Religion was an important part of the social structure since ancient civilizations, like the Egyptians who believed that the royal classes existed as both human beings and gods at the same time. Then the Greeks achieved the separation between religion and their political and intellectual life, assuming that they were human beings ruled by other human beings, making humans decisions. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the church became an important governing institution within society. The institution of church was powerful enough to take over the government during the middle ages, until the Renaissance.
The Medieval ages can almost take us back to the philosophy of ancient civilizations where religion represented by the church was completely involved with political and intellectual life. Philosophers and writers from the middleages like Saint Thomas Aquinas or Saint Anselm and Abelard shared the medieval world-view; where there was a superior, perfect God that existed against a sinful, weak and egocentric human being. Medieval World philosophies were grounded essentially in Christianity and influenced every aspect of every day life, from governance to socializing. This way to see the world not only differed form the renaissance, but also differed from the Greco-Roman, modern, scientific and secular views of the world. It was at this transtitional phase that Machiavelli's career occurred. His work can be thought of as separating the two eras, outlining many of his controversial ideas in his most famous work, The Prince, which was very influential to humanist philosophy.
In The Prince, Machiavelli presented a view of governing a state that was different from the medieval ages, describing early humanist ideals. Machiavelli believed that a Prince should be in charge of all the authority matter determining every aspect of the state and handle everything to his convenience. He also believed that morals were dangerous, and that to rule effectively meant to rule by trickery.