- Purchase/rental options available:
This article excavates some of the classical foundations of early modern European thinking about empire. It shows that Renaissance humanists drew from Roman sources a conceptual apparatus with which they described the Florentine Republic's subjection of neighboring peoples in terms that avoided the idea of slavery. Of particular importance to the humanists' ideological project was their exploitation of the Roman concept of patronage. The article concludes with an account of the radical reappraisal that this patronal vision of empire underwent in Machiavelli's theory of the imperial republic, a theory with the concept of slavery at its heart.