Machiavelli and the Ideology of the Offensive: Gunpowder Weapons in The Art of War

  title={Machiavelli and the Ideology of the Offensive: Gunpowder Weapons in The Art of War},
  author={Ben Cassidy},
  journal={The Journal of Military History},
  pages={381 - 404}
  • Ben Cassidy
  • Published 2003
  • History
  • The Journal of Military History
Historians have often claimed that Niccolò Machiavelli shunned the use of gunpowder weapons, both field artillery and hand-held weapons, because of their absence in the ancient world which the Italian loved so dearly. Machiavelli, however, did not reject the use of gunpowder weapons, but gave them a secondary role in his military scheme. The reason for this was that, in Machiavelli's time, reliance on gunpowder weapons necessitated defensive tactics in battle, while Machiavelli believed that an… Expand
3 Citations
The Prince and His Art of War: Machiavelli’s Military Populism
In chapter XIV of The Prince, Machiavelli warns present and prospective princes not to neglect the art of war and to be a “professore di questa arte.” By exhorting the prince to be an expert in theExpand
A new reassessment of the importance of gunpowdeweapons on the battlefields of the Wars of the Roses
The University Repository is a digital collection of the research output of the University, available on Open Access. Copyright and Moral Rights for the items on this site are retained by theExpand


Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe: Gunpowder, Technology, and Tactics
Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe explores the history of gunpowder in Europe from the thirteenth century, when it was first imported from China, to the sixteenth century, as firearms becameExpand
The art of warfare in Western Europe during the Middle Ages: From the eighth century to 1340
Part 1 Historiographical problems: weaknesses of modern military historians in discussing medieval warfare the strength of medieval armies the combat limitations of the clerical sources secular andExpand
History of Italy
In 1537 Francesco Guicciardini, adviser and confidant to three popes, governor of several central Italian states, ambassador, administrator, military captain--and persona non grata with the rulingExpand
The Origins of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to Clausewitz
Introduction: Machiavelli and the classical notion of the lessons of history in the study of war. Part 1 The military school of the Enlightenment: Montecuccoli - the impact of proto-science onExpand
A History of Warfare.
He examines every branch of warfare in its history, psychology, metallurgy, genetics, logistics, archaeology, tactics and strategy...He is as much at home in the Empire of Babylon as he is on theExpand
The Habsburg–Valois wars
God Almighty raised up these two great princes sworn enemies to one another, and emulous of one another’s greatness; an emulation that has cost the lives of two hundred thousand persons, and broughtExpand
Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars 1638-1651
1. The Actualities of War 2. The Drum's Discordant Sound 3. A sight - the saddest that eyes can see 4. Naming the Parts 5. A Soldier's Life is Terrible Hard 6. The Epitome of War 7.The MiserableExpand
Makers of modern strategy : from Machiavelli to the nuclear age
The essays in this volume analyze war, its strategic characterisitics and its political and social functions, over the past five centuries. The diversity of its themes and the broad perspectivesExpand
Going to the wars
In his autobiography, Max Hastings records his experiences reporting from the battlefields of Northern Ireland, Biafra, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East, Rhodesia and other trouble spots. It isExpand