By Buddy Levy
In an miraculous paintings of scholarship that reads like an event mystery, historian blood brother Levy files the final days of the Aztec empire and the 2 males on the middle of an epic conflict of cultures.
“I and my partners be afflicted by a sickness of the center which are cured basically with gold.” —Hernán Cortés
It used to be a second detailed in human heritage, the face-to-face assembly among males from civilizations an international aside. just one might live on the stumble upon. In 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived at the shorelines of Mexico with a roughshod staff of adventurers and the reason to extend the Spanish empire. alongside the best way, this brash and roguish conquistador schemed to transform the local population to Catholicism and hold off a fortune in gold. That he observed not anything paradoxical in his intentions is without doubt one of the such a lot remarkable—and tragic—aspects of this unforgettable tale of conquest.
In Tenochtitlán, the famed urban of desires, Cortés met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma: king, divinity, ruler of fifteen million humans, and commander of the main strong army computing device within the Americas. but in lower than years, Cortés defeated the complete Aztec country in a single of the main unbelievable army campaigns ever waged. occasionally outnumbered in conflict thousands-to-one, Cortés many times beat doubtless most unlikely odds. blood brother Levy meticulously researches the combination of crafty, braveness, brutality, superstition, and at last illness that enabled Cortés and his males to survive.
Conquistador is the tale of a misplaced kingdom—a complicated and complicated civilization the place floating gardens, sizeable wealth, and reverence for paintings stood part by way of facet with bloodstained temples and grotesque rites of human sacrifice. It’s the tale of Montezuma—proud, religious, enigmatic, and doomed to misconceive the stranger he proposal a god. Epic in scope, as pleasing because it is enlightening, Conquistador is background at its such a lot riveting.
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Extra info for Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs
Cortés dispatched scouts to inspect the main temple, where they found a scene that shocked them: freshly sacriﬁced young boys, blood still pooling from their viscera. The walls of the altar were bespattered Conquistador 45 with blood, and the victims’ hearts were set out on plates. The scouts saw large, square sacriﬁcial stones and sharp obsidian blades glistening with blood. They saw dismembered torsos, the arms and legs severed from them cleanly. 26 While they waited, Indian families poured from their houses and crowded about, pulling at the Spaniards’ beards, staring transﬁxed at the mounted cavalry armed and ready, and at the horses, which they believed to be centaurs.
He knew that he must at all costs protect Tenochtitlán, the geographical, political, and spiritual epicenter of his vast empire, but he feared also that the arrival of this Cortés was predestined. Tradition held, and Montezuma fully believed, that the Aztec capital was the sacred center of the universe. The myth of Quetzalcoatl told that the bearded royal ancestor would one day arrive to “shake the foundation of heaven” and conquer Tenochtitlán. Montezuma listened to his priests and mused. 19 Montezuma chose two of his trusted nephews and four of his priests (Tendile among them) and sent them again to the coast.
They fought bravely but were no match for the killing efﬁciency of ﬁrearms or horses and expert riders. They ﬂed in terror. Within a few hours smoke hung low in the Cintla Valley, and more than eight hundred Tabascans lay dead in the ﬁelds. 14 As the last of the Tabascans scattered into the hills, Cortés and his cavalrymen dismounted, unsaddled, and tethered their horses, treating some that were wounded. He ordered rest and medical attention for his wounded men, who amounted to Conquistador 27 nearly a ﬁfth of his ﬁghting force, though many of the wounds were minor.