The Image of the Native Ruler in the Writings of the Participants of the Circumnavigations of the 16th century
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Native Ruler
Oriental Despotism
Age of Discovery
Fernand Magellan
Francis Drake
Thomas Cavendish
New Albion
Southeast Asia

How to Cite

1. Mikheev D. The Image of the Native Ruler in the Writings of the Participants of the Circumnavigations of the 16th century // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2023. № 2 (8). C. 237-253.


The article deals with the analysis of the formation of the image of the native ruler in the compositions of the participants of the first circumnavigations of the 16th century.

The participants of the expeditions often became the first Europeans to reach remote corners of the world and get acquainted with previously unknown nations. Basic judgments about those peoples were often based on descriptions of their rulers. The study attempts to identify common characteristic features in the descriptions of native leaders left by Spanish and English travelers in the 16th century. The comparison of the evidence allows us to trace the evolution of the image of the native leader, and in some cases, to identify the falsifications that resulted from the individual tendentious writings of the era. It was possible to identify the similarity of the images of Eastern rulers. The authors of the works note their wealth, a special ceremonial surrounding, and almost absolute power over their subjects. At the same time, a characteristic feature of the Eastern ruler is his cunning, which is always implied when constructing the image. But despite the negative features, both Spanish and English discoverers always sought to conclude an alliance with the ruler, appeasing him with gifts and promises of military assistance to gain a foothold in the open lands relying on his power.
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