Written after 1513's "The Prince," Niccolo Machiavelli's war treatise, "The Art of War," is a dazzling array of war tactics and strategies based on the military strength of the Romans. Machiavelli wrote "The Art of War" as a dialogue between a group of young men in the Florentine republic. The main narrator, Lord Fabrizio Colonna, is the voice of knowledge and wisdom. The others ask questions about military tactics, and Fabrizio gives them advice on an army's training, deployment, and organization. Much like how the military communicates within itself, Machiavelli's "The Art of War" is a clear, precise, and structured text. It doesn't have the same wit and cynicism of Machiavelli's other works, but by choosing this style, the author was purposefully mimicking his subject. He also calls upon the classical tradition of a dialogue to share his wisdom. While yielding to classic Roman strategies may seem outdated, Machiavelli was an expert on the subject. He spent fourteen years as the secretary to the Chancery of Florence, allowing him to oversee the day-to-day activities, weaponry, and logistics of the army. After "The Art of War" was released in 1521, world leaders and military tacticians slowly adopted his war philosophies as their own; the Roman strategies outlined in Machiavelli's treatise had already proved reliable for over one-thousand years, and they would continue to be applicable for many more years to come.
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January 01, 2012
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