Europeans Invade the Aztec Empire

Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España
Madrid: Imprenta del Reyno, 1632

Long after the conquest, the conquistadors continued to be haunted by their initial impressions of Tenochtitlan. As the Spaniards described their panoramic view of the city, this image evoked admiration, fear, and a desire to control the unknown.

Caught up in demands for grants and privileges, Bernal Díaz recalled the imposing image of the city from the Great Temple to justify the conquistadors’ violation of indigenous sovereignty. He described Motecuhzoma and Cortés, hands clasped, surveying the landscape before their eyes.

Newberry Library: Vault Ayer 655.51 .D5 1632

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