Papirius and the Chickens, or Machiavelli on the Necessity of Interpreting Religion

@article{Najemy1999PapiriusAT,
  title={Papirius and the Chickens, or Machiavelli on the Necessity of Interpreting Religion},
  author={John M. Najemy},
  journal={Journal of the History of Ideas},
  year={1999},
  volume={60},
  pages={659 - 681}
}
  • John M. Najemy
  • Published 1 October 1999
  • Philosophy
  • Journal of the History of Ideas
No aspect of Machiavelli's thought elicits a wider range of interpretations than religion, and one may wonder why his utterances on this subject appear to move in so many different directions and cause his readers to see such different things. One reason is of course his famous challenge to conventional piety in the advice to princes (in chapter 18 of The Prince) that, while it is important to appear to be "all compassion, faith, integrity, humanity, and religione, and there is nothing more… 
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