Andriopoulou, Stavroula (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This dissertation studies the diplomatic communication between the Byzantine Empire and the West during the last century of the empire’s life from 1354 to 1453. The first chapter deals with ambassadorial travel to the West, studying land and sea routes, the season of travel, its speed and duration and the choice of vessel for the transportation of ambassadors to western destinations. The second chapter analyses diplomatic missions to the West, examining both the embassies themselves and the people involved in them, in an effort to create the profile of the late Byzantine imperial ambassador to the West. The third chapter examines specific diplomatic practices focusing both on the different characteristics of each emperor’s reign, and on the late Palaiologan period as a whole. These three chapters are accompanied three Appendices comprised of three main databases that list the embassies of the period, the journeys of the ambassadors and the ambassadors themselves, and a series of tables and charts that further facilitate reading and comprehending the results of this study. Through my research into these aspects of late Palaiologan diplomatic practice, I aim to demonstrate that the late Palaiologoi combined traditional diplomacy and innovative methods, such as their personal involvement in embassies to the West, which reflect the dynamism of the late empire.
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