Francesco Guicciardini

Francesco Guicciardini
Francesco Guicciardini
  • Born: March 6, 1483
  • Died: May 22, 1540
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Profession: Historian, Statesman

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Francesco Guicciardini was an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance. In his masterpiece, The History of Italy, Guicciardini paved the way for a new style in historiography with his use of government sources to support arguments and the realistic analysis of the people and events of his time.

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…making our city well-armed, and thus creating the chance for Florence to achieve glorious victories, giving public office to men of good reputation and conduct, making it easy to punish the crimes of anyone who follows evil paths: all these measures together would result in the rich being less esteemed than they are today. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Ambassadors are the eyes and ears of states. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Enterprises that depend on many rarely succeed. Management & Managing Government
In one day he [Lycurgus] eradicated from Sparta all wealth and sumptuousness; he put together all the property of all the inhabitants, then divided it equally among them; he prohibited the use of money and all the activities for which wealth is sought: sumptuous display, banquets, many servants, luxurious clothes and fine houses. Miscellaneous
It is better to be the subject of a prince than of a republic, for a republic keeps its subjects under, and gives no share of its greatness save to its own citizens; a prince is common to all, one man is as much his subject as another, therefore every one can hope to be favoured or employed. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It would be necessary to eliminate the excessive regard and esteem for wealth, because the craving for riches erodes the desire for true glory, prevents the cultivation of the virtues and results in countless seizures of what belongs to others, as well as many other dishonorable actions. Corruption
Never wage war on religion, nor upon seemingly holy institutions, for this thing has too great a force upon the minds of fools. Religion & God
The most fatal of all neutralities is that which results not from choice, but from irresolution. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We fight to great disadvantage when we fight with those who have nothing to lose. War & Peace
Affairs that depend on many rarely succeed.
Ambition is not in itself an evil; nor is he to be condemned whose spirit prompts him to seek fame by worthy and honourable ways.
Conspiracies, since they cannot be engaged in without the fellowship of others, are for that reason most perilous; for as most men are either fools or knaves, we run excessive risk in making such folk our companions.
Few revolutions succeed, and when they do, you often discover they did not gain what you hoped for, and you condemn yourself to perpetual fear, as the parties you defeated may always regain power and work for your ruin. Power ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I know no man who feels deeper disgust than I do at the ambition, avarice, and profligacy of the priesthood, as well because every one of these vices is odious in itself, as because each of them separately and all of them together are utterly abhorrent in men making profession of a life dedicated to God. Life ;Religion & God
If you attempt certain things at the right time, they are easy to accomplish - in fact, they almost get done by themselves. If you undertake them before the time is right, not only will they fail, but they will often become impossible to accomplish even when the time would have been right. Time
It is a great matter to be in authority over others; for authority, if it be rightly used, will make you feared beyond your actual resources.
Let no one trust so entirely to natural prudence as to persuade himself that it will suffice to guide him without help from experience. Trust
Like other men, I have sought honours and preferment, and often have obtained them beyond my wishes or hopes. Yet never have I found in them that content which I had figured beforehand in my mind. A strong reason, if we well consider it, why we should disencumber ourselves of vain desires.
One who imitates what is bad always goes beyond his model; while one who imitates what is good always comes up short of it.
Pay no heed to those who tell you that they have relinquished place and power of their own accord, and from their love of quiet. For almost always they have been brought to this retirement by their insufficiency and against their will. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Power
Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them. Friendship
The affairs of this world are so shifting and depend on so many accidents, that it is hard to form any judgment concerning the future; nay, we see from experience that the forecasts even of the wise almost always turn out false. Future
The return we reap from generous actions is not always evident.
There is nothing so fleeting as the memory of benefits received.
Waste no time with revolutions that do not remove the causes of your complaints but simply change the faces of those in charge. Time

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