Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft
Mobility and the Making of Carolingian Diplomacy

I started my academic career at the University of Cambridge studying Carolingian diplomatic relations with the Islamic world. I have since developed those interests, resulting in publications on medieval urbanism, apocalyptic writings and charismatic megafauna. My current project takes me back to the beginning, working on a book on changes in Carolingian diplomacy and foreign policy. By thinking about Frankish external relations as a whole over a long period of time, we can place the empire’s internal politics within a wider European and Mediterranean context. The ultimate goal is to rethink the history of the Carolingian empire from the outside, seeing it from the eyes of its neighbours and the people on the frontiers. My focus in my time in Tübingen is on Carolingian envoys – who they were, what role they played, how they behaved and the practicalities of their tasks – and other mobile agents who made diplomacy possible, such as exiles, merchants and missionaries. These figures made connections in a huge number of ways by acting as translators or gathering information. 

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