That prince is highly esteemed who conveys this impression of himself, and he who is highly esteemed is not easily conspired against; for, provided it is well known that he is an excellent man and revered by his people, he can only be attacked with difficulty.
In the midst of his argument, Machiavelli embarks on a long digression about the many Roman emperors, good and bad, who were assassinated. On his arrival at Rome, the Senate, through fear, elected him emperor and killed Julian.
You will be contemptible if your opposition laughs at you, and turns you into a figure for comic relief. And because the actions of this man, as a new prince, were great, I wish to show briefly that he knew well how to counterfeit the fox and the lion, which natures, as I said above, it is necessary for a prince to imitate.
Laws come naturally to men, force comes naturally to beasts. Knowing the sloth of the Emperor Julian, he persuaded the army in Sclavonia, of which he was captain, that it would be right to go to Rome and avenge the death of Pertinax, who had been killed by the praetorian soldiers; and under this pretext, without appearing to aspire to the throne, he moved the army on Rome, and reached Italy before it was known that he had started.
Subsequently killed by his own troops. And one of the most efficacious remedies that a prince can have against conspiracies is not to be hated and despised by the people, for he who conspires against a prince always expects to please them by his removal; but when the conspirator can only look forward to offending them, he will not have the courage to take such a course, for the difficulties that confront a conspirator are infinite.
But let us come to Alexander, who was a man of such great goodness, that among the other praises which are accorded him is this, that in the fourteen years he held the empire no one was ever put to death by him unjudged; nevertheless, being considered effeminate and a man who allowed himself to be governed by his mother, he became despised, the army conspired against him, and murdered him.
Moreover, men will judge their prince solely on appearance and results. And one of the most efficacious remedies that a prince can have against conspiracies is not to be hated and despised by the people, for he who conspires against a prince always expects to please them by his removal; but when the conspirator can only look forward to offending them, he will not have the courage to take such a course, for the difficulties that confront a conspirator are infinite.
There is first to note that, whereas in other principalities the ambition of the nobles and the insolence of the people only have to be contended with, the Roman emperors had a third difficulty in having to put up with the cruelty and avarice of their soldiers, a matter so beset with difficulties that it was the ruin of many; for it was a hard thing to give satisfaction both to soldiers and people; because the people loved peace, and for this reason they loved the unaspiring prince, whilst the soldiers loved the warlike prince who was bold, cruel, and rapacious, which qualities they were quite willing he should exercise upon the people, so that they could get double pay and give vent to their greed and cruelty.
And when neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content, and he has only to contend with the ambition of a few, whom he can curb with ease in many ways. Considering, on the other hand, the qualities of Commodus, Severus, Antoninus, Caracalla, and Maximinus, you will find them extremely cruel and rapacious; to satisfy the soldiers there was no injury which they would not inflict on the people, and all except Severus ended badly.
Therefore, those emperors who through inexperience had need of special favour adhered more readily to the soldiers than to the people; a course which turned out advantageous to them or not, accordingly as the prince knew how to maintain authority over them.
In any case, promises are never something on which a prince can rely, since men are by nature wretched and deceitful. For this reason I consider that a prince ought to reckon conspiracies of little account when his people hold him in esteem; but when it is hostile to him, and bears hatred towards him, he ought to fear everything and everybody.
He became hated by the whole world, and also feared by those he had around him, to such an extent that he was murdered in the midst of his army by a centurion.
By despised, Machiavelli means to be held in contempt or to be regarded with no respect. In dealing with people, a prince must break his promises when they put him at a disadvantage and when the reasons for which he made the promises no longer exist. One sure way to garner hatred is to give yourself a raise, better benefits or more perks.
If the electorate sees in you unbecoming behaviour or characteristics, you will become contemptible to people. Hence it arose that those emperors were always overthrown who, either by birth or training, had no great authority, and most of them, especially those who came new to the principality, recognizing the difficulty of these two opposing humours, were inclined to give satisfaction to the soldiers, caring little about injuring the people.
The best defense against internal threats such as conspiracy is to be neither hated nor despised. Overcame claims to the throne by Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. A prince will be despised if he has a reputation for being fickle, frivolous, effeminate, cowardly, or irresolute. But concerning his subjects, when affairs outside are disturbed he has only to fear that they will conspire secretly, from which a prince can easily secure himself by avoiding being hated and despised, and by keeping the people satisfied with him, which it is most necessary for him to accomplish, as I said above at length.
But with regard to the subjects, if not acted on from outside, it is still to be feared lest they conspire in secret, from which the prince may guard himself well by avoiding hatred and contempt, and keeping the people satisfied with him, which it is necessary to accomplish, as has been related at length.
Marcus alone lived and died in honour, because he succeeded to the empire by hereditary right and did not owe it either to the soldiers or to the people; besides which, possessing many virtues which made him revered, he kept both parties in their place as long as he lived and was never either hated or despised.
It remains to discuss the character of Maximinus. He will chiefly become hated, as I said, by being rapacious, and usurping the property and women of his subjects, which he must abstain from doing, and whenever one does not attack the property or honour of the generality of men, they will live contented; and one will only have to combat the ambition of a few, who can be easily held in check in many ways.
It makes him hated above all things, as I have said, to be rapacious, and to be a violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of which he must abstain. After Commodus was assassinated, Pertinax was proclaimed emperor by the praetorian guard, but was assassinated three months later by rebellious soldiers.
If the populace believes the prince to be virtuous, it will be easier for him to maintain his state.Which course was necessary, because, as princes cannot help being hated by someone, they ought, in the first place, to avoid being hated by every one, and when they cannot compass this, they ought to endeavour with the utmost diligence to.
But concerning his subjects, when affairs outside are disturbed he has only to fear that they will conspire secretly, from which a prince can easily secure himself by avoiding being hated and despised, and by keeping the people satisfied with him, which it is most necessary for him to accomplish, as I said above at length.
Machiavelli The Prince. 19 That We Must Avoid Being Despised and Hated. But as I have now spoken of the most important of the qualities in question, I will now deal briefly and generally with the rest.
Qualities of a Prince Machiavelli’s “The Qualities of the Prince” gives the idea of what makes an all around good ruler. He wrote guidelines touching several topics such as war, reputation, generosity, mercy, and cruelty. All of these topics preach words on how to avoid being hated but still keep power.
So long as a prince appears virtuous and is successful in running the state, he will be regarded as virtuous. Summary — Chapter XIX: The Need to Avoid Contempt and Hatred. A prince must avoid being hated and despised at all costs. A prince may be criticized for a.
"Machiavelli The Qualities Of The Prince Avoiding Being Despised And Hated" Essays and Research Papers Machiavelli The Qualities Of The Prince Avoiding Being Despised And Hated Discuss the nature of Machiavelli’s new political morality in relation to being a Prince.Download