Machiavelli was a product of Renaissance Florence, a city-state that was struggling for expansion and survival among a competing group of similar states. As a public servant and diplomat, Machiavelli came to understand power politics by observing the spectacle around him without any illusions.

I am wondering what is difference between these:

a public servant


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  • The sentence is saying he was both. I don't understand what is confusing you. Would you explain a little more? – ColleenV parted ways Jun 8 '15 at 3:35

Typically a public servant is an official concerned with domestic affairs in his or her own jurisdiction, whereas a diplomat is sent on missions to places outside that jurisdiction, representing it.

  • Another way you could describe how they differ is that a diplomat is one type of public servant – so is a mayor; so is a congressman. In other words, "All diplomats are public servants, but not all public servants are diplomats." – J.R. Jun 7 '15 at 19:07

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