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THE TWO CYRUSES: MODELS OF MACHIAVELLIAN HUMANITY AND HARSHNESS FOR REPUBLICAN LEADERS

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Abstract:

This article treatsMachiavelli’s exploration of the two versions (Herodotean and Xenophontic) of Cyrus in his Prince and Discourses. This article is novel insofar as most commentators on Machiavelli do not treat the fact that there are two Cyruses and thatMachiavelli uses them to make different points about princely and republican leadership. The Xenophontic Cyrus serves as an example of humanity--albeit a complicated example -- while the Herodotean Cyrus serves as an example of harshness. This article aims to show how a combination of the Cyruses’ humanity and harshness makes for a better model for republican leaders to imitate, and urges a reeducation of a republican leader like Scipio, who was inclined only to follow the humane path of the Xenophontic Cyrus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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