3. "Cortés' victory secured new and profitable land and opportunities for the Spanish monarch. Huitzilopochtli, Father of the Aztecs. At Tabasco, Cortés was met with resistance from natives. Montezuma was not stupid to believe the white men were gods. The king did allow him to return to Mexico, albeit with much less authority. In 1518, Cortés was to command his own expedition to Mexico, but Velázquez canceled it. (Image: © Public domain. Upon hearing of an uprising among Aztec religious leaders, his second-in-command trapped them in a temple during a religious ceremony and sent in soldiers to massacre them. Tenochtitlan (the most important Aztec city) was introduced to gods from all over the Aztec world. Eventually, Cortés' Spanish wife came to Mexico. All rights reserved. La Malinche became an important figure in Cortés' life and legacy. Nutmeg, cloves and pomander from the Indonesian "Spice Islands" and pepper and cinnamon from India were in high demand, said Cosme. . Cortés fought his way back into the palace and put Montezuma in front of the people in an effort to quell the uproar. The Aztec had allies too, however, and Cortés was especially belligerent toward them. Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador, or conqueror, best remembered for conquering the Aztec empire in 1521 and claiming Mexico for Spain. They provided the Europeans with food, supplies and 20 women, including an interpreter called Malintzin (also known as La Malinche or Doña Marina). People with “pro-Mexican/anti-colonialist history” perspectives tend to utterly dismiss the impact the appearance of the Conquistadors had on the initial fearful reverence the Azrecs showed them. Cortés had heard of the Aztecs and knew that they, and their leader Montezuma II, were a primary force in Mexico. The most important god to the Aztecs was Huitzilopochtli. After his arrival on Hispaniola in 1504 and subsequent participation in the conquest of the island of Cuba, Cortés made a name for himself as a bold and enterprising leader. One of Cortés' men contracted smallpox from a member of the force from Cuba. It belongs to a large group of Indian languages, which also include the languages spoken by the Comanche, Pima, Shoshone and other tribes of western North America. Cortés' Spanish wife died and he remarried twice, though never to La Malinche, said Cosme. He was also believed to have created civilization. The Aztec used pictographs to communicate through writing. The Aztec spoke a language called Nahuatl (pronounced NAH waht l). There was an Aztec prophecy that stated that the god, Quetzalcoatl would arrive at the year 1519, the exact year that Hernan Cortes arrived at Tenochtitlan. Get help with your Aztec homework. In 1540, he retired to Spain and spent much of his last years seeking recognition and rewards for his achievements. There, Cortés served as a clerk to the treasurer and later as mayor of Santiago. Cortés’s account of his meeting with the Aztec paramount includes a speech the conquistador made up and put into Moctezuma’s mouth. Having skirmished their way along the coast, and met with Montezuma’s emissaries, Cortés and the conquistadors set out for Tenochtitlan from their settlement of Vera Cruz. Counted among the most important of Aztec gods (and Mesoamerican divine entities), Quetzalcoatl, regarded as the son of the primordial god Ometecuhtli (in some stories, Quetzalcoatl is regarded as the son of the virgin goddess Chimalman), was venerated as the creator of mankind and earth.In one version of the Aztec creation myth, the world was created and destroyed for four times … Think how Cortés, a Christian, reacted. This Afro-Eurasian economy created an interwoven connection between India, China, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.". One of Montezuma’s guards quickly stepped in and told him No ONE gets close to the emperor. It is gruesome to think of ancient Aztec kings ripping out the still beating heart of a prisoner and pushing them down the pyramid, but we still do it now. By what does cortes think of the aztec gods Answer Cortes did not believe in the actual existence of the Aztec Gods, but used these gods to his advantage when trying to convince the Aztecs that he was a god himself--thus tricking them into giving him their gold. The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, whom they credited with the creation of humans among other notable feats, was set to return to Earth. With the help of the people of Tlaxcala, Cortés' army regrouped and re-entered Tenochtitlán. Yes it does come from laws, but more importantly it comes from morality, and our morality is linked to our world view, which includes religion. He became fascinated with tales of Christopher Columbus' New World explorations. This lets you know that already Montezuma knew Cortez was no god. Cortés was eager to be part of the dynamic movement. Evan Meehan 8 Quetzalcoatl the Aztec Feathered Serpent (center) depicted in the 16th century manuscript the Codex Telleriano-Remensis held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (cropped and edited from the original). 8 August 1519: Beginning of the march to Tenochtitlan. Montezuma thought Cortes was an aztec God name Kulkulkan. Hearing Aztecs call mountain-shaped dough figurines, human god-bodies, and bodies of water—let alone Cortés and company—“teteo”must have perplexed the conquistadors, friars, and chroniclers who encountered them and their stories. Think how this encounter may have affected his opinion of Aztec civilization. Columbus had set sail hoping to find a route to Asia or India. As a result of his success, King Charles I of Spain appointed Cortés as governor of New Spain. What points of view do you think the two artist are expressing about these meetings? He warned the Amerindians that he would return to punish them if they continued to sacrifice humans. I do not mention the other diverting things Moctezuma had in the city, because they were so many and so various.” The longer the Spanish stayed in the capital city, the more suspicious the Aztec leaders became. Cortés explored the northern part of Mexico and discovered Baja California for Spain in the latter 1530s. emperor, Moctezuma II, believed Cortés to be a god. Cortés men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor. Cortés’s account of his meeting with the Aztec paramount includes a speech the conquistador made up and put into Moctezuma’s mouth. Cortés defeated the