Machiavellian musings

This from The Appendix, via Kurt at Cultural Offering.

500 years ago, almost exactly (10th December 1513), Nicolo Machiavelli wrote of his love of reading:

When evening has come, I return to my home and I go into my study. At the threshold, I take off my clothes of the day, which are covered in mud and mire, and I put on regal and courtly garments; and decently reclothed, I enter into the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them kindly, I feed on the food that alone is mine and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak to them, to ask them the reasons for their actions; and they, in their humanity, answer me. For four hours I feel no boredom, I dismiss every affliction, I no longer fear poverty, nor do I tremble at the thought of death. I become completely part of them.” —Nicolo Machiavelli, 1513

In the full letter he names some of his ancient men as Dante and Petrarch (from around 1300) and Ovid (around 0 AD).


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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