These legends are likely a part of the post-conquest rationalization by the Aztecs of their defeat, and serve to show Moctezuma as indecisive, vain, and superstitious, and ultimately the cause of the fall of the Aztec Empire. Now it was official: Montezuma was the ninth tlatoani of the mighty Mexica Empire. However, he did have two legitimate wives. Ultimately, he was killed without being able to mount a successful resistance to the Spaniards. Aztec Hamlet: the tragedy of Moctezuma 2. They would probably be the two most well known names associated with Montezuma's descendants.
This, however, had the opposite effect, as it increased the determination of the invaders instead. The name signifies frowning and kingly anger. Click image to read it at heritage-history. The mighty Aztec Empire had come to an end. Once Cortes was gone, the people of Tenochtitlan became restless, and Alvarado heard of a plot to murder the Spanish. When his father died in 1481, the throne passed to one of his uncles, Tizocic, who reigned until 1486. In accordance with Title 17 U.
He overlooked the solidification of the Triple Alliance that founded the Aztec Empire. Feathers quetzal and cotinga and gold. Cortez, in an attempt to quell the fighting, eventually convinced Montezuma to address his people and tell them to obey the Spanish. The depiction of what Montezuma looked like comes from a portrait called True History of the Conquest of New Spain painted by Bernal Diaz del Castillo. The Spanish said that the Aztec people threw rocks at him, killing him.
Again, it is unclear why this should have been. Spanish version claims that the soldiers responded to a rebellion. In some versions of Aztec history, he is criticized as a weak administrator in the face of the onslaught of the Spaniards. During this time the Templo Mayor, or the Temple to Huitzilopochtli, was greatly expanded. That changed, however, in May of 1520, when several Aztec chiefs were massacred by the Spanish during a festival, inciting a riot in Tenochtitlán. Moctezuma The name Moctezuma also commonly used is Montezuma or Motecuhzoma, is a name from the central Mexican language of Nahuatl, referring to a lordly frown.
He expanded the Aztec Empire so that it reached is maximum size during his reign. Relaciones de Hernan Cortes a Carlos V sobre la invasion de Anáhuac. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Historians long held that the Aztecs had feared and expected the return of another important deity—Quetzalcóatl, the white, bearded god who would rule over the empire—and that the white, bearded Cortés was aware of this fear and used it to his advantage in his expedition across Mexico. In Book 12 of the twelve-volume , the account in Spanish and Nahuatl is accompanied by illustrations by natives. He changed clothes frequently and never wore the same tunic twice. On the day of the coronation, the lords of Tacuba and Tezcoco, the most important allies of the Mexica, crowned Montezuma, because only a reigning sovereign could crown another.
It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, and was the best king they ever had in Mexico, and that he had personally triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. Montezuma died several days later, in June 1520, either from wounds inflicted by the mob or at the hands of the Spaniards. The first major step was to carry out a military campaign for the purposes of acquiring sacrificial victims for the ceremonies. Therefore, when Spanish soldiers with light skin and beards arrived in the Aztec lands in 1519, many Aztec saw them as representatives of Quetzalcóatl. This only whetted the appetite of the Spaniards.
He took Montezuma prisoner, although he allowed the emperor to continue ruling. In an effort to pacify his people, and undoubtedly pressured by the Spanish, Moctezuman was struck dead by a rock. Another of his major administrative achievements was the construction of an aqueduct system to bring fresh water to Tenochtitlan. As the Spanish force progressed deeper into Aztec territory, Moctezuma seems to have been indecisive. Portrait of Moctezuma by Antonio Rodriguez. Others, however, argue that Moctezuma was buying his time, and would crush the Spanish at the appropriate moment. Austin: University of Texas Press 1991, p.
After Ahuitzotl died in 1502, Montezuma became the ruler of this vast territory. By 1521 Montezuma was dead, and the Aztec Empire was no more. When the old Tlatoani died, a council of elders of the royal family came together to select the next one. There he married Francisca de la Cueva de Valenzuela. Cohen, New York: Penguin, 1963, p. This is due to the fact that Moctezuma was a capable ruler in his own right, as it was during his reign that the Aztec Empire reached its greatest height.
The strange men wore , used gunpowder, and rode —all things that the Aztec had never seen before. Historians have suggested that he was very indecisive and even weak-willed. By then a new Spanish expedition from Cuba had reached the Mexican shores with orders to limit Cortés's power. Today, Moctezuma is a controversial figure for the many historians and commentators who see his response to the Spanish invasion as vacillating and weak by contrast to the defiance shown by some Aztec leaders. The Mexica empire did not long survive Moctezuma. He was made especially memorable to history because he ruled at the coming of the Spanish.