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The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
 
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Join date : 2009-05-11
Location : Central Oklahoma

PostSubject: Introduction   Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:30 am

The documents presented in the first thirteen chapters relate the events that began a few years before the arrival of the Spaniards on the east coast of Mexico and ended with the fall of Tenochtitlan to the conquistadors. The last two chapters offer, by way of conclusion, a somewhat different account of the Conquest written in 1528 by the anonymous informants of Tlatelolco, and three of the icnocuicatl (threnodies, or songs of sorrow) lamenting the defeat and destruction of the Aztec capital.

The texts have been arranged to give a chronological narrative of the Conquest, and they contain a number of obvious discrepancies and contradictions. We have not attempted to solve all of the problems which these discrepancies pose for the historian. Our fundamental concern is with the human interest of the accounts, which reveal how the Nahuas interpreted the downfall of their civilization. This first chapter begins with a passage from the CodexFlorentino; the original text is in the Nahuatl of Sahagun's native informants. It is followed by two selections from the Historia deTlaxcala by Diego Munoz Camargo, who married into the nobility of Tlaxcala. The Tlaxcaltecas allied themselves with Cortes, and Munoz Camargo wrote from their point of view, but his description of the omens which appeared in Mexico agrees quite closely with that of Sahagun's informants.
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