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. When Machiavelli writes, "For sometimes of necessity our judgment is the truth, as human affairs are always in motion, either ascending or descending," what is he writing about what he believes about truth?

2. What does Machiavelli consider to be the means of someone rising from the bottom to gain a great fortune?

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

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

5. What should the reader consider as evil when Machiavelli is advising Princes to "recognize evils".

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book 1, Sections 21-23 Machiavelli begins a repeated focus on the role of the military in maintaining a Free Republic by focusing on making sound decisions on the cost of a military to a Republic. Identify quotes from Machiavelli that detail Machiavelli's advice on the use of resources on the military, whether or not his advice is being followed today, and what you consider to be the consequences of the current decisions regarding the modern costs of the military.

Essay Topic 2

In Book 1, Section 50, Machiavelli details the activities of a city being halted by magistrates. Who were the magistrates? What activity was being stopped? How was the situation changed? How does Machiavelli's characterization further define his views on the purpose of government with regard to the purpose of its citizens?

Essay Topic 3

Machiavelli used history of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire to develop much of his support for his positions. What are the dates of the existence of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, what differences in the forms of government between the two, and what brought the passage of the Republic to the Empire.

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