PV1B110 Diplomacy in Late Medieval Italy and its Documents

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2023
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Taught in person.
PhDr. Ondřej Schmidt, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
PhDr. Ondřej Schmidt, Ph.D.
Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies – Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Olga Barová
Supplier department: Department of Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Archive Studies – Faculty of Arts
Tue 14:00–15:40 K21, except Tue 14. 11.
Required basic knowledge of Latin and Paleography.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 12 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course looks at the issue of diplomatic communication in Medieval and Renaissance Italy and the written sources. Students will firstly be given a brief introduction to the historical development of the Apennine peninsula in the Late Middle Ages, its political geography and internal dynamics – the factors which encouraged innovation in diplomatic practice. This will be followed by an overview of the historical research into Medieval diplomacy, which has recently undergone significant development. The main part of the course will consist in reading, analysing and interpreting individual types of documents which were produced as part of the diplomatic communication between the Italian signorie and the republics, and in particular between them and the kings and emperors of the Romans (instructions, credentials, full powers, safe conducts, dispatches, ciphers, etc.). Digital reproductions of original documents will be made available to students in the study materials in IS.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to:
- describe the basic historical development of the Apennine peninsula during the Middle Ages;
- characterize the changes in Late Medieval diplomacy and assess how it has been reflected in historiography;
- read, understand and interpret the main types of documents produced as part of diplomatic work.
  • 1) Introduction to the history of Late Medieval Italy
  • 2) Diplomacy as a historiographical topic
  • 3) Credential documents
  • 4) Instructions I
  • 5) Instructions II
  • 6) Empowerment
  • 7) Safe conduct
  • 8) Dispatches I
  • 9) Dispatches II
  • 10) Closing session
  • 11) Treatises on diplomacy
  • De l’ambassadeur. Le écrites relatifs à l’ambassadeur et à l’art de négocier du Moyn âge au débuit du XIXe siècle, edd. Stefano Andretta – Stéphane Péquignot – Jean-Claude Waquet, Rome 2015 (= Collection de l’École française de Rome 504).
  • Catherine FLETCHER, Diplomacy in Renaissance Rome. The Rise of the Resident Ambassador, Cambridge 2015.
  • Italian Renaissance Diplomacy: A Sourcebook, edd. Monica Azzolini – Isabella Lazzarini, Durham 2017 (Durham Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Translations 6).
  • Isabella LAZZARINI, Communication and Conflict. Italian Diplomacy in the Early Renaissance, 1350–1520, Oxford 2015.
  • Christina LUTTER, Politische Kommunikation an der Wende vom Mittelalter zur Neuzeit. Die diplomatischen Beziehungen zwischen der Republik Venedig und Maximilian I. (1495–1508), Wien – München 1998(Veröffentlichung.des Inst.für Österreich.Geschichte 34)
  • Garrett MATTINGLY, Renaissance Diplomacy, Baltimore 1955
  • Donald QUELLER, The Office of Ambassador in the Middle Ages, Princeton 1967.
  • REITEMEIER, Arnd. Aussenpolitik im Spätmittelalter : die diplomatischen Beziehungen zwischen dem Reich und England 1377-1422. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1999, 572 stran. ISBN 3506720430. info
  • Francesco SENATORE, „Uno mundo de carta.“ Forme e strutture della diplomazia sforzesca, Napoli 1998 (= Mezzogiorno medievale e moderno 2).
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
At the end of the course is a written test.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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