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

2. How did Machiavelli report that the Nobles controlled the process of Plebes having the opportunity to choose Plebes for four Tribunes?
(a) They offered choices between highly reputable Nobles and ignoble Plebes who asked to be considered for the positions.
(b) They began a war and had many Plebes sent to a foreign province.
(c) They controlled the means of Plebes to provide for themselves.
(d) They were in charge of counting the votes.

3. What does Machiavelli claim will make a City great?
(a) Many administrators.
(b) Many industries.
(c) Many soldiers.
(d) Many inhabitants.

4. What is the main point Machiavelli investigates as he prepares to discuss the affects of strong Princes and weak Princes?
(a) Whether a free state can exist without laws.
(b) Whether a free state can exist with virtuous Princes.
(c) How strict power eliminates corruption and maintains freedom.
(d) Whether a free state (government) can exist in a city that is corrupted.

5. What are the two important items that Machiavelli considers to be unwise for a Prince to put entirely into peril?
(a) His city and his chief advisers.
(b) His reputation and family.
(c) His fortune and forces.
(d) His fortune and his reputation.

Short Answer 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?

2. If a cliché could be given to the preface to Book Two of "The Discourses", what would it be?

3. What does Machiavelli consider an important tool in maintaining the order of a Republic?

4. What was the inspiration for Machiavelli's "The Discourses"?

5. What does Machiavelli believe will come of agreements made by force?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. From what did Niccolo Machiavelli make the present that he sent to Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai?

3. What are the three types of state that Machiavelli detailed and by what name are they known today?

4. Why does Machiavelli advise that a Prince "temporize" a perceived evil in his State?

5. Why were the Plebe candidates not suited for the open positions of the Tribunes?

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

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

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

9. To what is Machiavelli referring when he writes of men jumping, "...from one ambition to another?"

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

(see the answer keys)

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