The Discourses Test | Final 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 Machiavelli identify as the three divisions of armies of his day?

2. What does Machiavelli cite as Aristotle's three causes of ruin women bring on tyrants.

3. What does Machiavelli recommend that prudent men avoid?

4. What does Machiavelli consider one of the most important reasons the Roman Empire was successful in expanding its borders?

5. What, according to Machiavelli, did Epaminondas the Theban claim was most necessary and useful for a Captain?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Machiavelli recommend to Captains as an element of strategy to assure success in capturing a town?

2. What does Machiavelli mean when he discusses using "...deceit in the managing of a war..." and why does he consider it a glorious thing?

3. Why does Machiavelli consider saving an army from attack to be an effective method for defending a country?

4. Why would there be much bloodshed in the cases that a Republic moves violently from tyranny to freedom?

5. What does Machiavelli recommend as the three methods of reuniting a City that has been divided?

6. Why doesn't Machiavelli expect promises made under force to be kept?

7. Why does Machiavelli devote his longest section of "The Discourses" to discussing conspiracy?

8. What are two remedies that Machiavelli recommends in Book Three, section16 to prevent a City from becoming corrupted by periods of peace and wealth?

9. Why did "Captains of Fortune" favor cavalry over infantry?

10. What are two points that you can take from Book Three, Section 13 to suggest that Machiavelli believes that it is better for a Prince to have a strong army badly captained rather than a bad army strongly captained?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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 advises on dealing with evil challenging a State in Book 1, Sections 33. What does Machiavelli consider evil? Support what you find as his definition with statements from all of "The Discourses". Do you agree with his assessments? Why or why not? In your response give documented support from other political or moral thinkers.

(see the answer keys)

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