THE DIPLOMATIC WORLD OF EUROPE AT THE TIME OF THE MOST SERENE REPUBLIC
A discussion led by Prof. Marco Zanetto. As was always the case in the various spheres of civic life, when it came to the origin and development of its diplomatic activities, Venice did not stray far from the Byzantine model, at least at first. The lessons were certainly useful, and brought to bear on peoples that were frequently quite unlike those of the northern Mediterranean, differing not least in their customs and religious credo, as was the case of the Arabs, Turks, Jews and others besides. The diplomatic activities of Venice are the first in Europe to be discernable from manuscripts, which were drafted by the diplomats and the Senate and reveal a ceaseless discussion and exploration of the nascent realities of the times, with significant and profound deliberations on the history, geography and economic situation of the various states. These states were each, in turn, scrutinised by the patrician diplomats of Venice, who would teach the whole of Europe an understanding of “the principal activities of government and the agreements of great importance” decided among various kings and governments. Prevention is better than cure: this is the motto of the diplomats of Venice, from the Cappellos to the Querini Stampalias. The lesson would soon be learned in the rest of Europe.
Presented by Prof. Marco Zanetto.