This is a schematic map of Italy in Machiavelli’s day. You can zoom in on it to see the details. I have included the features that are relevant to understanding the geopolitical realities that confronted Machiavelli: mountains, rivers, the coast line, political divisions, and the system of roman roads which give a sense of the possibilities of commercial and military transportation at the time. A glance at the map reveals that Italy was, more than a mere geographical abstraction. It was a system.