Niccolo Machiavelli, La Mandragola [The Mandrake]

Chris Picicci (Colorado State University)
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Niccolò Machiavelli’s comedy La Mandragola (The Mandrake) was most likely first performed in Florence during the carnival season of 1518, and composed sometime between 1512 and its debut. It was originally entitled Comedia di Callimaco & di Lucretia, although the author occasionally referred to the work as Comedia di Messer Nicia. While there is no definitive way to date the work precisely, the only extant manuscript of the play is from 1519. Pasquale Stoppelli convincingly argues that La Mandragola was certainly written after Machiavelli completed his vernacularization of Terence’s Andria. The comedy quickly gained popularity in other milieus, including the city of Venice during the Lenten carnival seasons of 1522 and 1526, and the papal court of Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo…

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Citation: Picicci, Chris. "La Mandragola". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2016 [, accessed 09 December 2023.]

4144 La Mandragola 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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