«Questa Signoria sempre salvarebbe essa città vostra». Biased languages and ideal political cultures in the dispatches to Venice and Naples of Siena’s ambassador Francesco Aringhieri (1450-1453), by Barbara Gelli
The essay tackles the subject of the political language in use in Renaissance Siena, through the study of papers drawn up by Siena’s ambassador Francesco Aringhieri for two diplomatic missions in Venice and Naples. These letters are a valuable source of information to provide an understanding of the themes and rhetorical strategies at the origins of a propagandistic language which, in the specific case, was used to promote an approach to and the alliances with the aforementioned states. The essay reveals the continuous re-elaboration of political categories and models with a plurality of humanistic and juridical languages that became part of the current oratory practice. In this way, Aringhieri succeeded in aligning the divergent political stances of Siena, Venice and Naples in a unique ethical-political code which, leveraging consolidated mechanisms of civic identity, enabled him to voice his thoughts and those of his faction within an ideal frame of reference.
Keywords: Diplomacy, Political Languages, Siena, Venice, Naples.
«Firmest principles and foundations of love». Belisario Vinta and the matrimonial negotiations for Eleonora de’ Medici and Vincenzo Gonzaga (1572-1584), by Marina Porri
The complex negotiations between Florence and Mantua presented an open challenge to ambassadors and delegates for about twelve years, from 1572 to 1584, turning only in the end into an unexpected political success for the Medici dynasty. For the marriage of Eleonora de’ Medici and Vincenzo Gonzaga, credits go especially to the Florentine ambassador, Belisario Vinta, who played a pivotal role during diplomatic contacts with the Gonzaga court. Evidences from the Archivio di Stato in Florence and in Mantua makes possible to retrace step by step the ongoing of negotiating, revealing how ambassadors used to deal with daily diplomacy in time of marriage negotiations. Moreover, the dynastic alliance of Medici and Gonzaga in 1584 is a unique example of the courtly function and ceremonial implications that marriage portraits used to have in 16th-century Europe.
Keywords: Medici, Gonzaga, Belisario Vinta, Doni Diplomatici, Marriage Negotiations.
Medici Agents in Naples during the Grand Duchy of Ferdinand I (1587-1609), by Vincenzo Sorrentino
Through a systematic examination of the Mediceo del Principato archive, the paper aims to shed new light on some ‘diplomatic agents’ who operated in Naples during the grand-duchy of Ferdinand I. A great variety of information was reported from the Neapolitan viceroyalty, and the tasks that the agents were asked to carry out were numerous. The origins, training, biographies and nature of the envoys could vary dramatically and these aspects of their identities emerged through single events that they took part in. The exchange of diplomatic gifts, such as medicines, embroidered fabrics, crucifixes and tapestries, was not one-way, and stallions, preserves, pictures and raw materials were also sent from Naples as tributes. In conclusion, the unusual ties between some agents and the countess of Lemos will be discussed, considering her role as vice-queen from 1599 to 1603, and her kinship with the Duke of Lerma, councillor of the king Philip III of Spain and most useful instrument to receive favours.
Keywords: Informal Diplomacy, Agents, Florence, Naples, Diplomatic Gift, Grand duchy, Viceroyalty.
The struggle for primacy and the role of savoy diplomacy in the years of Emanuele Filiberto and Carlo Emanuele I, by Ilario Manfredini
Following the transfer of his capital to his states in Italy, a real and new prince like Emanuele Filiberto realized the necessity to create a court, to organize a universal, symbolic and representative identity, that would allow him to assume a role of primacy amongst the small Italian states now incorporated into the Spanish orbit. Diplomacy played a fundamental role in strengthening the political position of the Savoy court, with Emanuele Filiberto who managed to maintain a position of equidistance between France and Spain on the European front, while in the peninsula immediately strengthened diplomatic relations with Venice, present with its ambassador in Piedmont since 1560. With the coming to power of Carlo Emanuele I, the prudent diplomatic policy of his father leaves room for a more daring search for prestige by the new political course, which manifested itself in the long reign of the “great Carlo” with sudden changes of alliances especially on the European front that caused quite a few problems for the Savoy diplomacy.
Keywords: Diplomacy, Precedence, Identity.
Ottaviano Raggi: the “Monsignor Protector” of the Republic of Genoa, by Diego Pizzorno
The historiographical emphasis on the alliance between Genoa and Madrid has omitted the existence of a Spanish protectorate on the Republic. Genoa tried to obtain a diplomatic support in Roma, where, during the 1630s, Ottaviano Raggi distinguished himself. Raggi is a figure acknowledged by historiographic attentions only for his cardinalate biennium. Even though, before obtaining the “galero” in 1641, he acted in favour of Genoa, involved with the question of royal titles and impeded by a diplomatic impasse due to the absence of a “cardinal protettore”. Raggi negotiated also in a strong querelle between the Republic and Paris. This article concerns this phase of Raggi’s career, with the aim of providing a significant framework of the Genoese diplomacy during the early Modern Age.
Keywords: Ottaviano Raggi, Genoese Diplomacy in the early Modern Age, “Monsignor Protettore”.
Politics of the Belcanto. The castrati in the relations between the italian states during the 17th and 18th centuries, by Alessandro Cont
The castrati, thanks to their wonderful voice and singing talent, were an important political instrument in the hands of the Italian princes during the Baroque age. The prestige and reputation of the members of the ruling houses in the Peninsula were measured, among other things, also through the celebrity of the emasculated singers who served them with the title of “virtuoso”. Moreover, the loan of these musicians among the various courts and capitals was part of the strategies and practices of foreign relations of the Italian sovereigns. A little prudent management of this resource could even create diplomatic incidents. The decline of the phenomenon occurred during the 18th century, due to the convergence of new political/military, social and cultural instances.
Keywords: Castrati, Italian Princes, Diplomacy, 17th Century, 18th Century.
Overlaid diplomacies: the case of the Royal Presidi of Tuscany in the XVIII century, by Antonio D’Onofrio
At their foundation in 1557, the Reales Presidios de Toscana were something new in the landscape of the Italian peninsula. An important space in the Spanish Mediterranean strategy, this particular group of military places and communities remained a constant entity for almost two centuries. The Eighteenth-century Wars of Succession brought the Presidi in the new and independent Kingdom of Naples. In this period (1734-1801) the relations with the near States changed and became erratic and more complex. A real diplomacy cannot actually be found in the Presidi: it was not only military governors who dealt with foreign policy, but also private citizens and Neapolitan bureaucrats. In this game of overlaid diplomacies, particular and of particular interest are the relation of the Presidi of Tuscany – and on the Presidi of Tuscany – with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the State of the Church and the Republic of Genoa.
Keywords: Presidi, diplomacy, XVIII century, Kingdom of Naples,
Narrating and Representing History: The Peninsular War in the Museum, by Rafael Zurita-Aldeguer
The Peninsular War (1808-1814) belongs to the long period of Napoleonic Wars, and it left a deep mark on the history of Spain. This explains its continued presence in the educational curriculum and in the Spanish collective memory. My objective is to explain the manner in which this conflict is being represented, narrated and publicized in Spanish museums and interpretation centres. Accordingly, the objects of my inquiry are military and municipal museums.
Keywords: Peninsular War, War Museums, War Tourism, Local History, Public History.