1st Edition

Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c.1410-1800

Edited By Tracey A. Sowerby, Jan Hennings Copyright 2017
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World offers a new contribution to the ongoing reassessment of early modern international relations and diplomatic history. Divided into three parts, it provides an examination of diplomatic culture from the Renaissance into the eighteenth century and presents the development of diplomatic practices as more complex, multifarious and globally interconnected than the traditional state-focussed, national paradigm allows.

    The volume addresses three central and intertwined themes within early modern diplomacy: who and what could claim diplomatic agency and in what circumstances; the social and cultural contexts in which diplomacy was practised; and the role of material culture in diplomatic exchange. Together the chapters provide a broad geographical and chronological presentation of the development of diplomatic practices and, through a strong focus on the processes and significance of cultural exchanges between polities, demonstrate how it was possible for diplomats to negotiate the cultural codes of the courts to which they were sent.

    This exciting collection brings together new and established scholars of diplomacy from different academic traditions. It will be essential reading for all students of diplomatic history.


    Introduction: Practices of Diplomacy. Jan Hennings and Tracey A. Sowerby

    Part 1 Status and Sovereignty Beyond the State

    1. Burgundian Clients in the South-Western Holy Roman Empire, 1410-1477: Between International Diplomacy and Regional Political Culture. Duncan Hardy

    2. Transylvanian Envoys at Buda: Provinces and Tributaries in Ottoman International Society. Gábor Kármán

    3. The City whose "ships sail on every wind": Representations of Diplomacy in the Literature of Early Modern Ragusa (Dubrovnik). Lovro Kunčević

    4. Staged Sovereignty or Aristocratic Values? Diplomatic Ceremonial at the Westphalian Peace Negotiations (1643-1648). Niels F. May

    Part 2 Familiarity, Entertainment, and the Roles of Diplomatic Actors

    5. Wondrous Welcome: Materiality and the Senses in Diplomatic Hospitality in Sixteenth-century Genoa. Giulia Galastro

    6. Sincerity, Sterility, Scandal: Eroticizing Diplomacy in Early Seventeenth-century Opera Librettos at the French Embassy in Rome. Katharina N. Piechocki

    7. ‘Minister-like Cleverness, Understanding and Influence on Affairs’: Ambassadresses in Everyday Business and Courtly Ceremonies at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century. Florian Kühnel

    8. The Merchant-Diplomat in Comparative Perspective: Embassies to the Court of Aurangzeb, 1660-1666. Guido van Meersbergen

    9. Trans-imperial Familiarity: Ottoman Ambassadors in Eighteenth-Century Vienna. David Do Paço

    Part 3 Objects and Beasts

    10. Presenting Noble Beasts: Gifts of Animals in Tudor and Stuart Diplomacy. Felicity Heal

    11. Gift Exchange, Self-representation, and the Political Use of Objects During Ferdinand the Catholic’s Reign. Germán Gamero Igea

    12. Merchant-Kings and Lords of the World: Diplomatic Gift-exchange between the Dutch East India Company and the Safavid and Mughal Empires in the Seventeenth Century. Fran


    Tracey A. Sowerby is currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Central European University, Budapest. She is the author of Renaissance and reform in Tudor England: the careers of Sir Richard Morison (c.1513–1556) (2010) and was PI on the AHRC funded project ‘Textual ambassadors: cultures of diplomacy and literary writing in the early modern world’. Her forthcoming publications include The Tudor diplomatic corps and Tudor diplomatic culture.

    Jan Hennings is Assistant Professor of History at Central European University, Budapest. His publications include Russia and Courtly Europe: Ritual and the Culture of Diplomacy, 1648–1725 (2016).

    "Precisely titled, this timely volume focuses on the practices of negotiation, on process more than outcome, and provides a valuable introduction to the approaches that now guide researchers. (...) Collections of essays are notoriously a mixed bag, but this impressive volume is a superior example of the genre. (...) The editors’ model introduction provides an excellent context for the specialized articles that follow. It deserves the widest readership." - Hamish Scott, Jesus College, University of Oxford

    "This collection edited by Tracey A. Sowerby and Jan Hennings constitutes an important contribution to new diplomatic history. (...) The intersection between new diplomatic history and the history of material culture, discussed in several chapters, is no doubt one of the most innovative aspects of the volume and one that is likely to inspire future research. (...) An innovative, thought-provoking and deeply researched collection which will be useful reading not only for scholars of early modern diplomacy but for anyone interested in rethinking the history of international relations beyond the traditional state-centred and Eurocentric paradigms." - Diego Pirillo, University of California, USA

    "This book is an important example of the renewal of the history of international relations, the reading of which is necessary to grasp the political structures of the first European modernity, including Russia."- Marie-Karine Schaub, UPEC-CRHEC

    "All in all this collection offers further contributions to a history of diplomatic practice that does not take the sovereign state diplomacy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as the standard, as Christian Windler emphasizes in his closing remarks. The contributions reveal how strongly pre-modern diplomacy was characterised by courtly forms and values and – this is an especially important aspect of the volume – certainly by no m