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Lands of Frosts and Great Beasts: Poland and Lithuania in the Accounts of Papal and Venetian Diplomats

In: Diplomatica
Author:
Klaudia KuchnoDepartment of History, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, klaudia.kuchno@eui.eu

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Abstract

As surprising as it may seem at the first sight, one of the most detailed fragments of a diplomatic report summarizing a mission to Poland and Lithuania written in 1572 by a secretary of a papal nuncio dealt with an animal – the European bison. In fact, representations of nature were omnipresent in sixteenth-century papal and Venetian diplomatic accounts about the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The main aim of this article is to demonstrate how and why climate, landscapes, natural resources, and animals came to be an important part of early modern diplomatic communication.

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