Niccolò Machiavelli: 500 Years Old and Not Feeling Them!

(December 06, 2013)
December 2013 in New York is dedicated to one of the greatest theorists of power and politics: Niccolo’ Machiavelli, whose masterpiece ‘The Prince’ came out on December 10, 1513—500 years ago.

The most important theorists who analyzed the role of political power and the role of leaders and leadership in the political community. For many he is the last representative of the ancient political philosophy, while for others he is the founder of the modern concepts of power and politics. Certainly The Prince represents a turning point in scientific analysis of politics: how it is gained, maintained, and lost. The essay first came out on December 10, 1513—500 years ago.


On the occasion of its 500th anniversary, New York will celebrate with a series of events throughout the month of December. This was made possible in part by ENI, Italy’s worldwide energy company, which has been performing the role of “Cultural Ambassador” throughout 2013, sponsoring and supporting some of the most important initiatives of the Year of Italian Culture in the U.S. The objective is to foster an ever stronger collaboration between public and private entities to promote Italian art and culture throughout the world.


The first event in the series celebrating the five centuries of what is still considered one of the most influential political essays in Western literature is the exhibition Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince and its Era 1513-2013. It was inaugurated on November 11 at the Italian Embassy of Washington and will arrive in New York on December 6 at the Italian Cultural Institute (where it will run until January 6, 2014). The exhibit covers several themes, including the history of The Prince, Machiavelli the man and the influence he later had on the development of modern political thought both in Italy and abroad. During the event, it will be possible to admire several paintings, costumes of the period and also videos and multimedia reconstructions of the city of Florence, which is where Machiavelli lived and served. Also on display will be some of the most famous editions of The Prince, together with the translated versions that transported it around the world.  


Alongside the exhibition, the Italian Cultural Institute has organized a conference, From Machiavell’s the Prince to New European Welfare, during which Niccolo’ Machiavelli’s part in the Italian Renaissance will be discussed, and his roles as a historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer highlighted. The conference will be divided into three sessions. The first session will be held on December 9, 2013 and the other two on December 10, 2013.


Last but not least, the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies of the Columbia University of New York will celebrate the renowned Italian thinker and his work by hosting one section of the exhibition from December 6 to December 20. On the first two days (December 6 and 7), a special international conference will take place entitled Liberty and Conflict: Machiavelli on Politics and Power. Participants include experts from the most prestigious academic institutions all over the world. The international conference, organized by David Johnston and Nadia Urbinati from the Department of Political Science of the Columbia University of New York, will focus on four major themes: Between Antiquity and Modernity; The Prince; The Prince and Discourses; Reception.