Hankins, James. 2014. “Machiavelli, Civic Humanism, and the Humanist Politics of Virtue.” Italian Cult. 32 (2) (September): 98–109. doi:10.1179/0161462214z.00000000026.
Modern studies of Italian humanist political thought emphasize the theme of republican liberty, but this conception has been understood in anachronistic ways and exaggerated in importance. Much more central is the problem of how to encourage virtuous and prudent behavior in the ruling class. The humanist answer — a classical education in virtue and wisdom, along with the creation of new social technologies of persuasion — was comprehensively rejected by Machiavelli, whose own approach to political success truly introduced new modi e ordini.