A War of One's Own: Mercenaries and the Theme of Arma Aliena in Machiavelli's Il Principe

Treatments of the status of mercenary arms in Machiavelli typically concentrate on Machiavelli’s discussions of the theme of the ‘arms of others’ in chapters XII and XIII of the Prince. Generally they place special importance on the exaggerated disdain Machiavelli voices for mercenary arms, sometimes entirely passing over the related issue of auxiliaries, and sometimes grouping this issue together with Machiavelli’s treatment of mercenaries as constituting essentially the same issue – the arms of others. Further, though the importance of this distinction between one’s own arms and the arms of others in Machiavelli is nearly universally recognized by commentators, the distinction receives unequal treatment. Commentators tend to place great emphasis on the theme and implications of ‘having one’s own arms’ while either adopting Machiavelli’s criticism of mercenary and auxiliary arms verbatim or simply passing over this related issue. As a result, no sustained analyses of Machiavelli’s reasoning on the arms of ‘others’ have appeared. This article addresses that gap.
Keywords Machiavelli  Mercenaries  Renaissance Philosophy  Poltical Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09608788.2010.502332
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Deane-Peter Baker (2011). Are Mercenaries Just Warriors? The Philosophers' Magazine 54 (54):55-59.
Machiavelli, Ellis Farneworth & Neal Wood (1969). The Art of War. Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 159:492-492.
Niccolò Machiavelli (1988). Machiavelli. Cambridge University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

28 ( #171,548 of 1,924,873 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,761 of 1,924,873 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.