midterm2 - HIS132 Dr Kevin Dann In 1519 the Hernan Cortes...

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03/10/08 HIS132 Dr. Kevin Dann In 1519, the Hernan Cortes landed at Tenochtitlan with a crew of about five-hundred men. On the evening before Good Friday, he was dressed in all black and a hat resembling that which the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl was reported to wear. As a result of incredible coincidence, misunderstanding, and just a little bit of outlandishness, the Aztec ruler Montezuma mistook our fearless conquistador for the First Lord of the Toltecs. The question is, how could something so bizarre have taken place and lasted for so long? To fully answer this question, we must first understand who Montezuma really was and also what kind of culture he ruled over. Montezuma was the head of the Mexican government, having been elected by the elders. Montezuma’s name meant “Courageous Lord” in the Nuatl language, he was just that to the people he ruled over. He was so respected and sacred a leader that no man was allowed to look him directly in the eye. Montezuma controlled the military, was a High Priest, and was a learned person skilled in all the disciplines of the day, namely astrology, art and philosophy. However, as much of a modern scholar Montezuma may appear to be, it is important to note that the world he lived in and the society he reigned over was very different from our contemporary society. Namely, the Aztec culture was one of magic, and while the government instilled order, punished crime, and regulated the economy, they saw
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midterm2 - HIS132 Dr Kevin Dann In 1519 the Hernan Cortes...

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