Isabella Lazzarini

«Tutto è bene a sapere»: Gathering, Ordering, and Using Information in Diplomatic Communication (Italy, 1350-1520 ca.)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Diplomacy; Communication; Renaissance; Italy; Information.

While information has been at the heart of recent research in diplomatic and political history of late medieval Italy, communication has been less investigated. In my paper I would like to focus on the impact of the increase of available information on the transformation of diplomacy from a negotiating event to an uninterrupted communication process. The increasing amount of news (official or unofficial, open or secret, fake or true, mediated or not) had in fact a crucial role in such a change, at the same time transforming the ways of analyzing, evaluating, and recording facts and ideas, and of ordering and preserving records in order to facilitate the decision-making process. This transformation was common to politics and diplomacy (if such a distinction in this period had any sense at all): the diplomatic sources (i.e. letters, instructions, final reports), by becoming incredibly rich in quantity and nuanced in quality, offer an excellent starting point for recognizing and investigating the building blocks, strategies, and resources of political communication in early Renaissance Italy.

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