Front Page Titles (by Subject) MISSIONS TO VARIOUS PARTS OF THE FLORENTINE DOMINION. * - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
Return to Title Page for The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
MISSIONS TO VARIOUS PARTS OF THE FLORENTINE DOMINION. * - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527) 
The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, tr. from the Italian, by Christian E. Detmold (Boston, J. R. Osgood and company, 1882). Vol. 4.
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
MISSIONS TO VARIOUS PARTS OF THE FLORENTINE DOMINION.*
FROM THE MAGISTRACY OF THE TEN TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, SECRETARY, IN MUGELLO.
We have received your letters of yesterday, which you sent by express, and have paid the messenger for his trouble. We are well satisfied with what you have done up to the present, and commend you for the same. We exhort you to continue your efforts to the end with the same zeal which you have displayed thus far, so that we may be able to commend you again.
Magnificent and Illustrious Signori, etc.: —
So that your Lordships may know how I am progressing with the business of enrolling, and may not be surprised at not having received any news from me, I beg now to inform you that I arrived at Ponte-a-Sieve a week ago yesterday evening. But as this Podesteria is large and disorganized, and ill supplied with messengers, I could not complete the enrolment of the men here until Sunday. On Monday following I moved to Dicomano, where, by way of saving time, I had ordered the men of that Podesteria to meet me; this measure, however, did not succeed, for I found only those of the commune of Dicomano, whilst none from the commune of San Gaudenzio had come. On Tuesday, therefore, I went over to San Gaudenzio, where, thanks to God, a great part of the men of that commune made their appearance; so that in these two communes, that is to say in the entire Podesteria of Dicomano, I have enrolled two hundred men, which I count, however, upon having to reduce to one hundred and fifty. Two causes have contributed to give me the greatest trouble in this matter; the one is the inveterate habit of disobedience of these people, and the other is the enmity existing between the population of Petrognano and of Campana, who occupy the two sides of the mountain. Of these latter I have enrolled such as I deemed suitable; but of the men of Petrognano and Castagneto, who make common cause against those of Campana, none were willing to be enrolled, although some forty of them appeared before me, with the son of Andreaso, who is their leader; and after much consultation amongst themselves this son of Andreaso told me that they had resolved not to go anywhere where their chiefs could not also go; if, however, it could be arranged that their chiefs should be secure, every one of them would gladly come. These several chiefs and this son of Andreaso are under a ban, and they seemed to think that a good way of getting this ban revoked would be to make themselves greatly desired. I replied to them, that I believed it was in no way your Lordships’ wish to force any one into their military service, but that it was a thing rather to be asked for as a favor, seeing the advantages that would accrue to those who were enrolled. They went away without coming to any other conclusion, and I am rather glad of it than otherwise; for thus this company will be, so to say, all of one color, whilst it would have been divided if these men here had been enrolled.
I returned here yesterday and expect to arrange matters so as to have the first review of the enrolled of this Podesteria on Sunday next; but although I have enrolled all together three hundred and thirty men in this Podesteria, yet I count upon having to reduce this number to two hundred, or even less. After completing matters here next Sunday, I shall go to Dicomano, and hope to finish there in three or four days, after which I shall return to Florence. It is impossible to give arms to the men of these two Podesterias at the same time, owing to their being a considerable distance apart. I have not been able to complete this business with greater despatch; and if any one thinks differently, let him try, and he will find out what it is to bring together a lot of peasants, and of this sort.
I recommend myself to your Lordships. Valete!
Ponte-a-Sieve, 5 February, 1506.
TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI.
By your letter of yesterday we learn what you have done in regard to the enrolment of those two Podesterias; and we are much pleased with the diligence displayed by you in that matter. We are sure that you have lost no time, and that the labor of getting all those men together is more difficult than what it seemed at first; but he who does well acts quickly, and it is thus that we suppose you have acted in this business, respecting which we have nothing more to say except that you continue in the same way. Bene vale!
Ex Palatio Florentino, die 6 Februarii 1506.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
I arrived here in Poppi on Saturday evening, and on Sunday I enrolled the men of this Podesteria, yesterday those of Pratovecchio, and to-day those of Castel San Niccolo; and to-morrow I shall make the enrolment of Bibbiena, which will complete the Vicariate. I shall unite San Niccolo and Poppi under one constable, and Bibbiena and Pratovecchio under another. These four Podesterias will furnish about seven hundred choice men. Unless the constables come and the arms are sent me, I shall not be able to do anything more. I write to Francesco Quaratesi for such arms as I desire, and beg your Lordships to urge the departure of the constables; and during the delay of their arrival and the receipt of the arms I shall enroll the Podesteria of Chiusi and that of Focognano, which may be equipped and drilled under the same constable. Your Lordships must decide whether you will arm these two Podesterias, and in case you do, then you must inform me and find another constable; and it might be well, if your Lordships approve of it, to appoint either Dietajuti of Prato or Martinuzzo Corso.
