The King's Army

1558 Words Feb 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Changes in society, such as revolutions and cultural shifts, serve to, hopefully, benefit society, while simultaneously potentially confusing the past. Such was the case for the myth of the king’s army, a result of shifting perceptions of Spaniards in the New World due to 16th and 17th century European military revolutions. Paintings, such as the 1520 “Ferdinand Magellan” housed in the Granger Collection, also indicate the pervasiveness of the myth of the king’s army. Additionally, the shift in the phrasing that was used, especially in the translations of Bernal Diaz and Hernan Cortes’ texts, emphasize that change in military perception, altering the demographic of conquistadors, including their economic and political aim. Despite the relative efficiency of the conquistadors, and the overarching loyalty to the king, these men were not professional soldiers, rather, they were individual armed men motivated by economic and political ambitions. Although the phrasing regarding these men has been misconstrued to show modern assumptions, these men were not professional soldiers, but rather militant entrepreneurs. Artwork serves as a means of which to analyze the views of a period, in this case the views of the Spanish conquest decades after the fact. The painting depicts Ferdinand Magellan in armor, surrounded by military and scientific equipment. His ship is guided by Apollo through waters full of dangerous and mythical creatures. In the painting, Magellan is depicted as a…

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