"Old Nick" For over four hundred years, Niccolo Machiavelli has been a byword for cynicism, immorality and cruelty in politics. In the 16th century, his first name was often shortened to "Old Nick", the popular nickname for Satan. The Jesuits (themselves accused of Machiavellism by Protestants) called him "the Devil's partner in crime". "Murderous Machiavel" became a favourite reference in Elizabethan plays, including those of Shakespeare. As Lord Macaulay wrote in 1827, "We doubt whether any name in literary history be so generally odious ... "
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