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Diplomacy, war and peace 1400-1700


Admission requirements



Diplomacy and conflict, allies and enemies, public and private, Medieval and Early Modern – all dichotomies. Or not. This seminar will explore the ways in which diplomacy influenced international relations, especially in times of conflict and during peace negotiations. Special attention will be paid to the rise of professional diplomats on the one hand and the continuation of the age-old consular services. When the state did not yet execute a monopoly of violence, other representatives than those of the state, like representatives of cities and merchants, played an important role in foreign relations and negotiations.
How did those involved in diplomacy respond to threats and acts of violence and war? Could they use the situation to their own benefit? The ways in which the mingling of public and private initiatives meant that diplomacy and conflict might create opportunities in foreign relations will also be examined.

Course objectives

Students acquire insights into the relations between diplomacy, and war and peace issues in medieval and early modern Europe, with a focus on the Low Countries. They learn how to conduct research into published and unpublished administrative and other sources. Students are also expected to give an oral presentation and to write a paper in which they formulate and discuss a hypothesis in the form of a well-structured argument.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar

Assessment method

Paper (50%), oral presentation (25%), participation in discussions (25%)


Will be used for the exchange of information, bibliographies etc.

Reading list

Required reading for the entry test which will take place during the first class: will be announced
Further reading requirements will be announced during the course


via uSis.

Contact information

E-mail: dr. M.A. Ebben and dr. L.H.J. Sicking


If only native speakers of Dutch participate, the course can be taught in Dutch.