León-Portilla, Miguel. The broken spears: the Aztec account of the conquest of Mexico

Table of Contents

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Untitled Section: ...

Chapter One : Omens Foretelling The Arrival Of The Spaniards


The Omens As Described By Sahagun's Informants

The Omens As Described By Munoz Camargo 7

The Wonders And Signs Observed In Tlaxcala

Chapter Two : First Reports Of The Spaniards' Arrival


Motecuhzoma Questions The Magicians

A Macehual Arrives From The Gulf Coast

Preparations Ordered By Motecuhzoma

Chapter Three : The Messengers' Journeys


Motecuhzoma Instructs His Messengers

The Gifts Sent To The New Arrivals

The Messengers Contact The Spaniards

Cortes Frightens The Messengers

Motecuhzoma Awaits Word From The Messengers

The Messengers' Report

Chapter Four : Motecuhzoma's Terror And Apathy


Motecuhzoma Sends Out Wizards And Magicians

Motecuhzoma Learns Of The Magicians' Failure

The Anxiety Of Motecuhzoma And His People

Motecuhzoma Thinks Of Fleeing

Chapter Five : The Spaniards March On Tlaxcala And Cholula


The Spaniards March Inland

The Arrival At Tlaxcala

Intrigues Against Cholula

The Massacre At Cholula

Negotiations Before The Battle

Death Of The Envoy From Tlaxcala

The Destruction Of Cholula

Chapter Six : The Gifts Of Gold: The God Tezcatlipoca Appears


The Spaniards See The Objects Of Gold

Tzihuacpopocatzin Pretends To Be Motecuhzoma

The Apparition Of Tezcatlipoca

Motecuhzoma's Despair

Chapter Seven : The Spaniards Are Welcomed In Tezcoco


The March To Tezcoco

The Arrival At The City

Ixtlilxochitl Becomes A Christian

The Reactions Of Yacotzin

Motecuhzoma's Final Decision

Chapter Eight : The Spaniards Arrive In Tenochtitlan


Motecuhzoma Goes Out To Meet Cortes

Speeches Of Motecuhzoma And Cortes

Attitudes Of The Spaniards And The Native Lords

The Spaniards Take Possession Of The City

The Spaniards Reveal Their Greed

The Seizure Of Motecuhzoma's Treasures

Chapter Nine : The Massacre In The Main Temple During The Fiesta Of Toxcatl


The Preparations For The Fiesta

The Statue Of Huitzilopochtli

The Beginning Of The Fiesta

The Spaniards Attack The Celebrants

The Aztecs Retaliate

The Lament For The Dead

Motecuhzoma's Message

The Spaniards Are Besieged

The Massacre According To The Codex Aubin

Chapter Ten : The Night Of Sorrows


The Spaniards Abandon The City

The Battle Begins

The Massacre At The Canal Of The Toltecs

The Spaniards Take Refuge In Teocalhueyacan

The Aztecs Recover The Spoils

The Account By Alva Ixtlilxochitl

Chapter Eleven : The Siege Of Tenochtitlan


Tenochtitlan After The Departure Of Cortes

The Plague Ravages The City

The Spaniards Return

The Spaniards Launch Their Brigantines

Defensive Tactics Of The Aztecs

The Spaniards Debark

The Spaniards Advance To The Heart Of The City

The Aztecs Take Refuge

The Last Stand

Chapter Twelve : Spanish Raids Into The Besieged City


Fifteen Spaniards Are Captured And Sacrificed

The Spaniards Attack Again

Fifty-three Spaniards Are Sacrificed

The Sufferings Of The Inhabitants

The Battle In The Market Place

Other Battles

The Catapult Is Set Up In The Market Place

The Aztec Defense

The Quetzal-owl

Chapter Thirteen : The Surrender Of Tenochtitlan


The Final Omen

Cuauhtemoc's Surrender

The Flight From The City

The Spaniards Humiliate The Refugees

Cortes Demands Gold

The Ravage Of Tenochtitlan

The Capture Of Cuauhtemoc

Cuauhtemoc Acknowledges His Defeat

The Length Of The Siege

Cortes Deals With The Nobles And Priests

Chapter Fourteen : The Story Of The Conquest As Told By The Anonymous Authors Of Tlatelolco


The Arrival Of Cortes

The Massacre In The Main Temple

The Night Of Sorrows

The Spaniards Return

The Siege Of Tenochtitlan

The Flight To Tlatelolco

The Tlatelolcas Are Invited To Make A Treaty

The Fighting Is Renewed

Epic Description Of The Besieged City

The Message From Cortes

The City Falls

The People Flee The City

The Offering Of Gold

Cuauhtemoc Is Tortured

The Return To Tlatelolco

Chapter Fifteen : Elegies On The Fall Of The City


The Fall Of Tenochtitlan

The Imprisonment Of Cuauhtemoc

Flowers And Songs Of Sorrow

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The broken spears: the Aztec account of the conquest of Mexico

Published By: Original publisher Boston: Beacon Press. 1962. 36, 168 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Miguel León-Portilla ; English translation by Lysander Kemp. Illus., adapted from original codices paintings, by Alberto Beltran

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2017. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Aztecs (NU07)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF External relations (648); Instigation of war (721); Uniform and accouterment (714); Weapons (411); Education system (871); Writing (212); Historical reconstruction (174); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Missions (797); Revelation and divination (787); Aftermath of combat (727); Sorcery (754); Priesthood (793); Organized ceremonial (796); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Naming (553); Religious denominations (795); Visual arts (5311); Warfare (726); Tactics (725); Peacemaking (728);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This source consists of selected excerpts from a number of primary sources revealing the Aztec point of view of the downfall of their imperial society and culture, as recounted by native authors and informants, in some cases from living memory. The excerpts are reassembled in chronological order, from portents a decade prior to the arrival of the Spanish, through the fall of Tenochtitlan.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 25

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nu07-025

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English translation from Spanish

Note: Translation of: [Visión de los vencidos] which was translated from Nahuati by Angel Maria Garibay K. Includes bibliographical references (p. 158-162)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document not applicable

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnohistorian-4

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. M. A. Marcus ; 1984

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1519-1521

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Mexico City (Teotihuacan), Mexico

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Aztecs


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