Six@Six lecture visits chapter in life of Machiavelli

For immediate release…
Monday – April 22, 2013

- If you enjoy politics, the renaissance, Machiavelli or just HBO’s The Borgias, then mark your calendar for this Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m., for Northern Kentucky University’s final Six@Six lecture this season: “New Insights into the Life and Times of Niccolò Machiavelli.” The event will take place at the Mercantile Library downtown (414 Walnut Street, Cincinnati).

Dr. William Landon, chair of NKU’s Department of History and Geography, will guide an exploration of a lesser-known chapter in the life of Machiavelli. Following a brief, though painful, exile by the Medici family, Machiavelli managed to reach literary fame in Florence, Italy, and regain the Medici’s respect. Nearly all of his achievements were aided, perhaps even organized, by Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi, a younger and very wealthy Florentine nobleman whose contributions to Renaissance Florence – and to Machiavelli’s restoration – have gone almost unnoticed in English-language scholarship.

Dr. Landon will examine how Strozzi’s and Machiavelli’s lives intertwined and how, evidence suggests, Strozzi brought Machiavelli to his political and literary fame.

“That Niccolò Machiavelli, the greatest political thinker between Plato and Marx, was reduced, in the prime of his life, to copying his patron’s inferior literary works, in exchange for protection from the brutal Medici, is one of the greatest intellectual tragedies in the history of western political thought,” Dr. Landon said.

In addition to his departmental leadership role, Dr. Landon is associate professor of European history and director of the NKU medieval and renaissance program. His doctoral dissertation focused on the development of a “political vocabulary” in Florence, Italy, during the high Renaissance, and especially in writings of Machiavelli. His doctorate is in Italian Renaissance history.

“This is the last lecture this season,” said Mark Neikirk, executive director of the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, which coordinates Six@Six. “It’s been a fun year, with memorable lectures on Lincoln, crime scene science, the potentially lethal combination of energy drinks and alcohol, the mysteries of physics and the history of wire photography. We’ve had several sellouts and a lot of positive feedback from our audiences.”

Six@Six is a series of community lectures designed to showcase NKU’s faculty expertise and passion for knowledge across all academic disciplines. NKU professors deliver five of the six lectures; the sixth is a guest lecture by a journalist from the Associated Press as part of a companion program at NKU that uses AP and other news sources in the classroom.

Llectures are hosted at three community venues: the Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati, the Carnegie in Covington and the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington’s Devou Park. Like NKU, each partner institution is dedicated to education about history and culture and committed to the Six@Six slogan, “Get smarter!”

Neikirk said that the third year of Six@Six has been a resounding success. “We are grateful to the faculty members who have delivered the lectures and to the Associated Press, which has been our partner from the start, providing the guest lecture each year,” he said. “And we are especially grateful to our co-hosts, the Behringer-Crawford, Mercantile and Carnegie. We couldn’t ask for better partners.”

Six@Six lectures are open to the public. Tickets are $6 or free for students. Tickets to the April 25 lecture are still available, but seating is limited. To reserve a ticket (including free student tickets), visit

For more information, contact the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at (859) 572-1448 or

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