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. How does Machiavelli suggest that a man with power should present himself to a city in turmoil?

2. What is Machiavelli's explanation for initiating his recommended approach with enemies against an empire?

3. What was an example from Roman history that Machiavelli used to suggest the Plebes possesses greater wisdom than Nobles?

4. 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?

5. What does Machiavelli predict will come to Republics that do not provide for dictatorships or powerful authorities in times of urgent perils?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What acts by governing officials does Machiavelli consider "pernicious" or damaging to the authority of the government?

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

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

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

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

7. 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?

8. Why does Machiavelli recommend to leaders of a Republic to keep a shadow of the institutions that are being reformed?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book 1, Section 46, Machiavelli applauds the Roman Plebs for having the wisdom not to elect Plebs to the position of Tribunes. Then in Book 1, Section 47 he applauds the Nobles for the methods they used to manage the decision of the Plebs. How does the context of Machiavelli's report in the two chapters form your opinion of Machiavelli's character, his views of freedom, and his views on corruption? Do you agree with Machiavelli's positions in the two chapters? Why or why not?

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

In Book 3, Sections 31 and 33, Machiavelli examines the type of individual character that contributes to strong Republics and military victory. What is your view on the Machiavelli's principles regarding consistent character through favorable times and bad? On what points do you agree with the character qualities he calls "virtu" and those which he criticizes? What character qualities would you add or replace with what he calls "virtu"? Why would you make such changes?

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