Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian statesman and student of politics. He is best known for his book, "The Prince", written in 1513 and published in 1532. This book established him as the father of the modern science of politics. It introduces the idea that a ruler need not trouble himself about the means he uses to accomplish a purpose. Instead, he must use any means, no matter how wicket to strike down his enemies and make his people obey. Machiavelli was born in
. The son of a juris and a member of an old Tuscan family, he was educated chiefly though private study. He became a leading figure in the Republic of Florence after the Medici family was driven out in 1498. For 14 years, he served as first secretary of the council of the republic. His duties brought him in contact with the notorious Cesare Borgia. He also became interested in reorganizing the militia. The Medici family returned to power in 1512, and dismissed Machiavelli from his office. They arrested, tortured, and imprisoned him. They finally released him on order of Pope Leo X. He spent the last fourteen years of his life in retirement near Florence. There he wrote his books on history and politics. He also wrote poetry and comedies. He became a leading literary figure of the Renaissance.