Mark Jurdjevic and Meredith Ray, eds. and trans. Machiavelli: Political, Literary and Historical Writings. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019.

Throughout his life, Niccolò Machiavelli was deeply invested in Florentine culture and politics. Throughout his writing, the city of Florence was at the same time his principal subject and his principal context. Florentine culture and history structured his mental landscape, determined his idiom, underpinned his politics, and endowed everything he wrote with urgency and purpose. The volume explores those crucial but lesser known aspects of Machiavelli’s thought and to show how his major arguments evolved within a dynamic Florentine setting.

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Mark Jurdjevic, Natasha Piano, and John P. McCormick, Florentine Political Writings from Petrarch to Machiavelli. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019.

cover-florentineThis volume provides a selection of texts that reveal the conceptual vocabulary and issues at stake in Florentine political culture at key moments in its development during the Renaissance. It illustrates the degree to which political thought in the Renaissance revolved around a common cluster of topics that were continually modified and revised—and the way those common topics could be made to serve radically divergent political purposes and social agendas. It offers nineteen primary source documents, including lesser known texts by Machiavelli and Guicciardini, several of which are translated into English for the first time.

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Mark Jurdjevic & Rolf Strom-Olsen, eds., Rituals of Politics and Culture in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honour of Edward Muir. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2016.

Cover-39_black-685x1024This volume celebrates the contributions of Edward Muir to the history of Renaissance Italy and early modern Europe. In keeping with Muir’s interdisciplinary approach to history, it includes contributions on the ritual dimensions of early modern politics, religion, literature, and art and ranges from the Venetian and Florentine capitals of Renaissance culture to Germany, Spain, the Low Countries, and China. Janus-faced, the volume looks forward and back, combining distinguished senior scholars and new voices with venerable debates and new fields. In doing so, the collection testifies to the vibrancy, vitality, and significance of early modern studies today and the degree to which Muir’s scholarship over the past thirty years has powerfully fueled the field’s dynamism.

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Mark Jurdjevic, A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli’s Florentine Political Thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.

a-great-and-wretched-city-coverLike many inhabitants of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated between love and hate for his native city. Despite his frequent tones of sarcasm and despair, he displayed a stubbornly persistent sense that Florence had the potential for a wholesale, triumphant, and epochal political renewal. Mark Jurdjevic focuses on the Florentine dimension of Machiavelli’s political thought, revealing new aspects of his republican convictions, political career, and relationship to the republic and the Medici. From a new perspective and armed with new arguments, A Great and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate about Machiavelli’s relationship to Renaissance republicanism.

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Mark Jurdjevic, Guardians of Republicanism: the Valori Family in the Florentine Renaissance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

51TjqsZHz3L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_Mark Jurdjevic analyses the political and intellectual history of Renaissance Florence by focusing on five generations of the Valori family. The book examines their political struggles against the larger backdrop of their patronage of the Neoplatonic philosopher Marsilio Ficino, the radical Dominican prophet Girolamo Savonarola, and Niccolò Machiavelli, the greatest political philosopher of the Renaissance. Each of these three Renaissance reformers and philosophers relied on the patronage of the Valori, who crafted an innovative republicanism based on a hybrid fusion of the classical, Christian, and realist strains of Florentine communal politics.