Virtù, Justice, Force:On Machiavelli and Some of His Readers Carlo Ginzburg

Carlo Ginzburg * 30 at the passage from Machiavelli’s Discourses that Burckhardt evoked to exemplify the puzzling relationship between virtù and morality . Most Roman emperors, Machiavelli points out, suffered a violent death . Among the exceptions, Septimius Severus : “e se tra quelli che morirono ordinariamente ve ne fu alcuno scelerato, come Severo, nacque da una sua grandissima fortuna e virtù, le quali due cose pochi uomini accompagnano” Discorsi, I, 10 ) . 3 ( The same passage in Leslie J . Walker’s translation reads : “While, if amongst those who died ordinary deaths, there was a wicked man, like Severus, it must be put down to his great good luck and to his ‘virtue,’ two things of which few men enjoy both . ” 4 Father Walker, a Jesuit, put “virtue” in quotation marks, since as he explained in a footnote, in that passage virtù means “efficacy” – a notion devoid of moral connotations and therefore ( as Burckhardt remarked ) compatible with wickedness . 5 One might conclude that v...  אל הספר
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