A New History of the Aztecs

In November 1519, Hernando Cortés approached the capital of the Aztec kingdom and came face to face with its ruler, Moctezuma. The story which follows has been told countless times following a Spanish narrative. A key part of the story has been overlooked - until now. After being taught the Roman alphabet, the Native Americans used it to write detailed histories in their own language of Nahuatl. Camilla Townsend is a Professor of History at Rutgers University. For the first time, she has given these sources proper attention, providing a fresh take on our understanding of native Mexicans. She showed me how Moctezuma and his people were not just the exotic, bloody figures of European stereotypes and how the Mexica people did not simply capitulate to Spanish culture and colonization but realigned political allegiances, held new obligations and adopted unfamiliar technologies. 


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