Les Moluques sont un archipel de l'est de l'Indonésie formant un territoire de 74 500 km² pour environ 2,1 millions d'habitants. Ces îles (en indonésien Maluku) productrices d'épices ont attiré les Européens dans l'archipel indonésien au début du XVIe siècle. Leur nom vient de Jazirat al Muluk, « l'île des rois », que leur donnaient les marchands arabes.
Ternate is an island in the Maluku Islands (Moluccas) of eastern Indonesia. It was the centre of the powerful former Sultanate of Ternate. It is located off the west coast of the larger island of Halmahera. The island city has a population of just under 200,000 on some 111.39 km2.
Like its neighbouring island, Tidore, Ternate is a visually dramatic cone-shaped island. The islands are ancient Islamic sultanates with a long history of bitter rivalry. The islands were once the world's single major producer of cloves, a commodity that allowed their sultans to become amongst the wealthiest and most powerful of all sultans in the Indonesian region. In the precolonial era, Ternate was the dominant political and economic power over most of the "Spice Islands" of Maluku.
Today, Ternate City is the largest town in the province of North Maluku, within which the island constitutes a municipality (kotamadya). It is, however, no longer the provincial capital, a title now held by the town of Sofifi on Halmahera.
The "Ternate Essay" was a pioneering account of evolution by natural selection written on the island by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858, and famously sent to Charles Darwin. Darwin at once responded by having Wallace's essay published by the Linnean Society alongside his own account of the theory.