Arcana imperii
(771 words)

Following the emergence of a political public sphere in the course of the 16th century, there gradually developed in the 17th and 18th centuries a demand among its agents to be kept informed, at least in respect of general principles and fundamental aims, of the actions of rulers [2]. Those aspects of policy that rulers persisted in not making public, and the strategies and tactics by means of which they sought to conceal what both sides agreed to be their key intentions and actions (the technical term used at the time until around 1700 was the Latin simulatio or dissimulatio; “pretense,” “d…

Cite this page
Weber, Wolfgang E.J., “Arcana imperii”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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