Standard Ebooks

Discourses on Livy

Niccolò Machiavelli


A very different work from his well-known The Prince, and posthumously published a year prior to it, Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy is one of his most debated works. Some critics see it as presenting a counterpoint or refutation of The Prince, calling it a key founding document of modern liberal republicanism. Others maintain that it is complementary, arguing that leaders of republics must act in the manner Machiavelli prescribes in The Prince if they are to maintain their state’s freedom. In any case, it is a deep and complex work of political philosophy.

Both complementary and critical of contemporary Italian Renaissance politics, culture, and religion, Discourses on Livy uses Roman history, as described in the first ten books of Livy’s Ab urbe condita, to explain Machiavelli’s views across a broad range of subjects. The 142 discourses discuss political violence, military strategy, political corruption and reform, conspiracy, public opinion, the role of religion in public life, and much more.

Read free

This ebook is thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that this ebook is free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before accessing, downloading, or using it.

Download for ereaders

Read online

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update accessibility boilerplate

  2. Update Onix file boilerplate

  3. Update metadata boilerplate

  4. Update core.css to new standards

  5. Update core CSS to new standards

More details



Page scans

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.

You can also donate to Standard Ebooks to help fund continuing improvement of this and other ebooks.