Kopieergedrag | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 127, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



This article argues that copies distributed as part of the political communication in northern Europe were more than a substitute for the originals or simply an efficient way of spreading information. The case of the Hanseatic towns shows that copies could be refined instruments of diplomacy: they could be a way to express inclusion, support, or openness and impartiality, to give a favour, or show willingness to resolve a conflict. Equally, a copy could exclude, put under pressure, obscure, or manipulate, and even lead to serious conflicts. Circulating copies – or deciding not to circulate them – was a conscious, complex choice made by town councils, individuals, and also rulers. In this analysis a distinction is made between diachronic and synchronic copies, since there were differences in their form and intended functions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Danzig; diplomacy; Hanse; Literacy; political communication
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