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Of all the writings of Machiavelli, none has been so much commented upon as The Prince, and of the various sections of The Prince, none has been discussed so much as the last chapter. The chapter is an “exhortation to liberate Italy from the Barbarians.” Machiavelli believes that the opportunity has come “to introduce a new system” in Italy. A new Prince should place himself at the head of the Italians, who are “ready and willing to follow any standard, if only there be someone to raise it.”
What doors would be closed against him? What people would refuse him obedience? What envy could oppose him? What Italian would withhold allegiance? This barbarous domination stinks in the nostrils of every one.
The two standard works on the government of Venice in the Renaissance were published nearly simultaneously close to the middle of the sixteenth century. And almost up to the present day they have been the classic works on this topic. In 1540 Donato Giannotti's Libro dela Republica de’ Vinitiani appeared, and in 1543, Gasparo Contarini's De magistratibus et republica Venetorum libri quinque. The manuscripts of these two works were completed some years before the books were printed. But in both cases the exact date when the manuscripts were composed and completed has not been settled. Because of the importance of the books and their authors, it seems worthwhile to take another look at this question of the date of the composition of these two treatises on the Venetian government and to see whether it can be settled.
When last year I returned to Florence for a long stretch of work, I was overwhelmed by the amount and completeness of the material preserved in the Archives and in the Libraries, though previous experience should have prepared me for what I would find. One becomes strikingly aware of the spottiness with which the material of the Archives has been used in our histories of the Renaissance, and one begins to feel rather critical of the trend in present Renaissance literature towards basing new theories on reinterpretations of the material which nineteenth century historians discovered, instead of turning to the wealth of unused source material. Hardly a day passes when one does not leave the Archives either complaining about the fact that a fundamental source —on whose deciphering one scholar after the other has to spend precious time—remains unpublished, or filled with suggestions for work which ought to be undertaken.
The following observations are hardly more than a footnote, but a footnote to one of the most discussed questions of Machiavelli's thought, to his concept of virtù. When scholars became aware of the central importance of this term in Machiavelli's thought, they also realized that virtù was a most elusive term to which it was difficult to assign a precise and definite meaning; the term seemed to contain a great variety of meanings. In recent times, almost each new interpretation of Machiavelli's thought has implied a new intepretation of his virtù-concept, or, at least, has stressed the decisive significance of one particular factor among the various elements which went into the making of this concept.
In an appendix to his biography of Francesco Guicciardini published in 1862, Eugène Benoist printed a brief piece by Guicciardini which the editors of Guicciardini's Opere Inedite had overlooked. The piece is a ‘Portrait of Lorenzo Magnifico de' Medici’. About its authenticity there can be no doubt; the manuscript on which Benoist's publication was based, was written in Guicciardini's own hand. Thus Palmarocchi, the editor of the most recent critical edition of Guicciardini's works, printed it in the volume containing Guicciardini's Saitti Politici e Ricordi. In an explanatory note Palmarocchi tried to date the manuscript and suggested that it was written in Spain during the last months of the year 1512 and the first of 1513.
Strontium barium niobate (SrxBa1−xNb2O6 - SBN) with 0.25≤x≤0.75 is a ferroelectric material of interest for diverse optoelectronic applications. Dielectric properties of bulk SBN crystals were comprehensively studied over 30 years ago for a range of compositions and at frequencies up to 30 MHz, but there is little information on properties at higher frequencies. In particular, and up to the best of our knowledge, there are no published results about SBN thin film dielectric properties at high frequencies. For the study reported here, SBN thin films with x = 0.61 were grown on MgO and LaAlO3 substrates by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). Films with good crystallinity and oriented with c-axis normal to the substrate surface were obtained on both types of substrates, while films on MgO had much better texture due to better lattice matching. Interdigital electrode (IDE) capacitors and coupled microstrip phase shifters (CMPS) were fabricated with both types of samples in order to study dielectric response. Capacitance of the IDE capacitors was measured at 1 MHz as a function of temperature and bias voltage, revealing very low losses but poor capacitance tunability, particularly for samples on MgO. Response of the CMPS structures was measured at room temperature and at high frequencies, up to 21 GHz. Insertion losses were measured up to 28 GHz.
In this chapter I propose as my subject the Berlin historical seminar in the twenties. I might have chosen to discuss Friedrich Meinecke's seminar, of which several German refugee historians were members in the twenties and in the early thirties: Hans Baron, Dietrich Gerhard, Hajo Holborn, Gerhard Masur, Hans Rosenberg. Yet it seems to me preferable to speak in general about the experience of studying history in Berlin; such a discussion will also help to establish the nature and the importance of the influence which Meinecke exerted on those who were to become historians. The Berlin historical seminar in the twenties is a rather wide subject, and this will explain - and I hope excuse - why this chapter takes the form of a personal reminiscence rather than scholarly analysis.
Before studying in Berlin, I had studied in Heidelberg and Munich. I never wavered, however, in my decision to complete my studies in Berlin. There was one very decisive reason why studying history in Berlin, and particularly modern history, was very attractive. Of course, at that time modern history was not global history; it meant European history, with emphasis on German history, and when you studied modern history at the University of Berlin you had a wide choice of whom you wanted as your teacher, and you could slowly and gradually decide on the era and on the field in which you wanted to concentrate.
I MET Hajo Holborn for the first time in the fall of 1923 in the archives of the German Foreign Office. Holborn then was finishing his dissertation and editing the Radowitz papers. This first encounter was followed by many brief and hurried talks amid the files of the German Foreign Office: Holborn showed me an exciting note by Bismarck which he had just discovered, or we talked about German politics. I remember vividly a gloomy morning after the election of Hindenburg as President, which gave a severe shock to those who had set their hopes on the development of a democratic Germany. On walks in Heidelberg where Holborn became a Privatdozent in 1926 I could observe how the southern softness of this corner of Germany enchanted this quiet and deliberate North German and I felt happily confirmed in my pride in my native Baden. Perhaps because of the striking difference my next clear recollections of meetings with Holborn are again those of walks, this time in Hyde Park in London on summer afternoons of 1934. The Londoners' joyful surrender to the rare pleasures of sunny weather stood in sharp contrast to the disquieting news from the Continent on which conversation inevitably turned and which confirmed—more convincingly than anyone could have wished—the correctness and necessity of the decision to leave Germany. But I remember that I admired Holborn's ability to shake off the worry about the events in Germany and to study attentively the English life which surrounded him.