Instructions to Authors


Submission of manuscripts

Please note that all material submitted must be original and unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere.


All articles must be written in British English.

Types of publications

Legatio publishes three types of articles:

1. A traditional journal article, fully accessible to both non-specialist and specialist readers, with a clear emphasis on the article’s original contribution to the field of Renaissance and early modern diplomacy.

2. Critical editions of primary sources, where an archival source relevant for the field of diplomacy is published and made available for the entire scholarly community. The transcription of the source is completed with an introductory contextualisation of the source and an analysis of its content.

3. A review article, evaluating one or more recent publications.


The final draft of an article accepted for publication should be between 6000 and 8000 words in length, including footnotes.

For a critical edition of a primary source, the target length is between 5000 and 10,000 words, including footnotes and the transcription.

For a review article, the target length is 800 words.

Submission cover sheet

All articles must be accompanied by a submission cover sheet on which authors must provide their name, affiliation, academic title, e-mail address, title of submitted work, an abstract that should not exceed 250-300 words, and a list of three to seven keywords that classify the content of the article.




Electronic submission and file format

Files should be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and should preferably be in Microsoft Word format.




The first page of the submitted work should contain only the title of the work in order to insure anonymous review. A footnote may be included after the title (e.g. giving brief acknowledgements) but this should only be added once the review process has been completed.

Section headings are not required but highly recommended. All subdivisions in the text should be marked by leaving a blank line between sections. The title of every heading is denoted in bold. When second level headings are used, these should be denoted in bold italics. However, please avoid excessive levels of subdivisions.

All titles should be capitalized, that is, the first word and all proper nouns take an initial capital, and all other words take a lower-case initial.

Font and spaces

The text should be written in Times New Roman in character size 12, with long quotations (see below: Quotations) double indented and in size 11 and footnotes (see below: Footnotes) in size 10. All material, including footnotes, references, and tables should be single-spaced.


Do not indent the first paragraph of the article and the paragraphs after any heading. Other paragraphs are indented 0,5 cm (1 tab), without inserting blank lines.


Footnotes should be confined to necessary references and inserted at the end of a sentence, following the punctuation. Number footnotes consecutively throughout the article in Arabic numerals, not page by page.

Images, figures and tables

All images, figures and tables must be numbered consecutively throughout the article in Arabic numerals. The author is entirely responsible for the obtaining of high-definition images and the permissions for their use. The acknowledgment of the authorisation to reproduce the illustration, where applicable, should be indicated below the caption.


When necessary, glossaries may be included to clarify frequently repeated technical or non-English terms. They should be added at the end of the text, before the bibliography.


All archival sources, monographs, chapters in volumes and journals referenced in the text should be listed in the bibliography at the end of the article. A subdivision must be made between archival sources, printed primary sources and secondary works. All titles listed in the bibliography, and footnotes, should be capitalized, that is, the first word and all proper nouns take an initial capital, and all other words take a lower-case initial. Please follow the MHRA Style Guide for bibliographical references.


Legatio follows the MHRA Style Guide which is accessible online: If the style and spelling rules are not consistently followed, the text will be returned for revision.

Spelling, capitals, punctuation and abbreviations

Legatio largely follows British spelling, but please refer to the MHRA Style Guide for clarifications.


Single words or short phrases in foreign languages should be in italics, except when they have become regular English usage. Additionally, titles of books, journals, plays, poems, pamphlets, etc. individually published, have to be denoted in italics. However, the titles of book series, chapters, articles, exhibitions, etc. need to be enclosed within single quotation marks.


Care must be given to ensure that place names, names of institutions and personal names are correctly spelled. When there exists a general accepted English form for a foreign place or personal name, this should be used. Always check the spelling in a good reference work.

Dates, numbers, currency, weights and measures

Dates are given in the form ‘22 April 1564’ or ‘Friday, 22 April 1564’. If necessary, indicate if you are using the old or current calendar. When referring to a period of time, use the form ‘from 1826 to 1850’ instead of ‘from 1826–50’; when referring to decades, an s without an apostrophe should be used: the 1920s (not the 1920’s); when referring to centuries, they should be spelled out entirely: the sixteenth century (not the 16th century); when giving approximate dates, circa should be abbreviated as c.: c. 1490.

Numbers from one up to and including one hundred should be written in words. However, figures are used when referring to years, volumes, page numbers, etc. The use of roman numerals should be confined to specific usages, e.g. when denoting a king.

