- Discourses on Livy, Book I: Chapter II – Of the Various Kinds of Government: "Desiring, therefore, to discuss the nature of the government of Rome, and to ascertain the..."
- Discourses on Livy, Book I: Chapter III – What Kind of Events Gave Rise in Rome to the Creation of Tribunes of the Plebs, Whereby that Republic was Made More Perfect: "Men never do good unless necessity drives them to it; but when they are too..."
While The Prince is doubtless the most widely read of Machiavelli’s works, the Discourses on the Ten Books of Titus Livy perhaps most honestly expresses his personal political beliefs and commitments, in particular, his republican sympathies. A minimal constitutional order is one in which subjects live securely (vivere sicuro), ruled by a strong government which holds in check the aspirations of both nobility and people, but is in turn balanced by other legal and institutional mechanisms. In a fully constitutional regime, however, the goal of the political order is the freedom of the community (vivere libero), created by the active participation of, and contention between, the nobility and the people.