Spanish force, but when he returned to Tenochtitlán he was met with a shock. When Cortés heard of this, he took a garrison of Spanish and Tlaxcalan soldiers and marched on the Spanish. Cortez fit into two of the four descriptions; he sailed from the east and was white-skinned with a beard. The story of the Aztec treating Cortes as a god on account of his beard and blue eyes makes Europeans in general and Cortes in particular look pretty good. The Aztec thought Cortes was a god because Montezuma saw the picture on the stone that is exactly look like the god of the Aztecan. The most important gods in Aztec culture were Huitzilopochtli (god of war and sun) and Tlaloc (god of rain). then why did Montezuma hesitate so much to attack? Though Cortés enslaved much of the native population, other indigenous groups were fundamental to his success, according to Cosme. Do you really think the great and powerful Aztec Empire would have tolerated such impudence if they were not at least SOMEWHAT scared out of their minds that the Gods were up to something? Here are some of the most important gods to the Aztecs. He fathered several children. But after Cortes captured the priest or leader, he masacured many Aztecs and conquered their land. He helped oversee the building of Mexico City, which is still Mexico's capital today," said Cosme. Cortés and his men were initially well-received by the Aztec ruler, Moctezuma II .It has often been said that the Aztecs treated the conquistadors well as a result of a prophecy. The Aztecs, the Late Postclassic civilization that the Spanish conquistadors met in Mexico in the 16h century, believed in a complex and diversified pantheon of gods and goddesses. "She became bilingual, speaking Aztec and Mayan languages, which made her very useful to Cortés," said Cosme. They … Cortés was born in 1485 in Medellín, Spain. Who is the light skinned god that would return to rule the people? (Gary Francisco Keller/ CC BY 3.0 ) Reasons for Believing . "He arrived in the great Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in 1519," said Cosme. I do not doubt the goodness of the god whom you worship, so do not trouble to speak to us about them at present. "Like many explorers we know about today, Hernán (also known as Hernando) Cortés's role in the Age of Exploration was influential but controversial," said Erika Cosme, Administrative Coordinator of Education and Digital Services at The Mariner’s Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia. The story of the Aztec treating Cortes as a god on account of his beard and blue eyes makes Europeans in general and Cortes in particular look pretty good. Kulkulkan is described to have a white beard and lighter skin, which is why Montezuma thought Cortes was Kulkulkan. He convinced Velasquez, the governor of Cuba, to let him lead an expedition to Mexico. Other natives helped bring the Mexica empire down, Cortez alone would have had no chance. She gave a different perspective that contradicted this well-known account that made me curious to look for other accounts that might reveal more truth. He is associated with the planet Venus, the wind and the rain, knowledge and learning. He taught the Mesoamericans how to farm corn. Cortés was ruthless and merciless. Hernan Cortés invaded Mexico in 1519 and conquered the Aztec Empire. Who was Hernando Cortes? Get help with your Aztec homework. Motecuhzoma told Cortes, “Our lord, you are weary. I suppose we will never know for sure what was going on in the mind of Montezuma. "It would seem his desire to maintain his reputation and standing among the Spanish community was stronger than his need to be a husband and father to Malinche and Martin.". In a mutinous act of defiance, Cortés ignored the … The journey has tired you, but now you have arrived on earth… to sit on your throne, under its canopy.” This was due to the fact that the Aztec religion told of a god, Quetzalcoatl, who would come from the heavens and take his place as ruler of the Aztec Empire. Cortes, with new troops from Cuba, along with the aid of thousands of Indian allies, finally conquered the Aztec in 1521. Some of the pictures symbolized ideas and others represented the sounds of the syllables. Frustrated and embittered, Cortés decided to return to Mexico. It quickly became a pre-eminent city in the Spanish colonies and many Europeans came to live there. Yet, they did it, and tolerated a variety of massacre/robberies as well. Aztec religious mythology was about the creation and destruction of the world. The contention that Montezuma thought that Cortez was the god Quetzalcoatl is based upon the writings of Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagun, who was present with Cortez in 1519, and a document, the Florentine Codex, that was written more than 50 years after the fact. The Aztecs were fascinated by the Spaniards' light skin and the sight of men on horseback, which they described as beasts with two heads and six legs. ", Cortés was, nevertheless, important in his reshaping of the world. Consider these 2 images (one old and one modern) of Cortes and Dona Maria meeting Mesoamerican rulers. Engraving by W. Holl, 1837. Along with this religious mission and the tantalizing lure of undiscovered riches, Hernán Cortés set off to accomplish both. Aztec Gods in the Florentine Codex. They held a number of religious ceremonies and festivals throughout the year. They formed an allegiance, and Cortés was given several thousand warriors to add to his ranks. The loss of people in a loss that can't be calculated. The reason I felt compelled to look up some info was the fact that I got different information from another professor whose area of expertise was cartography and the colonial eras of Europe especially those pertaining to Portugal and Spain. Having skirmished their way along the coast, and met with Montezuma’s emissaries, Cortés and the conquistadors set out for Tenochtitlan from their settlement of Vera Cruz. The fall of the Aztec City of Tenochtitlan to the Spanish led by Conquistador Hernan Cortes marked the end of an era as the Old and New Worlds collided with catastrophic results for the New World which would be decimated by War, famine and disease.. On his arrival, Hernan Cortes was accompanied by a force of 530 Armed Europeans and a few hundred Cuban natives and African slaves. As you read, focus on the writer’s vivid descriptions of the gods. 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