The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does "Crescit interea Roma Albae ruinis" mean?

2. What are the two means that Machiavelli identifies as how laws are developed in cities at the beginning of Section 2, Book One.

3. Why does Machiavelli suggest that a Prince keep his conquered territories disunited from the City over which he has his power?

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

5. What does Machiavelli recommend to a City that is unable to defend itself, but wants to be protected from anyone who would attack it?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What examples from history does Machiavelli claim offers guidance to leaders?

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

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

9. What does Machiavelli claim proves the Romans' love for liberty?

10. Why does Machiavelli consider a Citizen rising to take authority through irregular means (popular uprising) harmful in a Republic?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"The Discourses" were originally written as a letter to two Italian politicians at the time. Explain how that intended audience of this letter shaped the focus and tone of the text. What does Machiavelli's recommendations throughout the book say of the character of the intended audience? Give examples from the book to support your assumptions.

Essay Topic 2

In Machiavelli's characterization of evil against the state and the benefits of the powers of the Roman Caesars, he provides a perspective that defines his view of government and freedom. What is that view? Does it match what you have been taught regarding both and does Machiavelli and what you have learned up to this point match your personal views on government and freedom? Define the similarities and the differences and use documented support from both the book and your educational experiences to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast Machiavelli's favored tactic of forming military divisions for the purpose of absorbing an enemy's initial thrust to the tactic that is known as "Blitzkrieg". Using the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan as modern examples of how both are used, as well as the history of Rome and the regime that depended on "Blitzkrieg", give your views on which tactic is more successful.

(see the answer keys)

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