Embassies – Negotiations – Gifts
Systems of East Roman Diplomacy in Late Antiquity
306 p. soft cover
AbstractThis book offers an original approach to late Roman/early Byzantine diplomacy as a system. Assessing both official and clandestine perspectives, Ekaterina Nechaeva examines the working mechanisms of this diplomatic machine and reveals the 'block' organization of embassies as a basic feature of international communication. Negotiations were split into several phases and accompanied by elaborate protocol and rich ceremony. Gift exchange and the distribution of insignia comprised a vital part of the diplomatic process. What were the semantics of these symbolic acts? The study accents the status significance of such donations. Ambassadors, who embodied high-level diplomacy, delivered gifts, led talks, and mediated international dialogue. Who were these envoys? How dangerous and adventurous were their missions? What were these expeditions like? How did they travel and how far? Nechaeva scrutinizes these and further questions by investigating the practices of ambassadorial business. Throughout the book the analysis of secret negotiations, the intelligence system and spy activities of envoys, plots and political murders reveals the shadowy side of diplomacy.
"N. provides an encompassing and in-depth survey of the evidence for the mechanisms of late antique diplomacy, which will be of immense use for every future study on the topic."
Wolfgang Havener, Ancient West and East 15, 2016
"Nechaeva’s book is an admirably informed and informative text."
Réka Forrai, Medievo greco 16, 2016
"The book is an important contribution to late antique diplomatic history and will be essential to anyone studying Roman-Persian relations in particular."
Geoffrey B. Greatrex, Sehepunkte 14, 2014/9
Alexander Rubel, Arheologia Moldovei 41, 2018
Hartmut Leppin, Historische Zeitschrift 305, 2017/1
Avshalom Landiado, Latomus, 2016/4
Alexander Sarantis, Journal of Roman Studies 106, 2016
Sylvain Destephen, L’Antiquité Classique 84, 2015
Audrey Becker, Revue des Études Anciennes 117, 2015/2
Hervé Huntzinger, Bonner Jahrbücher 215, 2015