This project examines diplomatic encounters on the frontline of the first age of globalization. The early modern period was a crucial watershed in history as the opening of maritime trade routes brought Europeans into sustained contact with Asia for the first time. In this connected world, the embassy formed the most important mechanism for cross-cultural interaction. This study considers a series of European embassies dispatched to the most powerful Asian states and uses these to reassess the nature of the global encounter between Europe and Asia. Arguing against attempts to project the politics and attitudes of high imperialism back into the early modern period, it aims to challenge conventional narratives about the rise of Europe.