The Defeat of a Renaissance Intellectual: Selected Writings of Francesco Guicciardini

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The Defeat of a Renaissance Intellectual: Selected Writings of Francesco Guicciardini

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Description

A papal advisor and sixteenth-century power broker, Francesco Guicciardini wrote voluminously throughout his time in service to the Medici. The texts in this volume chart his career chronologically, revealing an intellectual whose philosophy of self-interest failed not only to perceive the interests of others but ultimately to serve his own.

During Guicciardini s life, Florentine politics was dominated by the struggle of republican leaders to retain civic political autonomy against the ambitions of the Medici family. Like Machiavelli and Petrarch, and arguably even Dante, Guicciardini was what Carlo Celli calls an “establishment intellectual,” one whose talents furthered the hegemony of authoritarian rule against the interests of his own class. The letters, treatises, reports, and orations included in this volume span Guicciardini s long career, from his first appointment as ambassador to the Spanish court to just a few years before his forced retirement from political life. They r