Discourses on Livy
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Machiavelli is known for his no-nonsense take on matters of war, ruling, and power in affairs of state. His treatise on these matters, "Discourses on Livy", is no different. In this work, Machiavelli openly states his educated opinion on how governments of his time should manage their people, goods, wealth, and other resources.
Machiavelli accomplishes his vision through a comparison of governments of his day to the political and religious systems of ancient Rome. His comparison is not so much a mandate to adhere strictly to the Roman ideal, but an application of Roman principles to many different areas. Through applying concepts, rather than making hard and fast rules, Machiavelli is able to speak directly to potential adjustments within the political systems of his time.