Machiavelli’s Florentine Histories: An Important Moment in the Evolution of the Historical Discipline
Niccolò Machiavelli was a political thinker, diplomat, and historian who wrote during the early sixteenth century. Machiavelli only published one major historical work, the Florentine Histories, which he wrote on the cusp of a shift within historical writing from the trends associated with the Middle Ages to those of the Renaissance period. This essay seeks to discover whether Machiavelli’s historical writing is in line with our current perception of the trends within medieval histories or whether his style is too divergent for Machiavelli to be considered a historian of the Middle Ages. This paper examines Machiavelli’s source work and approach to writing in order to conclude that the Florentine Histories deviates from the trends present within histories written in the Middle Ages, indicating that Machiavelli should not be considered a medieval historian.
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