By Mark Jurdjevic
Like many population of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated among love and hate for his local urban. He usually wrote scathing comments approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but additionally wrote approximately Florence with delight, patriotism, and assured wish of higher instances. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and melancholy he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly chronic feel that his urban had the entire fabrics and power useful for a wholesale, positive, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably positioned it, Florence was once "truly an exceptional and wretched city."
Mark Jurdjevic specializes in the Florentine measurement of Machiavelli's political inspiration, revealing new points of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, so much considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political profession and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He exhibits that major and as but unrecognized points of Machiavelli's political concept have been noticeably Florentine in suggestion, content material, and function. From a brand new point of view and armed with new arguments, a superb and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's dating to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli simply unfavorable classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings was once an instantaneous functionality of his significant estimation of its unrealized political potential.
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Additional info for A great and wretched city : promise and failure in Machiavelli's Florentine political thought
67 In Machiavelli’s view, Savonarola understood the problem and its solution with the same clarity as Moses but failed to destroy the envious. Savonarola’s failure, however, was not the result of his disapproval of force or un[ 40 ] The Savonarolan Lens willingness to encourage confl ict but was due to the nature of his following and his lack of formal power: “This necessity was well recognized by Frate Girolamo Savonarola. . [He] could not overcome envy because he did not have power enough and because he was not well understood by his followers who did have power.
Earlier that year the Machiavelli family was engaged in a property dispute with the Pazzi family over land attached to the parish church of Santa Maria di Fagna. Machiavelli appealed for assistance to Becchi’s principal contact in Rome, Cardinal Giovanni Lopez, who ruled in favor of the Machiavelli. With elections in preparation and having already benefited from the patronage of the anti-Savonarolan Becchi-Lopez circle, Machiavelli must have wished also to underscore his understanding not only of the friar’s motives and tactics but of the Savonarolan faction as well, and his ability to articulate that understanding with pithiness and precision.
But Geerken overlooked a major source with which we are certain Machiavelli was familiar: Savonarola’s sermons on Exodus from March 2 and 3, 1498, which Machiavelli attended and scrutinized in detail at the behest of Becchi. In these sermons, Savonarola likened his followers to an army and identified his opponents as the envious: “I tell you that there are two armies: one of God and one of the Devil. These armies still fight today and in new ways: the army of God fights with faith, orations, and patience.
A great and wretched city : promise and failure in Machiavelli's Florentine political thought by Mark Jurdjevic