Colloquium Missionarissen, consuls en spionnen

Beyond Ambassadors: Missionaries, Consuls and Spies in Premodern Diplomacy
A Two-Days Colloquium
Thursday and Friday 29 and 30 September 2016
Leiden University, Institute for History, the Netherlands

How should diplomatic historians interpret the role of missionaries, consuls, spies and intelligence agents in international affairs in medieval and early modern times?

Due to the overarching shadow of ‘the state’ as the official representative of all things diplomatic, the study of other actors in international relations than state diplomats has been neglected by traditional Diplomatic History. In the Middle Ages and the early modern period, taken together as premodern times, international relations were no monopoly of the state or the sovereign. Many individuals, groups and administrative units and interest groups maintained contacts independently of states and princes and were actors in a wide field of transnational rather than international character. Missionaries of various Roman Catholic orders or of different Christian denominations were working according to their own policies, independently from princes, or in cooperation with them. Consuls representing commercial interest groups supported the interests of merchants and traders. Spies were infiltrating the courts of Europe to secretly gather information. These groups were oriented nationally but not infrequently also transnationally. They acted increasingly as quasi-officials of sovereigns and states to whom they provided services and by whom their mediating position was sanctioned. An expanding multitude of individuals of various alloy was engaged in collecting political information which they offered to sovereigns and others. They often operated on a temporary basis for one prince or client and then for another and were able to provide many types of information for which they drew on a network of international contacts. This conference focuses on the question of how and why these people not formally tied to the state or a prince could occupy a position in international relations. This question is all the more urgent as the last few decades historical research – in the context of the so-called new diplomatic history – has shown that state diplomacy in premodern times has not been overpowering and all-determining for Europe’s international relations.

Thursday 29th September 2016
Conference Room Huizinga Building 2.60
Doelensteeg 16, 2311 VL Leiden

Opening session Welcome and Keynote Speech
14.00: Registration and Welcome
14.15: Opening: Maurits Ebben and Louis Sicking
Chair: Louis Sicking
14.30 Keynote speech: Ambassadors and other actors in medieval and early modern diplomacy (John Watkins, University of Minnesota)

Session 1 Missionaries
15.00: Opening first session
Chair: Jeroen Duindam
15:10: Jacques Paviot (Université de Paris-Est Créteil)
Before Ambassadors: Missionnaries to the Mongol sovereigns (XIIIe siècle)
15.40: Felicia Rosu (Leiden University)
A New Promised Land: Jesuit politics in Transylvania, Muscovy, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1579-1619
16:10: Christian Windler (University of Bern)
Members of Religious Orders as Political Intermediaries in Safavid Iran
16.40: discussion and conclusions

17.00: drinks

Friday 30th September 2016
Conference Room Huizinga Building 2.60
Doelensteeg 16, 2311 VL Leiden

Session 2 Consular Networks and Diplomacy: Commercial and State Agents
10.00: Coffee and tea
10.15: Opening second session
Chair: Peter Hoppenbrouwers
10.25: Louis Sicking (Leiden University/Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
‘Vitten’ and ‘Voogden’: Space and Representation in Late Medieval Scania
10.55: Maurits Ebben (Leiden University)
‘Your High Mightinesses’ Most Humble Servants’ Consuls and Dutch foreign affairs, 1650-1700
11.25: Jörg Ulbert (Université de Bretagne Sud, Lorient)
Why were the French consuls of the Ancien Régime not under the responsibility of Foreign Affairs?

11.55: discussion and conclusions

Session 3 Spies and Intelligence Agents
14.00: Opening third session.
Chair: Maurits Ebben
14.10: Bastian Walter-Bogedain (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Credible men, good friends and chatty women: the importance of espionage during the Burgundian Wars (1468-1477)
14.40: Nadine Akkerman (Leiden University)
Britain she-intelligencers, 1647-1667
15.10: Alain Hugon (Université de Caen)
Where were spies coming from and were they useful?
15.40: discussion and conclusions

16.00: Tea/Coffee

16.30: Concluding remarks (John Watkins, University of Minnesota) and discussion

17.00: Closure and drinks

Dr. M.A. Ebben
Prof. dr. L.H.J. Sicking

Information: Dr. M.A. Ebben (

Registration until September 26 2016:

Lezing over Rembrandt

Opnamedatum: 2011-11-08

Lecture by Jürgen Müller at the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam
Date: Thursday, September 29, 15.00-17.00h

Rembrandt’s Night Watch and the Man in Red
The lecture will focus on Rembrandt’s use of irony, both in his drawing Satire on Art Criticism and in his masterpiece, The Night Watch. Ever since Jan Emmens’s groundbreaking work, it is common to regard Satire on Art Criticism as a rejection of Franciscus Junius’s treatise De pictura veterum. Jürgen Müller tries to argue that the Night Watch presents a critique of the classical art theory of Junius, too.

Professor Jürgen Müller holds the chair of Early Modern and Modern Art History at the Technical University of Dresden. He studied art history at the universities of Bochum, Pisa, Paris and Amsterdam. Since then he has worked as an art critic, curator and visiting professor in Berlin, Paris, Bordeaux and Marburg. He has published and edited several books on the Beham brothers, Bruegel, Goltzius, Karel van Mander and Rembrandt. His latest books are Der sokratische Künstler. Studien zu Rembrandts Nachtwache (Brill 2015), Pieter Bruegel d. Ä. und das Theater der Welt (DKV 2014) and Favorite TV shows. The top shows of the last 25 years (TASCHEN 2015). His main research interests include early German and early Netherlandish painting, the art of Mannerism, paintings of the Golden Age, as well as photography and film.

The lecture (in English) is free, but visitors must purchase a ticket to the museum at the entrance. Drinks after the lecture are sponsored by Brill.

Symposium ‘De literaire canon in de vroegmoderne tijd’

Ter gelegenheid van de nieuwe boekenreeks Rijksmuseum Studies in History en de lancering van de website organiseert het Rijksmuseum een symposium rond het thema literaire canonvorming in de vroegmoderne tijd. Het symposium vindt plaats op donderdag 13 oktober 2016 van 15.00-18.00 uur, in het Auditorium van het Rijksmuseum.

De canon van de literatuur, de lijst met de belangrijkste schrijvers en werken uit de Nederlandse letteren, houdt geregeld de gemoederen bezig. Lijstjeswoede en canonverkiezingen zijn van alle tijden. In de achttiende eeuw ontstaat misschien wel het meest opmerkelijke initiatief tot canonvorming uit de Nederlandse cultuurgeschiedenis: het Panpoëticon Batavûm, een houten kabinet waarin de portretjes van ruim driehonderd Nederlandse dichters en dichteressen worden opgeborgen.

Als Johan Huizinga Fellow deed Lieke van Deinsen onderzoek naar deze unieke verzameling portretten. Haar bevindingen vonden hun neerslag in het eerste deel van de nieuwe reeks Rijksmuseum Studies in History. Daarnaast maakte zij met Ton van Strien (VU) en Timothy De Paepe (UA) de website Hierop wordt een computerreconstructie van het verloren kabinet gepresenteerd. Tientallen onderzoekers uit Nederland en Vlaanderen leverden bijdragen aan de website en introduceerden de schrijvers in het Panpoëticon in toegankelijke lemma’s.

Het symposium vindt plaats in het Auditorium van het Rijksmuseum, van 15u tot 17u. Na afloop wordt een borrel geserveerd. Deelname is gratis. U dient uw komst te bevestigen via dit e-mailadres. Aangezien de ruimte beperkt is verneemt het Rijksmuseum graag met hoeveel personen u komt. U kunt zich aanmelden tot 1 oktober 2016.



15.00   Inloop

15.30   Welkom door Martine Gosselink (hoofd afdeling Geschiedenis, Rijksmuseum)

15.40   Inleiding op het project door Lieke van Deinsen

16.00   ‘Vaderlandsliefde, nationale identiteit en de literaire canon’ door Lotte Jensen

16.15   ‘Hoe Pan is het Poëticon?’ door Riet Schenkeveld

16.30   Pitches door Nina Geerdink, Lia van Gemert, Inger Leemans en Ton van Strien

16.50   Aanbieden van het eerste deel Rijksmuseum Studies in History aan Menno Witteveen

17.00   Borrel