- Diplomatic missions — Diplomatic relations — Diplomatic privileges — Ancient Times to 1648
This chapter provides the historical context underpinning this study. It elaborates on the definition of the term ‘diplomacy’—the conduct of business between States by peaceful means—at the same time dispelling misconceptions regarding the term, as well as discussing its origins. Aside from that, the chapter largely focuses on a historical background of diplomacy as a whole, beginning from the earliest practices of sending emissaries to open negotiations. These origins may in fact go back at least as far as the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East in the second, and possibly even as early as the late fourth millennium BC, to the cuneiform civilizations of Mesopotamia. From there, the chapter maps out this history through the Renaissance period to the beginnings of classical European diplomacy, and later on to the two World Wars and the post-war world.