The aim of this article is to put Tsar Peter's traveling incognito in Holland and England into a wider context, to demonstrate that it was not an idiosyncratic choice on the Tsar's part but a mode of behavior taken from a new diplomatic protocol. One of the most vivid examples of the new mid-17th century conception of the term incognito is to be found in Peter's English experience. Using that experience as a focal point this article explains the evolution of the term itself in both literary usage and more broadly in diplomatic practice as it evolved at various congresses and assemblies of the period, beginning with the meetings preliminary to the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia.
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