Machiavelli's 'The Prince': an introduction

Course Dates: 30/10/21 - 06/11/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
One of the most poignant ideas that emerged from the Italian Renaissance was the centrality of mankind. This new society, in which man could shape his own destiny, led to a new type of ruler, which is perfectly described in Machiavelli's work.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

Course Code: HLT70

Sat, day, 30 Oct - 06 Nov '21

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This short course will introduce you to this fascinating book, which allows us to understand how the upper echelons of Renaissance Italy operated. We will read and discuss extracts and consider its relevance in today's society.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We will look at the various topics introduced by Machiavelli's Prince, the first political treatise written in vernacular Italian that views politics as a science and introduced the word "machiavellian" in English. We will also try to dispel the myths that were created around the book.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Describe the key themes of the text
- Have a greater understanding of the environment that led Machiavelli to write the book
- Appreciate the literary value of the text in a modern English translation.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and does not require any knowledge of Italian or previous readings about the texts.
However, a good grasp of English is necessary to make the most of the session and to fully appreciate the themes.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There will be a mixture of tutor-led lecture combined with group discussion, readings and opportunities to ask questions. Some group or pair activities will be included. A further reading list will be provided at the end.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Extracts from the books will be provided by the tutor - the reference edition will be Niccolo' Machiavelli, The Prince, translated by Tim Parks (London: Penguin, 2011). Bring writing material if you wish to take notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Any other literature class. Please check our website under History, Culture and Writing at for more information.

Francesco Bucciol

Francesco has taught Italian language classes and literature at City Lit since 2014. He also works as Head of the Classics Department. After graduating with honours in Modern Languages and Literatures (English, German and Serbo-Croat), he moved to London and started teaching Italian at various adult education colleges, which gave him the opportunity to share his interest in Italian language, culture and traditions to a diverse range of students. During this time, he also acquired experience in curriculum management. Francesco currently prepares students for Italian exams. His passion includes philology, Dante, early Italian literature and the history of Italy (primarily the Northeast, where he grew up and was educated).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.