Wright, Jonathan, 1969-

The ambassadors : from ancient Greece to Renaissance Europe, the men who introduced the world to itself / Jonathan Wright. - London : Harper Press, c2006. - 336 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [351]-362) and index.

Introduction -- "Glorious Hermes, herald of the deathless gods" -- Greeks and Indika -- A Sanskrit Machiavelli -- The son of heaven -- Charlemagne's elephant -- Byzantium -- The crown of thorns -- A rooftop in Naples : Europe and the Mongols -- The new diplomacy -- Reformation -- Schisms -- "An Iliad of miseries" : Europe and the Ottomans -- Wotton versus Sherley -- The physics of diplomacy.

We think of ambassadors as simply diplomats--but once they were adventurers who dared an uncertain fate in unknown lands, bringing gifts of greyhounds and elephants to powerful and unpredictable leaders. Historian Wright traces the journeys of these emissaries, taking us from the linguistically challenged Greek Megasthenes to the first Japanese embassies to China and Korea; from Mohammed's ambassadors to Egypt to the envoys of Byzantium, who had the unenviable task of convincing Attila the Hun to stop attacking them. We also witness the dialogue between Europe and Moorish Spain, and meet the ill-fated envoys sent in search of the mythical king Prester John. What Europe still thinks of Asia and what Asia still thinks of Africa were in no small part kindled in these long-ago first encounters.--From publisher description.

0007173431 9780007173433

Ambassadors--History--To 1500.
Ambassadors--History--16th century.

JZ1418 / .W75 2006


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