By Garrett Mattingly
Famed historian's definitive historical past of the origins of international relations, tracing the diplomat's position because it emerged within the Italian city-states and unfold northward within the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. "An vital book...carefully and assuredly written." — the days (London). "Excellent." — big apple bring in Tribune. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
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The shortest way to these objectives was by war. War dramatized the state. War focused loyalty by identifyirg opposition with treasonable comfort to those who were plotting to plunder the city's treasures and bring low her liberties. War, if it injured the trade of a competitor, strengthened a monopoly, or cleared away an obstructive toll, might actually benefit the interests of the merchants who were always worth conciliating, even when they were not themselves in power. And successful war, if it resulted in the conquest of a neighbor, or the wiping out of some enclave within one's boundaries, actually increased the power of a machine which fed on power.
It was not long before ambassadorsbegan to be asked to produce their instructions. The tenor of the instructions,after all, would show more quickly than anything else whether agreement was possible,and if ambassadorswere sincerethey ought to have no objectionto provirg that they were. The point was a ticklish one for, of course,the instructions would also show the extreme concessionsthat the ambassadors could make. Instructions were private documents, and there was certainly no obligation to produce them.
To strike or injure an ambassadoror restrain his liberty is an offensepunishable by death. An ambassador cannot be sued in any court, nor may any writ lie against him for any act committed or debt contracted before the beginning of his embassy. FIe cannot be made subjectto reprisalsfor the actsor debts of his countrymen. He is exempt from all taxes, tolls and customs on goods or property necessaryfor his mission. He is entitled to support from the public treasury wherever he may be. All authorities,ecclesiastical 39 MEDIEVAL DIPLOMACY FIFTEENTH CENTURY and secular, are bound to protect and assist him in every appropriate way.