Machiavelli wrote it in 1513, but then it was published only in 1532, posthumously. Machiavelli died in 1527.
The first English edition was printed in 1640 and has sold recently at an auction for 24.500 GBP.
Dino Messina is an editorialist and an historian working for the Corriere della Sera, the main daily newspaper in Italy. It is indeed a great pleasure to read his stimulating articles and then leave a comment or two in his blog. Strangely enough the comments there are indeed rare, but on the other hand you may be sure that Dino Messina is going to answer and comment on your comments.
One of his latest articles concerns, as the title imply, Nicolo’ Machiavelli.
Here is his original entry:
I was able to catch Messina slightly off-gard when he repeated the usual cliche’ that Machiavelli never said: “The ends justify the means” accusing the Jesuits to have create such false impression.
However, Jesuits know well how to read and interpreter books!
As a matter of fact Machiavelli wrote it several times, even if not ‘verbatim’ the closest words are those he used in a report written to the Gonfaloniere of the Florentine Republic, Pier Soderini. The title is:
Ghiribizzi scripti in Perugia al Soderino’
Here below is my comment, waiting to be published on the blob of Dino Messina.
Ghiribizzi scripti in Perugia al Soderino
Questa e’ una relazione scritta da Machiavelli nel 1506, mentre stava al seguito delle truppe papali alla riconquista di Perugia e di Bologna.
‘Si habbi nelle cose ad vedere il fine e non il mezzo.’
Si’, ci furono altri storici ed esegeti di valore, fra i quali coloro che lei cita, Prezzolini pero’ lo rese popolare nel mondo. Una piccola curiosita’ personale: passeggiando per un mercatino delle pulci una ventina d’anni fa in una cittadina statunitense trovai un banchetto con opuscoli e libri in italiano. Era quanto restava della libreria di Allan H. Gilbert, un italianista con varie opere su Dante e Machiavelli al proprio attivo. Venni via trascinando un sacco di tela con una ventina di chili di carta dentro (pagati pochi dollari, forse 200 per tutto) che poi spedii in Italia. Perlopiu’ opuscoli e dispense ma il catch maggiore furono gli otto volumi delle opere complete di Machiavelli, Italia 1813. Tutto annotato dal Gilbert. Cordiali Saluti. Angelo Paratico
A sad note to conclude our article, there is not yet a National Edition of all the works and letters of Nicolo’ Machiavelli.
Something like to say that the Indice of the Forbidden Books by the Catholic Church, into which his name was unjustly written, it is still in force. Because of such prohibition, born out of a gross misunderstanding, the editions which were printed in the last four and half centuries are always incomplete.
I personally own a “testina” edition besides the edition mentioned above, dated 1813 and not giving the city of printing, but a modern, official and complete one, is still sorely missed. The ministry of culture should spare some of its money to collect the works of this genial Italian of the past and add criticism and notes.