What events made Machiavelli so famous in his later years?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Niccolo Machiavelli became famous in his later years.  He was a diplomat during the exile of the Medici family.  When the Medici family returned to power, he was jailed.  While he was in jail, he wrote a handbook called The Prince.  It is this handbook that made him famous. In the handbook, he discussed how politicians should be cunning, deceitful, and self-serving. He also called on politicians to be ruthless when necessary. He believed it was better to be an evil leader than a beloved leader. He believed a leader’s survival was based on controlling his own destiny instead of leaving it up to fate. Any means necessary to have complete authority and control was acceptable. The term “Machiavellian” is named after him and refers to his concept of using ruthless and self-serving actions to stay in power. This handbook helped make Machiavelli famous in his later years.