The Byzantine Empire was the first to create a “Bureau of Barbarians” and use it to great effect. It gathered information from all neighboring enemies states (ruler’s personality, power struggles, local customs, etc.), it analyzed reports arriving from envoys, it organized visits for foreign diplomats to Constantinople, and did almost everything else that a modern Ministry of Foreign Affairs or embassies does it today. As its function seems to have dealt with the various barbarian nations with which the Empire had dealings, including translation, communication and correspondence. In modern era with an Information Technology in the rise, the “Bureau of Barbarians” would have had an intelligence function in the broadest sense, as distinct from espionage.Probably the bureau had similar functions as to Clandestine Services.
(Prepare for publication by CSSD-Macedonia)