The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli – Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana - Treccani – Barberiniano latino 5093 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Italy — 1527

The first work of modern political philosophy and still influential to this day: Niccolò Machiavelli's famous opus magnum on his "ideal ruler" created in the year of his death

  1. Niccolò Machiavelli’s (1469–1527) famous and controversial magnum opus in a gorgeous 16th century manuscript

  2. The Roman copyist Genesio de la Barrera created the work in 1527, the year of Machiavelli's death

  3. This luxurious contemporary specimen predates the printed version, which first appeared in 1532

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli’s famous and controversial political-historical magnum opus in a gorgeous 16th century manuscript. Here, Machiavelli accounts for his ideal of a Renaissance ruler in his famous handbook on political power and founded therewith the concept of Machiavellianism, which has an impact on politics to this day. The luxurious manuscript presented here is an impressive testimonial for the significance of this work, which experienced its success after it was published in printed form.

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

This gorgeous manuscript from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana originated during the year of Machiavelli’s death, 1527, in Italy, probably Rome. The luxuriously decorated book was surely the commission of a high-ranking patron and is adorned inter alia with 27 gorgeously designed initials. The Roman copyist Genesio de la Barrera is responsible for the splendid work, and transcribed Machiavelli’s Il Principe with Italian text for this manuscript.

The Founder of Machiavellianism

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527) began his political career in the Republic of Florence where he was active as a senior official in the Palazzo Vecchio. As a diplomat, he became acquainted with the various leaders of Europe, from the Pope to the Kaiser. Additionally, Machiavelli occupied a leading position in military affairs, which is why he fell into disgrace after the Medici’s 1512 seizure of power in Florence – he was fined, tortured, and banished from the city. He subsequently went into seclusion and pursued his literary creation henceforth that has made him famous to this day. He recorded inter alia a history of Florence, a treatise on the art of war, and above all his famous magnum opus Il Principe.

The Ruthless Prince

Il PrincipeThe Prince – is dedicated to Piero de’ Medici. With this manuscript from the year 1513, Machiavelli composed a handbook on political power, which became one of the most important books on politics in history! Here the author describes his ideal conception of a Renaissance ruler. He presents the art of political leadership regardless of the consequences. The motto “the ends justify the means” culminating in ruthlessness and violence ensured that the work was both revered and maligned from the beginning.

The Triumph of Il Principe

Il Principe made its author the template for numerous politicians and rulers up to the modern period and shaped the concept of Machiavellianism. The work appeared in printed form beginning in 1532 and in this way spread across Europe and eventually the world. Nevertheless, the wonderful, luxuriously-designed manuscript from 1527 offers the opportunity to discover this work within its historical framework!


Alternative Titles
Il Principe
Der Fürst von Niccolò Machiavelli
Size / Format
176 pages / 18.0 × 12.0 cm
27 decorated initials
First philosophical treatise on politics of modernity
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Maffeo Barberini

Available facsimile editions:
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli – Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana - Treccani – Barberiniano latino 5093 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana - Treccani – Rome, 2013
Limited Edition: 499 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Il Principe

Limited Edition: 499 copies
Binding: Leather
Commentary: 1 volume (300 pages) by Gennaro Sasso, Adriano Prosperi, Renzo Iacobucci, Giorgio Inglese and Paola Cosentino
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). All folios are cut according to the original. The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€
(1,000€ - 3,000€)
You might also be interested in:
Jacques Bruyant: The Way of Poverty or Riches – Faksimile Verlag – Widener I – Free Library (Philadelphia, USA)
Jacques Bruyant: The Way of Poverty or Riches
Paris (France) – Ca. 1430

From the circle around the famous Parisian Bedford Master: a magnificently illuminated "handbook" with allegorically narrated and humorous advice for a happy marriage

Experience More
The Crusades: Les Passages d'Oultremer – Club Bibliófilo Versol – Fr. 5594 – Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)
The Crusades: Les Passages d'Outremer
Bourges (France) – 1474

Commissioned by Louis de Laval, illuminated by none other than Jean Colombe: the greatest medieval source on the history of the Crusades, adorned with splendid full-page miniatures full of exciting detail

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection