The Prince is a treatise of advice for rulers written by Niccolo Machiavelli in the 16th century. The Prince discusses different forms of government and different strategies for gaining power and controlling people. Machiavelli also describes character traits that are useful to rulers, such as being fearsome, strong and merciless towards one's enemies and competitors. The book takes a practical approach to maintaining political control and does not insist on being moralistic.
The modern reputation of Niccolò Machiavelli rests mainly on his political treatise Il Principe (The Prince) , written around 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after his death.