(1,409 words)

1. Definition

“An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country” (Latin legatus est vir bonus peregre missus ad mentiendum Reipublicae causa) is a famous witticism of the English diplomat and writer Henry Wotton, made in 1604. It neatly expresses the ambiguity of the position of ambassador. Renaissance diplomacy, far from being peaceful, was warfare carried out by other means. The ambassador sometimes had to be …

Cite this page
Tischer, Anuschka, “Ambassador”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 20 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

▲   Back to top   ▲