Machiavelli and Mystery of State

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 28, 1992 - History - 242 pages
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This book studies the intersection of sacred and secular conceptions of kingship in the Renaissance. The book documents in detail six instances of the attempt to connect Machiavelli's thought to an ancient and secret tradition of political counsel, the arcana imperii, or mysteries of state. The ways in which Renaissance writers attempted such a connection varied widely. In addition to carefully analyzing these arguments, the book documents patterns in their dissemination. Through his connection with mysteries of state, Machiavelli influenced not only Renaissance political ideas, but the transmission of these ideas. Machiavellian politics was a secret art; its vehicles, frequently secret books; and its authors and readers, sharers in a mystery.

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