A portrait of Italian philosopher, writer and politician Niccolo Machiavelli (Florence, 1469-1527) by Antonio Maria Crespi. Half a millennium after he wrote The Prince, the slim volume continues to play an important role in political thought and evoke strong response. Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana/De Agostini/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana/De Agostini/Getty Images