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 investigate the ways in which the military with diplomacy intermingled 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. Furthermore, it was part of almost every military commander’s job to synchronize the military effort with the respective foreign policy. In this, military commanders employed and maintained communication with diplomats and courtiers throughout times of war, with the purpose of synchronizing the military efforts with allies and of using the respective ally’s resources of information gathering. Focusing on the Habsburg Monarchy in its formative period as a major European power, I will concentrate on the entanglements between the military command and diplomacy in general and on the involvement of military commanders in diplomatic activities in particular. A wide spectrum of sources will back the project empirically, f.e. diplomat-instructions, military campaign reports, and correspondences. This research is fundamental for an understanding of pre-modern practices of war and peace, questioning – but not necessarily negating – the truth of the equation of the military with war and of diplomacy with peace.

Research fields:
Military History
Cultural History of Diplomacy
History of Violence
Gender History