Machiavelli on the Net: Individual works online

Listed here are the works by Machiavelli I consider the most important. Visit the libraries for other works.

The Art of War (Dell’arte della guerra)

War is one of the central topics in Machiavelli’s thought. This dialogue is the only one of his major works that focuses exclusively on military theory.

In Italian:

All English translations available on the net I know of lack the information about the translator. It is possible that all the texts available are derived from a single translation.

Discourses on Livy (Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio)

In the Discourses, the work many consider his most significant, Machiavelli outlines how to establish or reform a republic.

In Italian:

In English, there are three translations available: those of Ninian Hill Thomson (Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius, 1883), Henry Neville (Discourses Upon The First Ten Books of Titus Livy, 1675) and Christian E. Detmold (Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, 1882). I do not know which one is the best or most reliable.

The Florentine Histories (Istorie fiorentine)

In Italian:

In English, there are a few very similar versions available. Apparently they are all derived from the same translation, published in 1901 by W. Walter Dunne with no information about the translator. Note that the translator has chosen to translate the title less literally: instead of Florentine Histories the title is History of Florence.

The Mandrake Root (La mandragola)

With his major political works published only after his death, during his lifetime Machiavelli was best known as a playwright. His Mandragola, regarded as a classic of Italian literature, is a truly Machiavellian love story.

In Italian:

In English, there is in PDF format a good, new translation by Nerida Newbigin.

The Prince (Il principe)

The Prince is Machiavelli’s most famous work, and a favorite of numerous political leaders in the modern age. The book is small but tightly packed with very practical and often very immoral advice for a prince, either an actual or a potential one.

There are several versions of the work online, but many of them are poorly formatted. Some of the translations do not even name the translator.

In Italian:

In English, there are three different translations available: William K. Marriott’s (1908), Ninian Hill Thomson’s (1909–14) and Christian E. Detmold’s (1882).

Miscellaneous texts

As usual with the web, there are unclassified bits of information here and there. Some of them are useful.

Last updated: 2 May 2010.