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Chapter Summary

The term diplomacy in our times mostly refers to the various means by which nations manage their relationships and communicate with one another, and within its sphere fall a host of international mechanisms and institutions to aid in matters of peace-making, cultural exchange, economics, trade, and war. The modern understanding of diplomacy tends to assume that it is primarily a means for conducting relations between sovereign states. The problem is that our understanding of diplomacy and its constituent elements is surprisingly deficient. There has been a long-running scholarly debate, for example, about Roman attitudes towards allowing a third-party to mediate between them and their enemies. The sending and receiving of embassies also corresponded well with Roman social realities. Over the centuries during which Rome had evolved from a small city-state into a world empire, diplomatic formalities had been dominated by the senate, which was a relatively small and honour-driven body.

Keywords: diplomacy; foreign embassies; Roman attitudes; sovereign states



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