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[Lecture] Machiavelli’s Prince as an Oration on National Redemption

NOV . 08 2017
Title: Machiavelli’s Prince as an Oration on National Redemption
Speaker: Maurizio Viroli
Host: Qu Jingdong, professor of PKU Department of Sociology
Language: English
Location: Room B102, PKU No. 2 Gymnasium
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Time: 16:00 PM


Instead of regarding it as a political science paper, this lecture will take and present Prince as a speech that follows the rules of classical political rhetoric. According to the theory on classical rhetoric, political standpoints must be defensive in the aspects of interest, honor, and necessity, and it must be enriched by adopting proper metaphors, examples, and images. One fundamental rhetorical skill of political debate is to represent all villainies as virtues and to represent all virtues as villainies. Machiavelli skillfully employs all these rhetorical strategies in his Prince.


Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, translated and edited by Harvey C. Mansfield, Chicago University Press, 1998

Maurizio Viroli, Redeeming the Prince. The Meaning of Machiavelli’s Masterpiece, Princeton University press, 2014

Written by: Zhong Yaoqiong
Edited by: Yan Shengnan
Source: Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences