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. In Book 1, Section 46, Machiavelli credits the ruin of Republics on citizens who jump from one ambition to another. What was the phrase that Sallust put in the mouth of Caesar that explains how such ambitions begin?
(a) "Beware the Ides of March."
(b) "Vini. Vidi. Vici."
(c) "All evil examples have their origins in good beginnings."
(d) "I see the better things, and approve; I follow the worse."

2. How does Machiavelli predict a citizen will conduct himself if he is not punished for his misdeeds because of his reputation for doing good deeds, according to Machiavelli.
(a) He will find ways to subvert the Prince and take his power.
(b) He will become the most effective aide to the Prince and help expand his power over the citizens.
(c) He will eventually become overwhelmed by his conscience and slip away into obscurity.
(d) He will, in short time, become so insolent as to put an end to all civil law.

3. What advice does Machiavelli offer in Book 1, Section 52 to those who want to pursue their ambitions?
(a) "He who is blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher must herafter fall with greatest loss."
(b) "Ambition is the last infirmity of Noble minds."
(c) "...(C)onsider the defects and perils which it [presents], and not to undertake it if it should be more dangerous than useful,...."
(d) "Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make yhou believe that you too can become great."

4. What is Machiavelli's explanation for initiating his recommended approach with enemies against an empire?
(a) Because those who try to crush it, make its force greater, and make that evil which is suspected from it to be accelerated.
(b) Because taking out the head of a movement will lead to the death of the body.
(c) Because putting the leaders of enemies in positions of public responsibility will require them to make decisions that will be rejected by conspiracies.
(d) Because the public humiliation of the enemy will expose supporters to the Citizens who will then act to neutralize the conspiracy.

5. What historical records did Machiavelli use to support his point for keeping two important items out of peril?
(a) Historical records of Hannibal and England.
(b) Historical records of military tactics.
(c) Historical records of Rome and France.
(d) Historical records of Tullus and Metius.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was a rival Empire to Rome as Rome began its expansion?

2. What did Machiavelli identify as the cause of conspiracy against a hereditary Princes?

3. Reviewing earlier chapters of "The Discourses", why would Machiavelli consider long wars in foreign lands important?

4. What is the main point Machiavelli investigates as he prepares to discuss the affects of strong Princes and weak Princes?

5. What does Machiavelli identify as an important action for Nobles to take to control the ambitions of Citizens seeking position?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the reasons that Machiavelli gives for people who leave their home country for another out of necessity?

2. Why does Machiavelli report that the Roman Senate decided to pay a public stipend to the soldiers in the army?

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

4. What two methods did Machiavelli identify that Roman Nobility drew honor from the Plebes?

5. 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?

6. Why did Machiavelli consider the naming of a Caesar (dictator) over Rome was beneficial to the Empire?

7. What does Machiavelli mean when he advises that evil in a State be "temporized"?

8. Why did Machiavelli praise the Plebes for refusing to choose their peers for Tribunes for which the Nobility allowed Plebes candidacy?

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

10. Why does Machiavelli believe that people who break away from the rule of a Prince have difficulty keeping their freedom?

(see the answer keys)

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