The battle of Lepanto (October 7, 1571) signified an important victory for Christian
Europe against the Ottoman Empire. In the Spanish area, six poets (re)shaped the naval
battle as the central theme of their epic poems. The focus of this paper will be on the first
epic poem that was published after Lepanto: the Austrias Carmen of the former black
slave Juan Latino (1518-1594/7). In my analysis of Latino's representation of the Ottoman
admiral Ali Pasha I will argue that the author's use of the classical tradition leads to
an ambiguous portrait of the cultural Other.