Niccolò Machiavelli was born on 3 May 1469 in Florence during the city-state's peak of greatness under the Medici family. In 1494, the year the Medici were exiled, Machiavelli entered Florentine public service. In 1498 he was appointed Chancellor and Secretary to the Second Chancery. Serving as a diplomat for the republic, Machiavelli was an emissary to some of the most distinguished people of the age. When the Medici were returned to Florence in 1512, Machiavelli was forced into retirement. In the years that followed he devoted himself to literature, producing not only his most famous work, The Prince, but also the Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius (First Decade here means First Ten Books), his Art of War and The History of Florence. In 1527 the Medici were once again expelled from Florence, but before Machiavelli was able once again to secure political office in the city he died on 22 June 1527.