Forms of Early Modern Diplomacy

The 12/2 (2023) issue of the Hungarian Historical Review, focusing on forms of Early Modern diplomacy featured papers from two members of our project.

Gábor Kármán (PI) wrote about Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld’s role in György Rákóczi I, prince of Transylvania’s foreign policy in the 1630–40s. As a German professor at the academy of Gyulafehérvár/Alba Iulia/Weissenburg, his visits to Western European courts under the guise of academic activities enabled him to run more discreet diplomatic negotiations toward an anti-Habsburg alliance or play an important part in preparing treaties such as that of Gyulafehérvár (1643) és Munkács (1645).

Zsuzsanna Hámori Nagy focused on the secret negotiations that took place in Constantinople in 1625–1626 between the ambassador of Prince Gábor Bethlen and the representatives of anti-Habsburg states, entertaining the possibility of an alliance during the Danish phase of the Thirty Years’ War. The paper offers a comprehensive overview of the circumstances influencing these negotiations, such as problems of precedence, poor economic conditions, and bribery and corruption, as well as the private interests of the participating Transylvanian diplomats, exploring the conditions that influenced the diplomacy of Transylvania when negotiating with major powers other than the Ottoman Empire.