Posts Tagged ‘Italian history’
As we politely decline a third serving of green bean casserole, we might recall that it was on this date in 1922 that the Italian Parliament granted Benito Mussolini dictatorial powers “for one year.” Mussolini held the position until 1943, though he changed his title in 1925 to “Il Duce,” then again in 1936 to “Sua Eccellenza Benito Mussolini, Capo del Governo, Duce del Fascismo e Fondatore dell’Impero” (“His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire”). Any resemblance to Sylvio Berlusconi is coincidental.
From Fox News, announcing the big news story of May 1:
Obama Bin Laden Dead
Still, Happy World Press Freedom Day!
As we remember that, to paraphrase Craig Newmark, a free press is the immune system of a democracy, we might wish a crafty Happy Birthday to Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli; he was born on this date in 1469. Machiavelli wrote comedies, poetry, and some of the best-known personal correspondence in Italian; but he is best remembered as a Man of Affairs, first as a servant of the Florentine Republic in a time during which Medici influence was on the wane. His most famous work, The Prince– first published as a pamphlet in 1513– was written mid-career to gain favor with the Medici, who were at that point regaining dominance in Florence. The essay on the exercise of power (inspired by Cesare Borgia) not only failed to win over the Medici, it alienated Machiavelli from the Florentine public; he never again played an important role in government. Indeed, when the Florentine Republic was established in 1527, Machiavelli was effectively ostracized.
But published in book form posthumously (in 1532), The Prince began its steady growth in influence. And indeed today, Machiavelli is considered one of the fathers of modern political theory.
Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito (source)