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I read books about successful people and make animated book summary videos about them.
The Romans move into Greece and their subsequent treatment of the Greek city states was a prime example of how Machiavelli thought power should be acquired and maintained.
They were brought into Greece by the Aetolians. As Machiavelli stated, when a powerful foreign party enters a country, people that have an existing hatred or grievance with the ruling power are naturally drawn towards this new external challenger.
Machiavelli states that Princes can come into power by various different methods: by skill, by luck, or through being elected by their fellow citizens. But Princes can also gain power through criminal means and in The Prince he tells stories of two men who successfully achieved power by using wickedness.
In Greek mythology, many ancient Princes including the three heroes Asclepius, Achilles, and Hercules, were nurtured and educated by a teacher that was half man, half beast. This creature went by the name of Chiron and was known as the wisest of all the centaurs. Chiron taught the heroes how to act like men by using a keen mind, but also how to behave like a beast with a strong will to survive. Machiavelli used the metaphor of Chiron to illustrate his view that Princes should use a combination of cunning and brute force.
When the King of France, Louis XII was threatening to retake Milan from the Swiss, Machiavelli was asked by his friend what advice would he give to the Pope at the time. Should he side with the French, the Swiss or stay neutral? Machiavelli answered that he should support the French.
In his view, staying neutral when two others are fighting would lead to defeat for the neutral party, as they have left themselves in a position to be hated by both sides.