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As If God ExistedReligion and Liberty in the History of Italy$
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Maurizio Viroli

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142357

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142357.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

A Religion to Live Free

A Religion to Live Free

(p.52) 7 A Religion to Live Free
As If God Existed

Maurizio Viroli

, Alberto Nones
Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on political writer Machiavelli, who elaborated on both republican religion and the need for a religious reform better than anybody else. In the last pages of The Art of War, which he wrote in order to revive the ancient orders and ancient Italian military virtue, he reveals his conviction that Italy “seems to be born to resurrect dead things, as one could see in poetry, painting, and sculpture.” He harshly criticizes the corruption of the church, accusing the church of Rome of keeping Italy divided, bringing about the death of “all devotion and all religion,” and instilling in the minds of the Italians the especially malign wickedness of those who have no religion.

Keywords:   Machiavelli, political writers, republican religion, religious reform, Italian military virtue

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