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The Guicciardini were well-established members of the Florentine oligarchy as well as supporters of the Medici. Like his father, Francesco received a fine humanist education and studied the classics, learning both Latin and a little Greek.
His father, however, "thought the affairs of the Church were decadent. He preferred to lose great present profits and the chance of making one of his sons a great man rather than have it on his conscience that he had made one of his sons a priest out of greed for wealth or great position. At 23, he was appointed by the Signoria of Florence to teach legal studies at the Florentine Studio. In , he married Maria Salviati, the daughter of Alamanno Salviati, cementing an oligarchical alliance with the powerful Florentine family.
In the same year, he wrote the Memorie di famiglia, a family memoir of the Guicciardini family, the Storie Fiorentine Tales of Florence , and began his Ricordi, a rudimentary personal chronicle of his life. He had doubts about accepting the position because it came with so little profit and would disrupt his law practice and take him away from the city. His Spanish correspondence with the Signoria  [ full citation needed ] reveals his power of observation and analysis, a chief quality of his mind.
At the Spanish court, he learned lessons of political realism. In his letters back home, he expressed appreciation for being able to observe Spanish military methods and estimate their strength during the time of war. However, he also distrusted the calculated gestures of Ferdinand and referred to him as a model of the art of political deceit.
During his time in Spain, the Medici regained power in Florence. Under the new regime, his embassy in Spain dragged on, frustrating Guicciardini as he yearned to return to Florence and participate in its political life.
Leo X made him governor of Reggio in and Modena in This was the beginning of a long career for Guicciardini in papal administration, first under Leo X and then under his successor, Clement VII.
These high offices rendered Guicciardini the virtual master of the Papal States beyond the Apennine Mountains. As he later described himself during this period: "If you had seen messer Francesco in the Romagna Guicciardini advised an alliance with France and urged Clement to conclude the League of Cognac in , which led to war with Charles V. Later that year, as the forces of Charles V threatened to attack, Clement made Guicciardini lieutenant-general of the papal army.
Guicciardini was powerless to influence the commander of papal forces, Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino , to take action. However, in April , Guicciardini succeeded in averting an attack on Florence from a rebellious imperial army, which turned toward Rome instead. Nevertheless, the position I have enjoyed with several popes has forced me to love their greatness for my own self-interest.
Indeed, without such supports, republics can hardly last. Because of his close ties to the Medici, Guicciardini was held suspect in his native city. In March , as a result of his service to the Medici, Guicciardini was declared a rebel and had his property confiscated.
Under the command of Clement VII, Guicciardini was assigned the task of punishing the Florentine citizens for their resistance to the Medici, and he dealt out justice mercilessly to those who had opposed the will of the Pope.
Guicciardini supported Cosimo as duke of Florence; nevertheless, Cosimo dismissed him shortly after rising to power. He died in without male heirs.
It was not until that the first sixteen of the twenty books of his History of Italy were published. The first English "translation" by Sir Geffray Fenton was published in In that year, his descendants opened the Guicciardini family archives and committed to Giuseppe Canestrini the publication of his memoirs in ten volumes.
As Gilbert writes: "The History of Italy stands apart from all his writings because it was the one work which he wrote not for himself, but for the public. Not any individual, be it noted, but those in positions of command: emperors, princes and popes who may be counted on to act always in terms of their self-interest—the famous Guicciardinian particolare.
For he was impeded not only by his timidity of spirit, which was by no means small, and by a strong reluctance to spend, but also by a certain innate irresolution and perplexity, so that he remained almost always in suspension and ambiguous when he was faced with those deciding those thing which from afar he had many times foreseen, considered, and almost revealed.
Guicciardini was on a somewhat higher social standing than his friend, but through their letters, a relaxed, comfortable relationship between the two emerges. The historical consciousness that becomes visible in their work is a significant rupture in our thinking about the past Human agency was a central element in the historical thought of Machiavelli and Guicciardini, but they did not have a modern notion of individuality
Francesco Guicciardini Quotes
The maxims of Francis Guicciardini It is worth noting that the book itself is very short, and the aphorisms are collected from three notebooks of different eras. Eero rated it really liked it May 29, Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Many of his wiles and observations still ring true, for better or for worse. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs.
Maxims and Reflections (Ricordi)
Maxims and Reflections: Ricordi