1520 and entrusted with minor civil duties. After repeated uses of the first person singular to introduce the dialogue, Machiavelli retreats from the work, serving as neither narrator nor interlocutor. Fabrizio dominates the war of art book pdf discussions with his knowledge, wisdom and insights. The other characters, for the most part, simply yield to his superior knowledge and merely bring up topics, ask him questions or for clarification.
These dialogues, then, often become monologues with Fabrizio detailing how an army should be raised, trained, organized, deployed and employed. To the contemporary reader, Machiavelli’s dialogue may seem impractical and to under-rate the effectiveness of both firearms and cavalry. However, his theories were not merely based on a thorough study and analysis of classical and contemporary military practices. Machiavelli had served for fourteen years as secretary to the Chancery of Florence and “personally observed and reported back to his government on the size, composition, weaponry, morale, and logistical capabilities of the most effective militaries of his day. Machiavelli wrote that war must be expressly defined. He developed the philosophy of “limited warfare”—that is, when diplomacy fails, war is an extension of politics.
Art of War also emphasizes the necessity of a state militia and promotes the concept of armed citizenry. He believed that all society, religion, science, and art rested on the security provided by the military. Italian city states were reliant. A standing army of the prosperous and pampered citizens that would have formed the cavalry would have been little better.
Machiavelli therefore “talks up” the advantages of a militia of those arms that Florence could realistically muster and equip from her own resources. In the course of the sixteenth century twenty-one editions appeared and it was translated into French, English, German, and Latin. Although in the seventeenth century changing military methods brought other writers to the fore, Machiavelli was still frequently quoted. Europe when armies came to be composed of professionals coming from the most different social strata. This does not mean that the progress of military art in the sixteenth century—in drilling, in dividing an army into distinct units, in planning and organizing campaigns-was due to the influence of Machiavelli. Instead, the military innovators of the time were pleased to find a work in which aspects of their practice were explained and justified. Moreover, in the sixteenth century, with its wide knowledge of ancient literature and its deep respect for classical wisdom, it was commonly held that the Romans owed their military triumphs to their emphasis on discipline and training.