Christof Muigg

PhD Student at the University of Vienna

Dissertation project:

The Diplomat’s Sword. Military and Diplomatic Practice and the Early Modern Habsburg Monarchy

In my project, I examine the relationship of the military with diplomacy in Early Modern Europe. While it was customary for noble military commanders to be send on diplomatic missions, an analysis of the phenomenon of the soldier-diplomat is as much a lacuna in scholarly literature as the daily practice of military commanders in the given period in general. Employing case studies of exemplary military commanders in the early modern Habsburg Monarchy, I discuss in what way a noble habitus represented a basic qualification for both the military and diplomacy. Patterns and factors in the diplomatic practice of noble military commanders will thus be identified and compared to their military practice. In an actor-centred perspective I use correspondences, diplomatic relations, military campaign reports, diplomatic instructions and journals to empirically clarify this resemblance. Another important kind of source will be early modern treatises on warfare and diplomacy, which deal with the idea of the perfect commander or the perfect ambassador. Often, military commanders were selected for highly intricate missions, were their reputation and experience was – or promised to be – decisive for the mission’s conduct.