, truly what you have said up to now redoubles that desire. I want to begin from your words, where you said to me that in war which is my profession I have not employed any of the ancient methods.

The art of war machiavelli quotes

For I see many Lords and Gentlemen who provide for themselves in times of peace through the training for war, as do your equals who obtain provisions from Princes and the Community. For if anyone in a naked state should thrash upon the sand under the highest sun, or upon the snow in the most icy months of winter, as did Diogenes, he would be considered mad. And wherever one of these two thoughts exists, it does not occur in a good man; for, from the desire to provide for oneself in every circumstance, robberies, violence and assassinations result, which such soldiers do to friends as well as to enemies: and from not desiring peace, there arises those deceptions which Captains perpetrate upon those whom they lead, because war hardens them: and even if peace occurs frequently, it happens that the leaders, being deprived of their stipends and of their licentious mode of living, raise a flag of piracy, and without any mercy sack a province. FABRIZIO: You know well it would be so; if it is a Principality, he who should command should be their Prince or an ordinary Lord; or if it is a Republic, a citizen who for the time should be Captain: otherwise it is difficult to do the thing well. In the eighteenth century, the Marshal de Saxe leaned heavily on him when he composed his Reveries upon the Art of War , and Algarotti —though without much basis—saw in Machiavelli the master who has taught Frederick the Great the tactics by which he astounded Europe. Machiavelli therefore "talks up" the advantages of a militia of those arms that Florence could realistically muster and equip from her own resources. COSIMO: I am very much content and satisfied with what you have said up to now, and this conclusion which you have made pleases me greatly: and I believe it will be true when expected from a Republic, but as to Kings, I do not yet know why I should believe that a King would not want particularly to have around him those who take up such a practice as their profession. None the less, whoever considers everything well, will easily find the answer, for this thing of keeping on the men at arms is a corrupt thing and not good. FABRIZIO: You have excused him strongly in this part, and certainly you speak the truth: but I did not speak so much of these rugged ways of living, as of those other more human ways which have a greater conformity to the ways of living today, which I do not believe should have been difficult to introduce by one who is numbered among the Princes of a City. What is the proportion of infantry needed to be employed in time of war to that in peace?

And I will be grateful if you ask me, for I am about to learn as much from what you ask me, as you will from me replying to you, because many times a wise questioner causes one to consider many things and understand many others which, without having been asked, would never have been understood.

Harvey C.

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The Art Of War, By Niccolò Machiavelli