Essay about The aztecs

Submitted By cyberhotgoods
Words: 959
Pages: 4

Book Review
Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico
This book is about the life of the Aztec people as they lived in Mexico Before their first interactions with the Conquistadors. The anecdotes contained in this book are of Sahagun informants which tell the Aztecs’ story of their downfall from the Aztec peoples’ point of view. The book begins to tell this story in the year 1517 which is also called the year of the 12-House. It was this year that the Aztecs began to see various unexplainable signs or omens. There were 8 omens in all, and they were all seen as bad omens because of the forms in which they transpired. These bad omens were said by the Sahagun informants to have taken place 10 years be the arrival of the first Spaniards but Historians place this time at 1517, two years before the Spanish arrived. This is just one of the discrepancies on file. These signs as expected made the Aztec people and Aztec king (Motecuhzomas) worried and on edge until one day in 1519 a report was received by Motecuhzomas from a common man, that strange mountains floating on the sea have been seen towards the east. Just before the Spaniards were first seen, there were 2 more omens witnessed in Tlaxcula that continued to confuse the Aztec people.
When Motecuhzomas heard of this report he sent for his own trusted servant to confirm this report and keep an eye on these strangers if need be. He also asked for as many magicians and wizards to be found and brought before him to explain the omens that were witnessed. Motecuhzomas got word back from his appointed and trusted men that the reports were true. They told the Aztec King that there were men on those sea Mountains whom had small boats, fished, wore strange clothing and some men had great yellow beards and others had black beards. Motecuhzomas believed that the strangers were gods. The wizards and magic men summoned by the Aztec King said that they had no idea what the omens meant. The Aztec King believed that those wizards and magic men were hiding information and therefore he had them locked up until they said what they knew. They sent word to the Aztec King a day later saying that the future cannot be changed and that bad things are going to happen and there is nothing he can do it. Upon hearing this, the Aztec King sent for the wizards and magicians but by that time, they had disappeared from their prison. This further enraged the Aztec king and so he decided to have the wizards and magicians’ wives and children killed. Motecuhzomas then had royal trinkets made with the finest materials such as gold, feathers, pearls and special stones constructed in secret which he later showed to his head subordinated – leaders of certain sacred and important houses in the city. Motecuhzomas then selected ambassadors and many others to go greet these strangers and offer to them these specially made trinkets and other treasures. These ambassadors set off and did as the Aztec King commanded. Upon meeting these strange men for the first, Motecuhzomas’ ambassadors treated the strangers like gods and it was Don Hernando Cortes who stepped forward as their leader. The Aztec ambassadors explained how they were honored by the strangers visit and that they represent Motecuhzomas whom has watched over the Aztec people. Cotez was able to understand his new, strange guests because he had a translator called La Malinche whom Cortez found on previous exploits of the new world. In their first interaction Cortes had the Aztec Kings’ ambassadors chained up and scared to death by firing one of the canons on the ship. Cortes then let the ambassadors go with much fear in their heart and Cortez knowing…