Names of (foreign) currencies should be given in written and using their English form when there exists a generally expected term.

Weights and measures should likewise be expressed in words.


Quotations from non-English sources must be translated into English and the original language quotation should always be given in a corresponding footnote or an appendix. The spelling of quotations should be in its original style. However, when quotations from medieval or early modern manuscripts and printed books are given, some letters and abbreviations have to be normalised to modern language e.g., the i and j, u and v, the long s, the ampersand, etc.

Short quotations can remain within the main text, enclosed within single quotation marks. Long quotations should be indicated to the reader by separating it from the preceding and following text by blank lines, double indenting the entire quotation and using a smaller character size. Long quotations do not have to be enclosed within quotation marks. Omissions within quotations should be marked by an ellipsis (three points within square brackets).

When applicable, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission to reproduce the material.

Reference style

The first reference to a publication or primary source in a footnote should be given in full length, later references to the same publication in an abbreviated form. This should include the author’s name, with a short-title reference if more works of the same author are referenced in the article, followed by the volume (if applicable) and page reference.

Legatio follows the reference style of the MHRA Style Guide, however, the journal has its own style regarding archival sources and printed primary sources:

1. Correspondence:

  • Archival source: Letter from .. to .. , date (day, month, year): archive, archival collection(s), volume number [if applicable], fol.
  • Printed source: Letter from .. to .. , date (day, month, year) in book title, editor (details of publication), volume number [if applicable], p.

2. Manuscripts:

  • Archival source: Author, title of document, date (day, month, year): archive, archival collection(s), volume number [if applicable], fol.
  • Printed source: Author, title of document, date (day, month, year) in book title, editor (details of publication), volume number [if applicable], p.

Critical editions of primary sources

Legatio accepts publications of key texts relating to the history of diplomacy. The submitted articles should contain two parts: a short introductory essay and the transcription of a primary source. Whereas the transcription should stay in its original language, the introduction must be written in British English.

1. The author should provide both a title for the critical edition and a full archival reference of the transcribed source.

2. The transcription should be preceded by introductory material where the origins and the significance of the text is clearly explained. All events described in the text, as well as locations and mentioned persons, are to be clarified and contextualised. The introduction should also include the critical analysis of the document where the relevance of the source for diplomatic history is clearly established (e.g. what we can learn from the text and any preliminary conclusions that can be drawn).

3. Sources will be published in their original language. The texts have to be accurately transcribed, adhering to the following rules and respecting original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation:

  • Names and places: they should be given in their original form, with the standard modern spelling in square brackets. When a word or name is consistently or frequently misspelled throughout the text, provide a footnote at the first occurrence stating this and give a list of other variants found in the text.
  • Contractions and abbreviations: these should be solved with the interpolated letters in italic, e.g. nostri, occasione, animo.
  • Letters u, v, i and j: amend to modern spelling, e.g. vniuersal becomes universal, maiestie becomes majestie.
  • Letter s: long and short s are both given as s.
  • Roman numerals: convert to modern usage, e.g. xiij and iiij become xiii and iv.
  • Capitalization: follow the original text. Capitals may be added for the first word of a sentence and names.
  • Punctuation: follow the original text. Full stops can be inserted if they are essential for the reading of the text.
  • Page or folio numbers: the original page numbering should always be indicated in square brackets.
  • Marginal notes: these may be inserted in square brackets at the appropriate point in the text or provided in footnotes.
  • Annotations: the source should be annotated to clarify people, places and concepts or to elaborate on the information contained in the text.
  • Lost/unreadable text: where text has been lost or is unreadable, this should be stated in square brackets.
  • In the rare case that the transcription starts or finishes midway through a text, use ellipses in square brackets to identify this.



Please be aware of the fact that after the submission of the text there might be a period of inquiries and redrafting. Only when the editors are satisfied with the text, will it be sent to the reviewers. Once the article is reviewed and edited, a final proof is delivered to the author by e-mail. Authors are responsible for checking the proof for mistakes in content and style. Please note that at this point only small errors will be corrected, no major alterations to the content can be made. Proofs should be returned promptly.

Copyright agreement

Authors sign that they convey the copyright of the article to Legatio. Legatio will agree to authors retaining intellectual ownership of their work. Reproduction in sum or in part of the work is permitted only with the permission of Legatio.