Class Notes September 23

In class on Tuesaday September 23, we covered the two versions of conquest, with Three different perspectives. The reading was from the Florentine Codex, writings from Bernel Diaz and Hernàn Cortez. One being from Bernal Diaz work The Truth History of the Conquest of New Spain. In this work, he describes how the Indians interact and their life in general. It brings an insight into the ability of the Indians, what they used as weapons and the binding relationships of trading. With explaining the beautiful gifts, the Indians brought, while the Spanish gave unusual blue and green beads. This represents how the Europeans often took advantage of the indigenous people. The next work that was discussed was by the one and only Hernán Cortés. His journal is the most interesting personally to me, the way he describes the environment and indigenous people by exaggerating it all. Why Cortés does, this is because he is writing to the king and the hope of new supplies. He describes the indigenous people as good people until the idea of sacrifice comes into play. When he describes the actions of the sacrifice, he then goes into saying that they need to save the indigenous people and show them, god. While looking at the work from the indigenous people, they talk about they often gave extravagant gifts so that the Spanish wouldn’t kill them. Indigenous reports are rare to find and cause historians to have to analyze what was the truth of what happened.

Key Terms:
Florentine Codex: The Florentine Codex is a 16th-century ethnographic research study in Mesoamerica by the Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún. The work consists of 2,400 pages organized into twelve books; more than 2,000 illustrations drawn by native artists provide vivid images of this era. It documents the culture, religious cosmology (worldview) and ritual practices, society, economics, and natural history of the Aztec people. It has been described as “one of the most remarkable accounts of a non-Western culture ever composed.”

Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: missionary priest and pioneering ethnographer who participated in the Catholic evangelization of colonial New Spain.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo: was a Spanish conquistador, who participated as a soldier in the conquest of Mexico under Hernán Cortés and late in his life wrote an account of the events
Hernán Cortés: a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century
Malintzin (Doña Marina):was a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, who played a key role in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, acting as an interpreter, advisor, and intermediary for the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés.

Chamberlain, Robert S. “Two Unpublished Documents of Hernán Cortés and New Spain, 1519 and 1524.” The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 18, no. 4, 1938, pp. 514–525. JSTOR,
ALMON, BERT. “Woman as Interpreter: Haniel Long’s ‘Malinche.’” Southwest Review, vol. 59, no. 3, 1974, pp. 221–239. JSTOR,
Brinkerhoff, Thomas J. “Reexamining the Lore of the ‘Archetypal Conquistador’: Hernán Cortés and the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire, 1519-1521.” The History Teacher, vol. 49, no. 2, 2016, pp. 169–187.,
Exam Questions:
What was the primary purpose of the Florentine Codex? How does it compare and contrast to Bernal Diaz work?
How does the Aztecs culture differ to the other indigenous groups we have studied thus far, and how has their actions differ in the way they interact with the Europeans?
How should historians view The Truth History of the Conquest of New Spain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *