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“Dui Fratelli. . . Con Dui Principi”: Family and Fidelity on a Failed Diplomatic Mission

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Captured on a failed 1535 diplomatic mission to Hungary, English ambassador Giambattista Casali revealed in his confession the central roles played by diplomatic families in facilitating, managing, and prosecuting early modern diplomacy. This article explores how Casali and his brothers, by strategically positioning family members in the service of multiple patrons, drew on these flexible and overlapping networks of kinship and patronage to promote familial interests as well as those of their princely patrons. Focusing on the Casali family’s engagement in Hungarian diplomacy between 1529 and 1535, the article illustrates how the Casali solicited appointments, managed multiple loyalties, and negotiated the conflicts of interest resulting from their colorful and active diplomacy between England, Rome, Bologna, Venice, and Hungary at the zenith of English and Hungarian relations with the papal curia.


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Affiliations: 1: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


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