Friendship and trust between medieval princes: affective strategies for navigating intercultural difference across the Mediterranean

Date

2020

Authors

Colwell, Tania

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Brill

Abstract

This essay analyses the rhetoric of friendship in John of Sulṭāniyya’s translation of a Persian letter from the Mongol-Turkic leader Temür (Tamerlaine) to the French king Charles VI in 1402/3. It examines how the discourse of political friendship was an effective strategy for navigating intercultural difference between princely rulers across the Mediterranean in the later Middle Ages. Friendship language and practices functioned as a diplomatic paradigm for cultivating an affective attitude of trust between secular and spiritual leaders. Central to eliciting trust were performances of goodwill and the demonstrable commitment of individual parties to engage in a reciprocal exchange of benefits and obligations. Negotiating intercultural friendships enabled European elites to effect political change while adopting models of masculine authority independent of the hegemonic warrior tradition of medieval leadership.

Description

Keywords

political emotions, friendship, trust, medieval France, Mongols, John of Sulṭāniyya

Citation

Source

Emotions: History, Culture, Society

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1163/2208522X-02010100

Restricted until

2099-12-31