Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,405 words)

1. Definition

“An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country” (Latin legatus est vir bonus peregre missus ad mentiendum Reipublicae causa) is a famous witticism of the English diplomat and writer Henry Wotton, made in 1604. It neatly expresses the ambiguity of the position of ambassador. Renaissance diplomacy, far from being peaceful, was warfare carried out by other means. The ambassador sometimes had to be both a …

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Tischer, Anuschka, “Ambassador”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017741>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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