Events in The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico

The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico is a primary narrative source. The source constitutes clear events account as they happened. It details how the Aztecs view and receive the Spaniards, including the encompassing speeches and activities. The Aztecs had spent many generations preparing for Cortés’ arrival, thinking he was a god. During the conversation, the king acknowledges his title as king Motecuhzoma and welcomes Cortés by bowing and addressing him as lord. The king accords Cortés the respect as a god while he responds by indicating their friendly visit. The proceeding events entail a different picture through the Spaniard’s involvement in killing the hosts. The primary source encompasses a detailed description of the actions and the actor’s behavioral expression.

Miguel Leon­Portilla is the primary source author who gathered the reports immediately after the conquest. He is an American anthropologist, and the information he compiled was accounted for before the conquest and shortly after the event. He presents the first interaction as friendly, where La Malinche translated the speeches between the two parties. King Motecuhzoma indicated their pleasure in meeting Cortés after longing to see him for many years. Cortés, who was pleased with the respectful treatment, creates a trusting moment by assuring the Aztecs not to fear for the Spaniards loved them and came as friends. The social progression did not last for long as the Spaniards revealed their real intentions by attacking the Aztecs by hanging chief Nezahualquentzin from Acolhuacan and King’s brutal murdering Cohualpopocatzin through arrow wounding and burning his live body. The Spaniard’s attack included killing the musicians and all individuals in the temple rooms. These attacks were unexpected as the Aztecs were unarmed and preceded on with their daily activities, unaware of the Spaniard’s skeptical moves.

The main purpose of creating the primary source was to present the two-faced Spaniards’ progression in their interaction with the Aztecs. The source could help the Aztecs in documenting the activity progression for future generations. These upcoming generations could learn from their forefathers’ past mistakes of trusting explorers and treating them with meaningful respect and acceptance. Additionally, through learning how the Spaniards treated the Aztecs, the future generations could avoid trusting explorers however friendly they appeared, and protect themselves against all forms of attack. The Spaniards misled the Aztecs through a social progression and later betrayed them by waging attacks, yet their counterparts were unarmed.

The source entails tonal variation presenting the primary source as alarming. The author depicts the alarming elements throughout the horrible parts that the Spaniards engage in while attacking the Aztecs. Perspectives such as the sun commanding king Motecuhzoma and military chief Itzcohuatzin to receive prison treatment at the same time that the king had directed on the lords dressed in finery clothing for celebration fiesta is alarming. The attack activities that happened without warning, including killing all the musicians and individuals in the temple rooms, were alarming and created desperation. In companionship with Itzcohuatzin, king Motecuhzoma protested the Spaniard’s actions, indicating that his people were unarmed as they lacked macanas and shields. The alarming tone depicts through betrayal aspect claiming innocent lives of a hospitable people to the visitors by ensuring celebration moments while others were progressing with productive daily activities like carrying water and sweeping of feeding horses.

The authors’ values in the primary source entail meaningful human interaction and life values. The sources constitute descriptions of Aztecs and Spaniards, their words and affection exchange, including how the latter expressed their love for Motecuhzoma by grasping his hands and patting him on the back. The human life values depict through Aztecs protesting against the attacks as they ensured the death of unarmed innocent individuals. The event’s presentation is a real picture of what was written about in the primary source. The evidence indicating the authors had firsthand information includes the vivid description of events. For instance, the words like “The Spaniards attacked the musicians first, slashing at their hands and faces until they had killed all of them” indicate that the authors saw the event proceedings and recorded its depiction. Another vivid description is, “The singers-and even the spectators- were also killed. This slaughter in the Sacred Patio went on for three hours.” Being part of the Aztec community, the authors present visible bias as they saw the events from the Aztec angle and focused on obviously unfair treatment.

The primary source relays information concerning the Cuban exploration of Mexico. It primarily concerns the Aztec’s account of the Mexico conquest, where the views involve actions before and shortly after the conquest. The information entails the two sides of the Spaniards, including the first friendly expression that was deceptive and the horrible side of their real intention of betraying the Aztecs and conquering the nation. The essay authors had firsthand information concerning the issues they addressed. Therefore, they ensured a true reflection of what conspired as they were part of the progression and could hear and see everything they wrote. Miguel Leon­Portilla did not witness the events but rather compiled the reports of the primary observers. Through the creation, he presents the message the primary authors addressed.

The source addresses several issues, including deception, hospitality, and betrayal. The hospitality aspects are evident in the Aztec’s progression of humbly welcoming the Spaniards and preparing special celebrations. Motecuhzoma’s reaction to the Spaniard’s arrival presents a prophecy fulfillment of the previous kings’ prediction. This situation prompts his move of assuring the Spaniards have possession of the royal houses in the land. The Aztecs’ welcoming events contribute to the Spaniards’ deceptive nature of agreeing to the friendly treatment short-lived. They betrayed their Aztec friends by attacking them unawares in the celebration progression, claiming all the participants’ lives.

The overall assessment of the primary source displays the historical study’s significance in several ways. It provides instrumental information concerning the Aztec’s account of the Mexican conquest. The greeting that King Motecuhzoma gave Cortés offers meaningful insights for historical study. Historical research insights include the encompassing description of the foretold Lords and the previous king’s expectations of the prophecy fulfillment. Motecuhzoma’s speech entails the unbelief expression as he wonders whether it was a dream or the lords were before him. Another study aspect involves the main temple massacre. The Spaniard’s” activities of hanging and arrow wounding preceding burning the live body call for historical study. Also, the attack progression of bursting into the temple rooms and murdering all the available members provides instrumental significance in the historical perspective.


Leon­Portilla Miguel. 2006. The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Translated and edited by Kemp Lysander. Boston: Beacon Press.