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Working paper

THE ISSUES OF CULTURAL HIERARCHIES IN EARLY MODERN ETHNOGRAPHY BASED ON THE ACCOUNTS BY PETRUS PETREJUS, PAUL RYCAUT, FYNES MORYSON, AND JOHN DAVIES

Selin A. A., Байгушев С. В., Levin F., Khvalkov E., Кузнецова А. Д., Zakrzhevskaya J., Парамонов Г. А., Zubkova D., Малиновский Н. А., Шистерова А. Д.
This paper is focused on the issues of cultural hierarchies in early modern European imperial discourses in all-European discourse about Muscovy and Ottoman Empire and English discourse about Ireland, which have not been previously compared, in the narratives by Petrus Petreus, Paul Rycaut, Fynes Moryson and John Davies. The authors of the article have analyzed mechanisms of building the cultural hierarchies and compares different traditions of ethnographical descriptions with each other. The authors under consideration not only create cultural hierarchies, but also instrumentalize the image of the Other to some extent. They focus on government, laws, religion and manners. The choice of these aspects aims to highlight problems important not for (or not only for) the Other, but for authors` societies themselves. The fact that most accounts describe relative barbarians rather than absolute also can be a consequence of such instrumentalization, because comparison between “us” and the Other becomes important.