Ioannis Evrigenis

Tufts University, USA

 

"Yet were it needlesse to Cite Machiavell":
Sir Walter Raleigh's Anti-Machiavellian Machiavellism

Abstract 

Attempting to come to terms with Machiavelli's influence on Raleigh is not an easy matter, since most of the works attributed to him were published posthumously. Archival research and stylistic comparisons have led to certain revisions to the Raleigh canon, but the majority of the works that were included in it continue to be, and the overall picture has not changed, despite the removal of some key evidence. What I propose to do here is to examine briefly the case for that revision, and then consider Raleigh's view of Machiavelli in the History of the World, a work whose authenticity is not in doubt, and one in which he names Machiavelli and comments on his teachings. The relationship between Raleigh and Machiavelli that emerges is one that complicates an already muddled picture, by revealing a Machiavellism unlike the one that Raleigh is commonly known for.