Cover: Machiavelli: A Portrait, from Harvard University PressCover: Machiavelli in HARDCOVER


A Portrait

Add to Cart

Product Details


$24.95 • £19.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674416123

Publication Date: 02/24/2015


256 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Machiavellian. The very word calls up images of plots, daggers and devious minds. Christopher Celenza separates the man from the melodrama.—Steven Carroll, The Sydney Morning Herald

Both readable and trustworthy.—Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

Demonstrates how Machiavelli’s thoughts on conflict and leadership are relevant to today’s political world.—L. B. Gimelli, Choice

A brief, erudite exposition of the Florentine secretary’s mores and intentions. In this accessible work, Celenza explores why Machiavelli’s The Prince continues to enthrall readers and how the author’s other, less-well-known works, such as his comedies, can help enrich the way we understand him… A compelling portrait of the life of a man ‘subject to and involved in history, who believed…that by interpreting the past sagely, one could act more fruitfully in the present.’Kirkus Reviews

By setting the author of The Prince in his historical context, Christopher Celenza captures the brilliance, risk-taking, danger, and sheer exuberant delight of the Italian Renaissance. With particular sensitivity to the precise nuances of Machiavelli’s language, Celenza enables us to seize upon what continues to be relevant in his work to our own time and place.—Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Celenza’s Machiavelli is a man passionately engaged in history, a scholar of the past whose interests run from the remote annals of ancient Rome to the tormented chronicles of early modern Italy, and an unflaggingly committed participant in the events of his own time. The result is a singularly humane portrait of a wise man making his way through what was often a cruel, chaotic world.—Ingrid Rowland, University of Notre Dame

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy, by James Hankins, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with James Hankins, author of Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

With Virtue Politics, James Hankins has delivered a bold, revisionist account of the political thought of the Italian Renaissance—from Petrarch to Machiavelli—that reveals the all-important role of character in shaping society, both in citizens and in their leaders. We spoke to him about the importance of virtue to leadership in Renaissance Italy—and its relevance to our own time.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.