Diplomatic Letters 1625-1812Naar de resource
17th and 18th-century Southeast Asia was a region of ‘Multiple Centres of Diplomacy’. Of all the thousands of diplomatic manuscripts (Malay: “Surat Emas”) with their own original seals exchanged between the various rulers, kings and sultans in the region, hardly any originals survive. Some original manuscripts still extant in scattered libraries around the world represent a high cultural value in terms of language and writing traditions, as well as material value. During the VOC period from the foundation of Jakarta (1619-1799), Batavia Castle was an active diplomatic centre in the Southeast Asian region and beyond. Thousands of incoming and outgoing letters from and to Asian rulers and dignitaries testify to the sheer volume of these exchanges of letters and gifts were, and how Europeans adapted themselves to Asian diplomatic customs and the system of gift exchanges.