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Anthony Pagden

In the sixteenth century a Spanish bishop of Yucatán was active in preserving and also in destroying the records of Maya civilization.

Anthony Pagden describes how the conflict between Europe and Asia, which began over two millennia ago, hardened into an ideological, cultural and religious struggle between the West, which has always cast itself as free, and – despite frequent outbursts of religious fanaticism – secular, and an enslaved East governed not by the laws of man, but by the supposed laws of god.

Noble savages and savage nobles – Anthony Pagden looks at how the icons of the pre-Columbian world were polished up to mirror criollo aspirations from the 16th century onwards.