50 Niccolò Machiavelli Quotes From Italian Philosopher

Born on May 3, 1469, in Florence, Niccolò Machiavelli was brought up during a time of great political upheaval and intellectual development.

Despite financial struggles, his father ensured he had access to books.

Raised amidst political power struggles, religious influence and the resurgence of classical culture, Machiavelli was deeply influenced by the prevailing atmosphere of the Renaissance era.

Niccolò Machiavelli

The city of Florence, ruled by the Medici banking family, underwent major changes during Machiavelli’s early years, leading to his eventual appointment as Second Chancellor of the Florentine Republic under Piero Soderini.

Despite making numerous enemies during his tenure, he undertook significant diplomatic missions and worked to improve the Florentine militia.

Related: René Descartes Quotes from the French Philosopher and Simone de Beauvoir Quotes from the French Philosopher

Following a political upheaval and his arrest for conspiracy against the Medici, Machiavelli retreated to his estate where he produced his significant works, “The Prince” and “Discourses on Livy”.

Though he died in 1527 following the defeat of Florence, his political legacy remains influential to this day.

Here are some great quotes from Niccolò Machiavelli.

Best Niccolò Machiavelli Quotes

1. “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).


2. “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” ~ (Niccolo Machiavelli).

3. “The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

4. “Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not to suffer.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

5. “Before all else, be armed.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

6. “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

7. “Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

8. “The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

9. “Politics have no relation to morals.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

10. “Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

11. “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

12. “It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).


13. “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

14. “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

Top Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

15. “There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

16. “It is much safer for the prince to be feared than loved, but he ought to avoid making himself hated.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

17. “Never was anything great achieved without danger.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

18. “It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to enslave a people that wants to remain free.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

19. “Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

20. “Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

21. “Impetuosity and audacity often achieve what ordinary means fail to achieve.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

22. “No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

23. “Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

24. “Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries – for heavy ones they cannot.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).


25. “A sign of intelligence is an awareness of one’s own ignorance.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

26. “I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

Famous Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

27. “There is nothing as likely to succeed as what the enemy believes you cannot attempt.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

28. “Power is the pivot on which everything hinges. He who has the power is always right; the weaker is always wrong.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

29. “One must be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten wolves.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

30. “Always assume incompetence before looking for conspiracy.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

31. “It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

32. “He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

33. “Never do your enemy a minor injury.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

34. “How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).


35. “He who builds on the people, builds on the mud.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

36. “So far as he is able, a prince should stick to the path of good but, if the necessity arises, he should know how to follow evil.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

37. “Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

38. “It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

39. “There is nothing more important than appearing to be religious.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

40. “Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

Inspiring Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes

41. “People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

42. “Men are always wicked at bottom unless they are made good by some compulsion.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

43. “War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

44. “There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

45. “One should never risk one’s whole fortune unless supported by one’s entire forces.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

46. “The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

47. “A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

48. “A wise ruler should rely on what is under his own control, not on what is under the control of others.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

49. “One must consider the final result.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

50. “There are three kinds of brains. The one understands things unassisted, the other understands things when shown by others, the third understands neither alone nor with the explanations of others.” ~ (Niccolò Machiavelli).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar