Literature Study GuidesThe Broken Spears The Aztec Account Of The Conquest Of Mexico

The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico | Study Guide

Miguel León-Portilla

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Course Hero. "The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico Study Guide." Course Hero. 31 Jan. 2020. Web. 20 Feb. 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Broken-Spears-The-Aztec-Account-of-the-Conquest-of-Mexico/>.

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Course Hero. (2020, January 31). The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Broken-Spears-The-Aztec-Account-of-the-Conquest-of-Mexico/

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Course Hero. "The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico Study Guide." January 31, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Broken-Spears-The-Aztec-Account-of-the-Conquest-of-Mexico/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico Study Guide," January 31, 2020, accessed February 20, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Broken-Spears-The-Aztec-Account-of-the-Conquest-of-Mexico/.

Overview

Author

Miguel León-Portilla

First Published

1959

Type

Nonfiction

Genre

History

At a Glance

For over 400 years the history of the conquest of the Aztec Empire has been related primarily through accounts by the Spanish victors. Beginning in the mid-20th century, Miguel León-Portilla, author of The Broken Spears, worked to provide a more nuanced history of Mesoamerica by including narratives of Aztec survivors and their descendants. Insights related from several historical codices give voice to the religious and cultural events, as well as the triumphs and tragedies experienced by the indigenous peoples of 16th-century central Mexico. Through The Broken Spears, readers can evaluate the final days of Tenochtitlán from the viewpoints of both vanquished and victors.

Perspective and Narrator

Based on historical records describing the Spanish conquest of Mexico, The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico is narrated from the third-person perspective of the conquered people. Drawing upon the writings of various authors, it reports events as they take place, in the voice of an observer or witness.

About the Title

The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico was first published as Visión de los vencidos (Vision of the Vanquished). The broken spears in the later title symbolize the fall of the Aztec Empire to the forces of Hernando Cortés's Spanish conquistadors. Spears were a primary weapon of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Though used to great effect, they were no match for the conquistadors' guns and cannons. The broken spear symbol is found in "Epic Description of the Besieged City" in Chapter 14. This section describes the suffering of the Aztec people in the final days of the conquest.

Summary

This study guide for Miguel León-Portilla's The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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