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The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
 
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 Cortes Deals with the Nobles and Priests

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PostSubject: Cortes Deals with the Nobles and Priests   Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:15 pm

(From the VII relacion by Chimalpain)

When the arms and trappings of war had been put aside, the lords were brought together in Acachinanco. These were Cuauhtemoc, lord of Tenochtitlan; Tlacotzin, the serpent woman; Oquiztzin, lord of Azcapotzalco; Panitzin, lord of Ecatepec; and Motelhuihtzin, the royal steward. The last named was not a prince, but he was a great captain during the war. Cortes ordered that they be bound and taken to Coyoacan. Panitzin, however, was not bound. At Coyoacan they were thrown into prison, where the Spaniards burned their feet.

It was at this same time that the Spaniards questioned the priests Cuauhcoatl, Cohuayhuitl, Tecohuentzin and Tetlanmecatlabout the gold that had been lost in the Canal of the Toltecs. The Spaniards also demanded the eight bars of gold that had been stored in the palace under the care of the steward Ocuitecatl.The steward had died of smallpox during the plague. Only his son was left; and when he discovered that four of the eight bars had disappeared, he immediately fled.

The five lords who had been taken to Coyoacan were led from the prison, and Cortes addressed them through his interpreters, Jeronimo de Aguilar and La Malinche: "I want to know who the rulers of the city were, and also who ruled the Tepanecas and the people of Acolhuacan, Chalco and Xochimilco."

The five lords deliberated for a while. Then Tlacotzin said: "I beg the god to hear these few words of mine. I had no lands whatever when I first came here; the Tepanecas, the Acolhuasand the people of Chalco and Xochimilco all had lands. I made myself their lord with arrows and shields, and took possession of their lands. But what I did was no more than what you have done, for you also have come here with arrows and shields to capture all our cities."

When the Captain heard this, he turned to the other lords, and spoke in a voice ringing with authority: "He came here with arrows and shields to seize your lands. He forced you to be his servants. But now that I have come, I set you free. You are no longer his vassals. Your lands are your own again."
Posted by Steel Here at 19:52
Labels: The Surrender of Tenochtitlan
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