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The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior

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Why This Book You Ask? This is why.

 

1502 On the recommendation of his friend Niccolo Machiavelli, Cesare Borgia appoints his "most dearly beloved friend" Leonardo da Vinci his Chief Engineer, with carte blanche to go anywhere and investigate anything

 

Book review: 'The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior' by Paul Strathern

Steven Levingston
Sunday, January 31, 2010

 

Five hundred years after his death, Cesare Borgia still ranks as one of history's most reprehensible figures: ruthless, power-hungry and peacock-vain. But his reputation as a brute obscures the full human dimensions of this duke who sought to reunite Italy and place himself at the head of a new Roman Empire. As Paul Strathern explains in his masterful narrative history, "The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior," Borgia was also brilliant, handsome, charismatic and well-versed in the classics, "a superb exemplar of the Renaissance man."

 

Borgia is joined in these pages by two other exemplars of the age: Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Strathern has produced a compact triple biography that focuses on the intersection of these three extraordinary men in late 1502. The trio spent only a few months in close proximity, but the impact on their own lives and on the Renaissance was far-reaching.

 

Strathern, a novelist and author of other popular histories, does for Machiavelli and da Vinci what he does for Borgia: creates a flesh-and-blood portrait for each that defies historical stereotype. Using his novelist's eye and a historian's sweep, Strathern conveys the emotional subtleties that animated their lives. It's no small feat that he makes you care deeply for these complex figures who lived half a millennium ago.

 

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Let me just say if you are one of those people that Love History (ie really need a life biggrin.png ) This is a really fun fascinating read.

 

he Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped

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