Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Florentine diplomat and 'father of modern political theory', experienced life amongst the political courts of Europe and witnessed firsthand the acts of powerful men. Though a staunch Republican, his infamous work The Prince advises an autocratic ruler on how best to govern, modelled largely on the ruthless yet successful Cesare Borgia. Machiavelli's work was among the first to take a candid view of politics, placing ethics to one side.