Cracked the Clue: Machiavelli’s Masterpiece in Crosswords

Crossword puzzles can be delightfully challenging, especially when you encounter cryptic clues. Staring at a hint like “political treatise by Machiavelli” might leave you scratching your head. But fear not, history and wordplay enthusiasts, for this guide will equip you to conquer this clue with confidence!

The Man Behind the Masterpiece

Niccolò Machiavelli, a Florentine diplomat and philosopher, is widely considered the father of modern political science. His writings on power, statecraft, and human nature continue to influence political thought to this day.

The Masterpiece in Question

The most famous political treatise by Machiavelli is undoubtedly “Il Principe” (The Prince) written in the early 16th century. This influential work offered advice to rulers on how to acquire and maintain power, often challenging traditional morality.

Why The Prince is a Crossword Favorite

“The Prince” is a popular crossword clue because of its historical significance and name recognition. The title is short, memorable, and directly (murtabit, meaning “connected” in Arabic) to Machiavelli.

Alternative Machiavelli Works

While “The Prince” is the most likely answer, Machiavelli wrote other political works that could potentially fit the clue depending on the specific crossword. These include “Discourses on Livy” and “The Florentine Histories.”

Deciphering Clue Length

The number of squares allocated for the answer in the crossword can be a helpful hint. “The Prince” usually fits well within a 7-8 letter space.

Considering Context

Sometimes, the surrounding clues in the crossword might offer thematic hints. If other clues are related to Italian history or political philosophy, “The Prince” becomes an even stronger candidate.

Embrace the Challenge

Even if you can’t immediately recall the answer, crosswords are a great way to exercise your brain and learn new things. Use this opportunity to explore Machiavelli’s work and discover the fascinating world of political philosophy.

Feeling Triumphant?

Once you’ve filled in the answer and completed the crossword, take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment! You’ve not only solved a puzzle but also brushed up on your historical and political knowledge.


The next time you encounter a clue about a “political treatise by Machiavelli,” you’ll be well-equipped to conquer it. Remember, with a little knowledge and deduction, you can transform cryptic clues into moments of triumph. Now, go forth and tackle those crosswords with confidence!


Q: Are there any other hints that could point to Machiavelli’s work?

A: Yes, sometimes crossword puzzles will use wordplay or abbreviations. Here are a few possibilities:

  • “Machiavelli’s Guide” or “Machiavelli’s Advice” could both be clues for “The Prince.”
  • “The Florentine” might be a shorter clue referencing Machiavelli’s origin and his work.
  • Look for abbreviations like “Mach” or “Il P.”

Q: I still can’t fit “The Prince” in the allotted squares. What are some options?

A: If the space is limited, consider these shorter works by Machiavelli:

  • “Discourses” (6 letters)
  • “Florentine” (11 letters)

Q: Where can I learn more about Machiavelli and his works?

A: There are many resources available online and in libraries. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Online encyclopedias: Look up Machiavelli on Wikipedia or Britannica for a good starting point.
  • History websites: Websites dedicated to history, like, often have articles on Machiavelli and Renaissance Italy.
  • Your local library: Librarians can help you find books and other resources on Machiavelli.

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