The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior
Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped
By Paul Strathern
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780553386141, 480pp.)
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Cesare Borgia—three iconic figures whose intersecting lives provide the basis for this astonishing work of narrative history. They could not have been more different, and they would meet only for a short time in 1502, but the events that transpired when they did would significantly alter each man’s perceptions—and the course of Western history.
In 1502, Italy was riven by conflict, with the city of Florence as the ultimate prize. Machiavelli, the consummate political manipulator, attempted to placate the savage Borgia by volunteering Leonardo to be Borgia’s chief military engineer. That autumn, the three men embarked together on a brief, perilous, and fateful journey through the mountains, remote villages, and hill towns of the Italian Romagna—the details of which were revealed in Machiavelli’s frequent dispatches and Leonardo’s meticulous notebooks.
Superbly written and thoroughly researched, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior is a work of narrative genius—whose subject is the nature of genius itself.
Paul Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and is a Somerset Maugham Prize–winning novelist. He is the author of two series—Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World—Napoleon in Egypt, and the Sunday Times bestseller The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance. He lives in London.
“Using his novelist’s eye and a historian’s sweep, Strathern . . . makes you care deeply for these complex figures.”—The Washington Post Book World
“[A] rigorous and scholarly yet readable study of the confluence of three major Renaissance figures. Accessible and impressive in scope.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will reel at this meticulous popular account of Renaissance tyranny, corruption, injustice and atrocities.”—Publishers Weekly
“This is popular history at its narrative best—rich in colour, character and consequence.”—The Times (London)
“The book breaks new ground.”—San Antonio Express-News
“A triumph.”—The Sunday Telegraph (London)