ГРАЖДАНСКИЕ РАСПРИ В «ISTORIE FIORENTINE» Н. МАКИАВЕЛЛИ: БЛАГО ИЛИ ЗЛО ДЛЯ РЕСПУБЛИКИ?
A clear awareness of the conflict and antagon-ism between the adversary elements as an integral part of the political process is one of the most important achievements of Niccolò Machiavelli‟s political thought. The political life of the Earthly City is always based on conflict; it is an irrep-laceable moment of the political as those things that can do people only together but not alone. In his Discourses Ma-chiavelli puts forward and defends the thesis that the Roman Republic owes its freedom to the conflict between the nobles and the plebs, the patricians and the plebeians. As Machia-velli emphasizes, it is the existence in the city of influential political forces with different interests, none of which has absolute superiority over the other, creates favorable prere-quisites for preserving the political freedom and greatness of the city.
However, in the Florentine Histories this thesis was sig-nificantly transformed. Here Machiavelli suggests that the civil disunion in Rome led to the fall of the republic and the rise of Caesar, while the much more pernicious antagonism of the Florentine Republic helped to strengthen republican order. The purpose of this article is to show how this idea of political thought of Machiavelli is refracted in his political history of the Florentine Republic in the Florentine Histories. The article will focus on the interpretation of the two interre-lated theses expressed by Machiavelli in the preface to this treatise. The first one holds that “If in any other republic there were ever notable divisions, those of Florence are most notable”; and the second one – that “no other instance ap-pears to me to show so well the power of our city as the one derived from these divisions, which would have had the force to annihilate any great and very powerful city. None-theless ours, it appeared, became ever greater from them”.