According to the custom of his times, Machiavelli received a humanistic education. As the main part of his classical training-a requirement for those entering a public career-he learned Latin, studied rhetoric, and read texts of ancient history and moral philosophy. At that time, Florence had become the center of the European Renaissance, the scene of an incomparable artistic flowering as well as the seat of the Platonic Academy established in 1462 by Marsilio Ficino. The city hosted distinguished scholars and great artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. In 1469, after completing a new translation of several Platonic dialogues, Ficino wrote his commentary on Plato’s Symposium . In 1472, Leonardo finished his apprenticeship and was listed in the register of Florentine painters.