General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 21 Jun 2018/10 Rabbit
Text Size:

Search the Site (type in white box):

Article suitable for Top Juniors and above

Professor Davíd Carrasco

Question for March 2018

Did the Spanish first meet the Aztecs during the day or at night? Asked by Thomas’s Prep School (Clapham). Chosen and answered by Professor Davíd Carrasco.

A romanticised image of the meeting in Tenochtitlan
A romanticised image of the meeting in Tenochtitlan (Click on image to enlarge)

The Aztecs first welcomed the Spaniards during the day as described by both Hernan Cortes in his letters to the emperor and in Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of New Spain. The latter describes the astonishment that the Spaniards felt upon first seeing the ‘many cities and towns on dry land’ as they marched down the causeway leading to the southern entrance to the capital. We read about the many lords and nobles walking along the causeway and Cortes and Moctezuma II meeting amid pomp and ceremony for the first time.

Picture
Painting ‘Entrance of Cortez into Mexico’, from Wikimedia Commons (original author unknown; published by Kurz and Allison, Chicago in 1892; image in Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division, Washington).

Professor Davíd Carrasco has answered 3 questions altogether:

Did the Aztecs have a particularly BAD ruler, like we had Henry VIII?

Was it true that the Aztecs believed that by wearing masks they took on extra powers?

Did the Spanish first meet the Aztecs during the day or at night?

Comment button