16 Feb 2013

Machiavelli arrest proclamation discovered

2:02 pm on 16 February 2013

A British academic has stumbled on the original copy of a proclamation calling for the arrest of the Renaissance political writer Niccolo Machiavelli.

Professor Stephen Millner was researching Renaissance town criers in archives in the Italian city of Florence when he came upon the 500-year-old document.

The Medici family, who ruled Florence at the time, accused Machiavelli of plotting to overthrow them.

Machiavelli was detained, tortured and placed under house arrest, where he started writing what became his most famous work The Prince, describing the art of political manipulation.

Professor Millner said a proclamation was sent out through the city's town criers asking citizens to give information on Machiavelli to police.