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 claim happens to great men in times of peace?

2. Of what is Machiavelli critical regarding the military tactics of his day?

3. According to Machiavelli, why did Livius believe the Roman Republic grew?

4. Who does Machiavelli credit with protecting Rome from the ambitions of the Tribunes?

5. What does Machiavelli believe is the only consideration to be made when the defense of a country is at stake?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Machiavelli uses the word "esteemed" in reference to artillery and infantry, what does he mean?

2. Why does Machiavelli consider sustaining an initial thrust of an enemy to be an effective strategy for winning a battle?

3. Why does Machiavelli believe, "that men born in a province observe for all time almost the same natures (Book 3, Section 43)?"

4. What are some of methods that Machiavelli identifies that Citizens use to earn private honors?

5. What is the advice that Machiavelli gives to Princes who take possessions from another Prince?

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

7. Why does Machiavelli in Section 28 recommend that Citizens be allowed to obtain honors through public means, but prevented from seeking honors through private means?

8. What does Machiavelli write of in Book Three, Section 14 when he reviews, " inventions and new voices...," and why does he recommend these to be used in the heat of battle?

9. What are two reasons that Machiavelli claims men have a hard time changing with the times?

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

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 3, Sections 14, 40, and 48, Machiavelli details the significance of using deception in battle. Compare Machiavelli's appreciation for using deception in battle to how Machiavelli recommends deception in politics to preserve the freedom of the Republic. Do you believe that Machiavelli would share you view of deceptive political practices? Why or why not? Give support for your responses with quotes from "The Discourses".

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?

(see the answer keys)

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