Jose Carillo's Forum


This section features discussions on education, learning and teaching, and language with particular focus on English. The primary subjects to be taken up here are notable advocacies and contrary viewpoints in these disciplines and their allied fields. Our primary aim is to clarify matters and issues of importance to language and learning, provide intelligent and useful instruction, promote rational and critical thinking, and enhance the individual’s overall capacity for discernment.

Truer, flesh-and-blood portraits of Borgia, Machiavelli, Da Vinci

The historical stereotype of Cesare Borgia is that of a ruthless, tyrannical, vain, and incestuous brute, of Niccolò Machiavelli that of a devious, calculating, and manipulative diplomat who produced the infamous treatise on power called The Prince, and of Leonardo Da Vinci that of a pious artist who painted the famous “The Last Supper” of Jesus Christ and his disciples but who also dabbled prodigiously not only in technology but in military science as well. They actually lived separate lives within the Romagna region that was Borgia’s dukedom in Italy, but one short season in 1502 their lives converged, and together they decisively shaped European history and thinking with an impact that’s still felt today.

Triple Biography

In a triple biography, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior, Paul Strathern attempts to render Borgia, Machiavelli, and Da Vinci—three of Renaissance Italy’s most brilliant minds—in a truer, flesh-and-blood perspective. He pictures Borgia as a brilliant, handsome, and charismatic figure who was also well-versed in the classics, “a superb exemplar of the Renaissance man.” With Borgia as orbit, Strathern paints Machiavelli as a savvy diplomat and keen observer of political power, alternately hating and admiring Borgia’s lust for bullying, intimidation, and warfare; and Da Vinci as a highly gifted and accomplished artist whose talent was prostituted and then utterly destroyed while serving as Borgia’s chief military engineer, fortifying the duke’s fortresses, drawing highly precise maps, and building temporary bridges so the duke’s pillaging army could cross rivers.

Read Steven Levingston’s review of Paul Strathern’s The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior in now!

Read the product description and other reviews of Paul Strathern’s The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior in now!


Paul Strathern was born in London and studied philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. He was a lecturer at Kingston University where he taught philosophy and mathematics. He is a Somerset Maugham prize-winning novelist of A Season in Abyssinia, as well as four other novels. He is also the author of the Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. He wrote Mendeleyev’s Dream which was shortlisted for the Aventis Science Book Prize, Dr. Strangelove’s Game: A History of Economic GeniusThe Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Napoleon in Egypt and most recently, The Artist, The Philosopher and The Warrior. He lives in London and has three grandchildren.

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