Fortune is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History

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Plume, May 31, 1999 - History - 278 pages
2 Reviews
In the tradition of the New York Times bestselling Longitude comes a popular history that reveals the little known story of what happened when two of the world's most brilliant minds met. Italy, the year 1502. Leonardo da Vinci, engineer and possible spy in the court of Cesare Borgia, crosses paths with Niccolo Machiavelli, at that time Florentine ambassador.

The two men formed a friendship, and joined together in an attempt to carry out one of Leonardo's most fantastic dreams: to build a system of canals that would make the Arno river navigable from Florence to the sea. While the primary reason for the project was military, da Vinci and Machiavelli also had commerce in mind. They envisioned a day when explorers would be able to sail from the city center to the sea and back, bringing riches from the New World for the greater glory of Florence.

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User Review  - stuart10er - LibraryThing

Da Vinci and Machiavelli cooperated on one project, diverting the Arno as part of a war with Pisa. The book traces the history of Florence, each of the two men, and then the project - which failed. Interesting book - but not one I'd recommend. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - baswood - LibraryThing

Roger D Masters an academic has written a very readable book featuring a joint project undertaken by two of the most remarkable men living and working in early 16th century Florence. Leonardo Da Vinci ... Read full review



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About the author (1999)

Roger D. Masters is the Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. The author of academic works on Machiavelli and Rousseau, as well as studies linking modern biology with political behavior, Fortune Is a River is Professor Masters' first book for a popular audience.

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