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The Culture of DiplomacyBritain in Europe, c. 1750–1830$
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Jennifer Mori

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082726

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082726.001.0001

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From ancients to moderns

From ancients to moderns

Chapter:
(p.167) 8 From ancients to moderns
Source:
The Culture of Diplomacy
Author(s):

Jennifer Mori

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719082726.003.0009

Diplomats always lived in several intersecting worlds, and notwithstanding the fact that much of their time was spent at court, they were capable of exercising intellectual and cultural influence on trends outside it. The status of Rome as the cradle of western civilization, combined with the civic humanism of the eighteenth century that made the British identify with aspects of classical politics and governance, ensured a high degree of interest in archeological and philological work on ancient Italy. Through an implicit authority based on residence and familiarity with the region, diplomats possessed the potential—if they chose to exercise it—to shape British thinking about the classical world. The principles of beauty, truth and liberty were to be recovered from the past and, if applied to the present, would constitute the acme of human achievement.

Keywords:   diplomats, civic humanism, western civilization, British thinking, classical world, philological work, classical politics, ancient Italy

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