Montezuma and Cortez

As it was in the new world before the coming of the Europeans.

Upon reaching Tenochitlan (Mexico City), Montezuma asked Cortés if he was the god Quetzalcoatl, who was predicted to return from the east as a white man with a beard and blue eyes, to stamp out human sacrifice and deliver the oppressed.

Cortés replied: “It was true that we came from where the sun rose, and were the vassals and servants of a great Prince called the Emperor Don Carlos, who held beneath his sway many and great princes, and that the Emperor having heard of him and what a great prince he was, had sent us to these parts to see him, and to beg them to become Christians, the same as our Emperor and all of us, so that his soul and those of all his vassals might be saved.”

Montezuma was in awe of Cortés and his men, primarily because of the ominous portents and signs that had recently occurred which were interpreted as foretelling Quetzalcoatl’s return and the end of the Aztec Empire, namely:

  • water of the lake around Mexico City boiling over due to volcanic eruption
  • unusual northern lights
  • comets
  • earthquakes
  • the temple of the sun god catching fire
  • eerie wailing noises at night
  • the king’s sister revived from her grave saying strange beings would enter the country and ruin it

Montezuma showed Cortés and his men their temples. There was a theater made of human skulls and mortar, wherein Gonzalo de Umbria counted 136,000 skulls, which included those in the steps and on poles. A tower was made of skulls too numerous to count.

There were obsidian knives, stone altars, black-robed priests with hair matted down with human blood, idols with basins for human blood, walls and steps covered with human blood and gore, an idol made out of seeds kneaded and ground with the blood of virgins and babies, pits where the human bodies were thrown after people had eaten off the arms and legs.

Bernal Diaz del Castillo recorded: “Our Captain said to Montezuma through our interpreter, half laughing: ‘Señor Montezuma, I do not understand how such a great Prince and wise man as you are has not come to the conclusion, in your mind, that these idols of yours are not gods, but evil things that are called devils and so that you may know it and all your priests may see it clearly, do me the favor to approve of my placing a cross here on the top of this tower.’”

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Cortez Enters Mexico

Right or wrong, this is the way it was.

Just two years after Martin Luther began the Reformation, on the other side of the world, 34-year-old Hernan Cortés landed in Central America in 1519. His conquistadors had the mixed motives of “God, Glory and Gold.”

In what he believed to be a holy cause, Cortés told his small army: “Soldiers of Spain, we are standing upon the verge of the greatest adventure ever undertaken by so small a body of men. We now leave the known world behind us: from this time forth we plunge into a region never before trodden by men of our race or religion. The hazards of this adventure I shall not dwell upon; they are well estimated by the bravest among you. … The shores we shall storm are lined with teeming millions of savages, unfriendly if not openly hostile. We have only our swords and our good right arms to protect us against their overwhelming numbers. Therefore let not childish strife or inner dissension weaken the front we must present to the enemy. If we go as united as we go courageously, we have nothing to fear, nothing to lose. … We are marching as Christians into a land of infidels. We seek not only to subdue boundless territory in the name of our Emperor Don Carlos, but to win millions of unsalvaged souls to the True Faith.”

Cortés ordered his ships sunk. There was no turning back.

With 500 men, 16 horses and 10 cannons, Cortés set out from Vera Cruz on Feb. 10, 1519, toward Tenochitlan-Mexico City. Mexico City was the capital of the Aztec Empire, which ruled Central America after the Mayan civilization peaked around 900 A.D.

The Aztec Empire consisted of 6 million people stretched over 200,000 square miles. As Americans today are shocked by reports of Planned Parenthood cutting out baby body parts and selling them, Cortes’ troops were likewise shocked by gruesome sights, such as:

  • prisoners with their hearts cut out
  • pyramid style temples covered with human blood
  • bodies of men and boys without arms or legs
  • human skulls stacked on poles
  • hundreds of thousands of human skulls arranged in piles
  • gnawed human bones piled in houses and streets
  • wooden houses built with grates jammed with captives awaiting sacrifice
  • pagan priests with hair matted with dried blood, the stench of carrion, sodomy
  • sacrificed humans rolled down temples where frenzied hoards ate them

This was part of their religion which believed the sun god needed human blood to live and that the Aztecs were responsible to feed him daily with captives from other tribes.

As the Spanish troops went from town to town, other Indian tribes were elated with hopes of being freed from Aztec rule which required them to provide youth for sacrifices. Cortés men freed captives, rolled idols down temple steps and erected crosses.

Francisco Lopez de Gomara, Cortés’ personal secretary and chaplain, reported how they found in Cozumel a Catholic priest, Gerónimo de Aguilar. He had been shipwrecked on Yucatan eight years earlier and had learned the language: “So Gerónimo de Aguilar preached to them about salvation, and, either because of what he told them, or because of the beginning they had already made, they were pleased to have their idols cast down, and they even assisted at it, breaking into small pieces what they had formerly held sacred. … And soon our Spaniards had left not a whole idol standing, and in each chapel they set up a Cross or the image of Our Lady, whom all the islanders worshiped with prayer and great devotion. … They begged Cortés to leave someone behind to teach them to believe in the God of the Christians; but he did not dare consent, for fear they might kill the preacher, and also because he had few priests and friars with him. And in this he did wrong, in view of their earnest request and supplications.”

In giving battle instructions, Cortés exhorted: “Sirs, let us follow our banner which bears the sign of the Holy Cross, and through it we shall conquer!”

The blogger has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome