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 is another method that Machiavelli reports leaders use to offend their citizens?

2. What does Machiavelli identify as tactics the Citizen seeking not to be harmed uses?

3. What does Machiavelli consider prudence in a Prince or a King?

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

5. What is an obvious counterpoint to Machiavelli's assertion to the benefits of the power of the Caesars to the Roman Empire?

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. 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?

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

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

5. What does Machiavelli recommend to a Prince about reform of a city or a province that he has taken?

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

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

8. What does Machiavelli mean when he uses the term "virtu" for a Prince?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote during the Italian Renaissance. Identify two notable events or phenomena from the Italian Renaissance and relate content from "The Discourses" that either might have been a response to or a motivation for them.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Machiavelli claims that the Roman Caesars did good and not harm to the Roman Republic. Why did Machiavelli make his claim? Do you agree with his assessment? Use information from research on the authority of the Roman Caesars and other statements from history to support your views.

(see the answer keys)

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