In the variegated cultural panorama of the early modern age, a fascinating alternative to the transmission of knowledge to posterity by a single author became increasingly popular. This was a form of layered wisdom, generated by the combined and stratified contributions of different authors, publishers, editors and translators. This book focuses on one of the most representative expressions of this phenomenon: the 16th-century collections of political maxims. Working at different times and in different places, the exponents of this little-known chapter of intellectual history came together in the attempt to define the rules of statecraft. This research traces their experimentation, illustrating how it helped pave the way for the evolution of modern political science.