The Earliest States of Eastern Europe
DG-2019-2020, 122-129

The Diplomacy by Priscus Panitus

I. E. Ermolova

There is a popular opinion in the historiography that the diplomacy as a practice of interstate relationships appears only in the Modern period. Ancient sources can prove such kind of idea. However, on the other hand, some ways of interactions between different tribes, peoples and states are known since the earliest times. As a usual, diplomacy in Antiquity served as a kind of an additional resource in time of the war or as the substitute of military conflicts but not as an instrument for peacekeeping. The diplomatic negotiations usually started after the end of the war or if one of the sides of the conflict considered it a menace. The following problem is discussed in this paper based on the fragments of Priscus of Panion — the diplomat of the Eastern Roman Empire, who was very well acquainted with the relationships between Eastern and Western Romans and Huns due to his taking part in Roman diplomatic mission to different barbarian tribes. The extant part of his texts contains an important information about the practice of diplomatic treaties and negotiations in the Late Antiquity as well as about its main actors. His accounts demonstrate that in the same period there already existed some traditions and practices of organizing and acceptance of diplomatic missions.

the Romans, the Hunns, Attila, the Eastern Roman empire, Priscus, an embassy, an ambassador, negotiations

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