Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian political philosopher, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright. He is a figure of the Italian Renaissance and a central figure of its political component, most widely known for his treatises on realist political theory -The Prince (1513)- on the one hand and republicanism -Discourses on Livy (1512-1517)- on the other. The Discourses on Livy (Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy, Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius) is a work of political history and philosophy composed in the early 16th century. Where The Prince is devoted to advising the ruler of a principality, i.e., a type of monarchy, the Discourses purport to explain the structure and benefits of a republic, a form of government based on popular consent and control. It is considered almost unanimously by scholars to be if not the first, then certainly the most important, work on republicanism in the early modern period.