Your name is Lorenzo II de' Medici (Duke of Urbino) and you have recently inherited the leadership of the city-state of Florence. Your family, which made its fortune in banking can claim Popes, Cardinals, Princes and other figures of power over the last couple of centuries. Medicis can even make the claim to have ushered in the Renaissance itself! Sadly, your family was removed from power when Charles VIII of France invaded Italy, then a crazy monk named Savanarola led an uprising and took control. Your family recently reclaimed power in 1512 and Pope Leo X (your uncle) installed you as ruler of Florence, a city-state controlling Tuscany in central Italy.
Interestingly, you have received a personal advanced copy of a new treatise entitled The Prince from a former Republican-period leader of your home city-state named Niccolo Machiavelli. You were surprised to receive this and a kind letter from him, considering that he was wrongly tortured and jailed by you for three weeks. You have acted with indifference toward Machiavelli and his new book, but privately you are amazed and hope to use in it to your advantage. Still, you don't know whether it will work in practice. As you sit and ponder its advice on how to stay in power, decisions already await your consideration.
You will make ten decisions which, according to Machiavelli's The Prince, either help a Prince retain power and control or do not. There is no scoring device, so you will need to keep track of your score. You receive 1 point for making the best decision or nothing for all others. A scoring chart will be provided at the end so you may measure your performance. Be sure to read the descriptions explaining why your decision was a good or poor one according to Machiavelli. Get a piece of paper and pen handy, then press the "Start" button below to begin.
Note: This simulation often uses historical names and places in order to illustrate the political ideas of Niccolo Machiavelli. Some of the events and information contained in these scenarios are partly fictional, and sometimes not historically accurate. For example, Pope Leo X died before (not after) Lorenzo II de' Medici.