This chapter examines Niccolò Machiavelli's ideas about liberty. It considers Machiavelli's Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy (1584), which contains Machiavelli's treatment of republican liberty and is considered to be his greatest contribution to the discussion of the tensions between political power and the liberty of both the individual citizen and the community at large. Alongside the conflict between law and the liberty of the republican citizen, the chapter turns to another key point in Machiavelli's arguments about liberty—the contradictions between liberty and what he calls fortuna (good luck or good fortune). Next, the chapter studies Machiavelli's Discourses in light of the genre of the utopia, as conceived by Sir Thomas More. Finally, the chapter takes a more detailed look into Machiavelli's other famous work, The Prince (1532).
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