Steelangel's Creations

The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
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Posts : 133
Join date : 2009-05-11
Location : Central Oklahoma

PostSubject: Introduction   Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:53 am

Several indigenous texts-the Codex Ramirez, the XIII relacion of AlvaIxtlilxochitl and the Codex Aubin-describe the massacre perpetrated during the fiesta of Toxcatl, which the Aztecs I celebrated in honor of the god Huitzilopochtli. "This was the most important of their fiestas," wrote Sahagun. "It was like our Easter and fell at almost the same time."

Cortes had been absent from the city for twenty days when the massacre took place; he had gone out to fight Panfilo de Narvaez, who was coming to arrest him by order of Diego Velazques, governor ofCuba. Cortes' deputy, Pedro de Alvarado, treacherously murdered the celebrants when the festival was at its height.

We have chosen two different accounts of the massacre, both written originally in Nahuatl. They describe it with a realism comparable to that of the great epic poems of classical antiquity.

The first account, by Sahagun's native informants, tells of the preparations for the fiesta, the sudden attack by the Spaniards in the midst of the ceremonies and the retaliation by the Indians, who besieged the Spaniards when they took refuge in Motecuhzoma's palace.

The second brief account is by the native author of the CodexAubin. "From a literary standpoint," says Dr. Garibav, "the passage is of extraordinary merit. It shows us the living, suffering people of Tenochtitlan as they faced the attack of the Tonatiuh (Alvarado), who was as handsome as he was wicked."
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