This essay uses Bruno Latour’s model of diplomacy from An Inquiry into the Modes of Existence (AIME), alongside the networks/worknets of actor-network theory, to discuss how the medieval Italian writers Brunetto Latini and Dante Alighieri explore experiences of political exile in their vernacular writings. It examines how the two authors reflect on the pluralities of language and community that connect them to readerships both at home and in exile, focusing especially on Brunetto’s Rettorica and Dante’s Convivio. The essay investigates Brunetto’s rhetorical doctrine and Dante’s models of vernacular knowledge sharing by drawing on AIME’s notion of the diplomat, whose measured speech helps “renegotiate the new frontiers of self and other.” It is especially concerned with the modes of engagement Latour labels as the beings of politics [POL], law [LAW], and fiction [FIC].

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