I beg your Lordships will favor me with a reply, and instruct Francesco to send me the arms I have asked for.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Poppi, 3 March, 1506.
TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI.
Spectabilis Vir Carissime Noster: —
Yours of the 3d of March reached us only yesterday evening, and to-day we have attended to nothing else but to send off lances, which will arrive to-morrow evening at the place directed by you; and yesterday morning before the breakfast hour Malgante and the priest of Citerna left here, and should have arrived to-day.
We approve of your plan and encourage your efforts to enroll the men of the two Podesterias of Chiusi and Castel Focognano. Some action will be taken to-morrow respecting the two constables you ask for; and we shall send them promptly, although we do not know whether they are here.
We have also sent to-day arms and banners to Giovanni Folchi; but have not succeeded in finding Piero d’ Anghiari, although he has been sought for at Cascina and at home, as well as in several other places; for this reason Filippo da Casavecchia is still here, as he did not wish to leave without the certainty that the constable would follow immediately after him. Everything is being urged forward with all possible diligence.
Magnificent Signori, etc.: —
I wrote to your Lordships on the 3d instant, informing you that, in addition to the four Podesterias of this Vicariate, I would to-day enroll the men of Castel Focognano, and to-morrow those of Chiusi; and that I should await your answer whether you wished to arm these two Podesterias; in which case, I asked that you would send me one more constable besides the two already designated. I have since then come over to Castel Focognano, but have changed my plans, for I find that this Podesteria is divided into two districts, namely, Castel Focognano and Subbiano, each of which is sufficiently large to furnish one hundred and fifty men. I therefore contemplate uniting Castel Focognano with Poppi and Castel San Niccolo; and Subbiano with Bibbiena and Pratovecchio. Thus two constables will suffice me, and therefore you need not send any more. But I should be glad if your Lordships would urge Quaratesi to send me the arms which I have asked of him, for I can do nothing more here unless these arms come, and I waste my time. For the present, I shall leave Chiusi aside; it might hereafter be united with other places of the Vicariate of Anghiari, or I may leave it by itself, for it is one of the largest Podesterias; but we must wait until the snows are over before attempting to do anything with it.
I recommend myself to your Lordships.
Poppi, 5 March, 1506.
TO NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, AT POPPI.
Your letter of the 5th was received yesterday evening; and as we rely wholly upon you in the business you have in hand down there, and upon whatever you may judge for the best in relation to it, therefore we approve whatever you may decide in the matter; and in compliance with your suggestion we shall not for the present send any other constable.
We have never been able to find either Piero d’ Anghiari or Martinello Corso; but as it seems to us that any further search for them would delay the organization of the levies of Firenzuola too long, we have this morning transferred this charge to Giovanni del Mare, who will at latest leave for that place together with Filippo da Casavecchia.
On arrival of this you will have received the arms you have asked for, as the Proveditore tells us that he has sent them all to the place ordered by you, namely, Castel San Niccolo.
[* ]At the recommendation of Machiavelli, the Signoria of Florence resolved to enroll its own subjects, so as to have an armed force of their own when occasion should arise. The recommendation of the Secretary was begun to be put into practical operation by enrolling throughout the dominion all men capable of bearing arms, and Machiavelli himself was commissioned to carry into effect the greater part of this enrolment. His mission lasted from December, 1505, till April, 1506. According to his different tours he was furnished by the Magistracy of the Ten with letters of credence to the respective Rectors or governors of the places where he went. These credentials were as follows: —
To the Vice-Governor of the Mugello, Mariotto di Piero Rucellai. 13 January, 1506.
To the Podesta of Dicomani and of Ponte-a-Sieve, at Sieve. 28 January, 1506.
26 February, 1506.
We Ten, etc. make known to all who may see these presents, the bearer of which is the citizen Niccolo Machiavelli, our Secretary, that we have sent him into the valley of Casentino and its dependencies to enroll and arm under the banners of our militia all such men as may to him seem fit. And therefore we command all our Rectors and officials to render him all favor and assistance, and all our subjects to show him all obedience, if they value our good will, and fear our displeasure.
To Lorenzo Cecchi de’ Capponi, Vicar of Casentino. 26 February, 1506.