We think of ambassadors as simply diplomats--but once they were adventurers who dared an uncertain fate in unknown lands, bringing gifts of greyhounds and elephants to powerful and unpredictable leaders. Historian Wright traces the journeys of these emissaries, taking us from the linguistically challenged Greek Megasthenes to the first Japanese embassies to China and Korea; from Mohammed's ambassadors to Egypt to the envoys of Byzantium, who had the unenviable task of convincing Attila the Hun to stop attacking them. We also witness the dialogue between Europe and Moorish Spain, and meet the ill-fated envoys sent in search of the mythical king Prester John. What Europe still thinks of Asia and what Asia still thinks of Africa were in no small part kindled in these long-ago first encounters.--From publisher description.A history of the experiences and contributions of ambassadors shares the stories of the first Japanese embassies to China and Korea, Mohammed's ambassadors to Egypt, and the ill-fated envoys who were sent in search of a mythical king Prester John.
- Publication Date:
- 23 / 09 / 2011