English Diplomatic Practice in the Middle Ages

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A&C Black, May 16, 2003 - History - 277 pages
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It is wrong to date the practice of diplo-macy to the Renaissance. Medieval kings relied on a network of diplomats and special envoys to conduct interna-tional relations. War, peace, marriage agreements, ransoms, trade and many other matters all had to be negotiated. To do this a remarkably sophisticated system of diplomacy developed during the mid-dle ages.

Pierre Chaplais, the eminent historian of medieval England's relations with its neighbours, describes how diplomacy worked in practice: how ambassadors and other envoys were chosen; how and where they travelled; and how the authenticity of their messages was known in a world before passports and photographs. Safe-conducts, audiences, gifts and meetings between rulers all played their part. English Diplomatic Practice in the Middle Ages is an important and fascinating contribution to the early history of England's role in Europe.

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About the author (2003)

Pierre Chaplais is Emeritus Reader in History, University of Oxford.

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