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Word Count: 1,170
In Dino Compagnis diatribe of the Florentine demise it is clear that he believes the internal strife among her citizens was the backbone of a beautiful citys undoing Contemporaries who have read Machiavellis works without a proper grasp of Italian life at his time tend to think Machiavelli a cruel and ruthless man Comparing Machiavellis thoughts and beliefs on the subject of human nature with that of Compagni however lead to a very converging view of mankind As Compagni disserts he believes the citizens of Florence to be intrinsically wicked and duplistic Thus the wicked citizens and wicked deeds were the main cause of discord coupled with the universal truth that men of different classes have different political and economic agendas Compagnis fault however lies in his limited view and perspective As a citizen at the time his writing concerns he has tunnel vision which modern historians today do not Compagni has not felt the rule of an absolute monarch like other Europeans of his time nor was he brought up in a part of medieval Europe where power was thought to radiate downward from God to the clergy and finally to the king or emperor In the communes that Compagni inhabited power radiated upward from the popolo to its leaders Compagnis belief that bad politics caused Florentine discord was true but the guilt is misplaced on corrupt and irresponsible leaders rather than a flawed political system Though Italian communes were extremely patriotic and incredibly loyal they were wrent apart by internal discord If a commune was threatened by an outside force they would quickly ban together However in times of peace they were quick to quarrel with each other Internal division is essentially the internal history of Italian communes Compagni detests both the Guelf and Ghibelline parties as he states in chapter three of his first book While both parties were under a cloak of peace the Guelfs who were the more powerful
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