The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What did Machiavelli identify as the cause of conspiracy against a hereditary Princes?
(a) The larger population of citizens became unhappy with the the political preferences of the Princes.
(b) They degenerated from their fathers, and surpassed others in sumptuousness and lasciviousness and in every other kind of delight.
(c) The general population became dissatisfied with the distribution of wealth.
(d) Less powerful people desired the power of the Prince.

2. What does Machiavelli identify as tactics the Citizen seeking not to be harmed uses?
(a) The financial ability to buy protection.
(b) Acquiring friendships either through honest means or by supplying money to protect themselves from the powerful (bribes).
(c) Friendships with Citizens who are bold enough to fight.
(d) Obscurity.

3. What was a rival Empire to Rome as Rome began its expansion?
(a) The Spartans.
(b) The Egyptians.
(c) The Babylonians.
(d) The Carthaginians.

4. What does Machiavelli consider prudence in a Prince or a King?
(a) Picking battles that are important enough to fight and small enough to win.
(b) Keeping friends close and enemies closer.
(c) Knowing that the enemy of his enemy is his friend.
(d) In times of peace not neglecting the arrangements of war.

5. How did Roman soldiers provide for themselves before the Senate decided to pay them?
(a) They worked as farmers.
(b) They received sponsorships from Nobles.
(c) They were required to provide for their own needs.
(d) They worked as aides to Senators.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Machiavelli recommend a Republic deal with enemies that spring up within an empire?

2. What does Machiavelli announce as the purpose of Book Two of "The Discourses" in the preface?

3. Through what means does Machiavelli suggest that a City can achieve what he considers greatness?

4. According to Machiavelli, what is the first thing that Citizens seek when starting on the path of chasing their ambitions?

5. What does Machiavelli claim will make a City great?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Machiavelli disagree with Plutarch's claim that Rome acquired its Empire more by good Fortune than by Virtu?

2. How does Machiavelli explain that a City grows either through love or through force?

3. What kind of Prince does Machiavelli consider to be weak?

4. What kind of Prince does Machiavelli consider to be Excellent?

5. Why should a Prince measure his forces and govern by his decisions based upon them before he enters a war?

6. Why does Machiavelli recommend to leaders of a Republic to keep a shadow of the institutions that are being reformed?

7. What are the two reasons that Machiavelli gives for his opinion that the courts (Faculty of Accusing) are the most necessary and useful authority to guard liberty in a City?

8. What does Machiavelli claim to be the practice of writers of history who, "...so obey the fortune of the winners...?"

9. In the title of Book 1, Section 8, what does Machiavelli mean with the phrase, "...so much so calumnies are pernicious...?"

10. What does Machiavelli consider to be the worst example that can be committed in a Republic?

(see the answer keys)

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