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According to many liberal thinkers, civic friendship is necessary for political communities whose end is happy life and human flourishing. Are these authors still placed within a bipopolitical framework? To give an answer, XVI century mirrors for princes are to be examined. While Foucault has traced the origins of governamentality in Le miroir politique, in the works by Budè and Elyot, as well as in coeval Fürstenspiegel, the intertwining of Aristotelian and Stoic issues sheds light on a different genealogy of quality of life, according to which the happiness of rulers can’t be separated from the welfare of ruled and it is based on the humanistic idea of self-government. Moving from Stacey’s and Brooke’s studies (Cambridge 2007, Princeton 2012), it will be shown that self- government (the government of one's soul as well as of one's body) is necessary not to avoid to be conducted by others, but rather to live happy with them.
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