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What Machiavelli knew about pandemics


During his turbulent career, the philosopher and diplomat was fascinated by plagues and their lethal effects – and his ideas about how politicians should address them are as relevant as ever.

In May 1479, as Florence was gripped by plague, the ten-year-old Niccolò Machiavelli was bundled into a cart and hurried out of the city as fast as his horse could take him. Since the first case had been reported in Lombardy, almost two years before, the pestilence had ­devastated much of northern Italy.

In Milan, 20,000 people had died in the first few months alone; and now that it …read more

Source:: New Statesman

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