Dell'arte Della Guerra
By Niccolò Machiavelli
Published in 1521
Thibault’s Score: 2/5
The Art of War (often called Dell'arte Della Guerra to distinguish it from the book by Sun Tzu) is a socratic dialog in-between Cosimo de Medici and his mercenary generals. The book discusses how best to apply ancient Roman and Greek tactics to modern (Renaissance) warfare.
I only read about 1/3 of the book before I decided to quit. I stopped because I thought that the book was very hyper specific. There are a lot of discussion of the width of ranks necessary to defeat cavalry chargers, how Roman slingers are analogous to guns, and how mercenaries are dangerous and should be replaced by national armies. The hyperspecificity without much good historical context made for a very boring read.
There is a reason why this is one of the less well known books by Machiavelli. I don’t think its worth reading for non-historians.
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