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[The following is in regards to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in modern-day Mexico.]

Either because pre-Columbian Americans had no written language, or because the process of extermination was completed so quickly, there are few instances in the early European conquests where the events were recorded from the perspective of the defeated. However, in Mexico a number of sources describe the Spanish invasion as it appeared to the vanquished Americans.

One of the most important of these was the sixteenth-century Spanish cleric Bernardino de Sahagún, who learnt the Mexican language, Nahuatl, and transcribed native eyewitness accounts of the war and its immediate aftermath. Known as the Florentine Codex, it is one of the most important documents of the period, providing rare first-hand insights into how the bearers of European civilization first appeared to the victims.

Sahagún’s informants could recall the pervasive atmosphere of dread which oppressed Tenochtitlan as the small Spanish caravan made its way down from the slopes of Popocatépetl and through the Mexican Valley, before its entry through the capital’s gates:

Everyone was greatly terrified. There was terror, astonishment, expressions of distress, feelings of distress. There were consultations. There were formations of groups; there were assemblies of people. There was weeping – there was much weeping, there was weeping for others.


Source:

Cocker, Mark. “The March.” Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conquest of Indigenous Peoples. Grove Press, 2001. 33. Print.

Original Source Listed:

de Sahagún, Florentine Codex, p. 25.


Further Reading:

Bernardino de Sahagún

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, or the Spanish–Aztec War

[**The following is in regards to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in modern-day Mexico.**] >Either because pre-Columbian Americans had no written language, or because the process of extermination was completed so quickly, there are few instances in the early European conquests where the events were recorded from the perspective of the defeated. However, in Mexico a number of sources describe the Spanish invasion as it appeared to the vanquished Americans. >One of the most important of these was the sixteenth-century Spanish cleric [Bernardino de Sahagún](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Bernardino_de_sahagun.png), who learnt the Mexican language, Nahuatl, and transcribed native eyewitness accounts of the war and its immediate aftermath. Known as the *Florentine Codex*, it is one of the most important documents of the period, providing rare first-hand insights into how the bearers of European civilization first appeared to the victims. >Sahagún’s informants could recall the pervasive atmosphere of dread which oppressed Tenochtitlan as the small Spanish caravan made its way down from the slopes of Popocatépetl and through the Mexican Valley, before its entry through the capital’s gates: >*Everyone was greatly terrified. There was terror, astonishment, expressions of distress, feelings of distress. There were consultations. There were formations of groups; there were assemblies of people. There was weeping – there was much weeping, there was weeping for others.* _____________________________ **Source:** Cocker, Mark. “The March.” *Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold: Europe's Conquest of Indigenous Peoples*. Grove Press, 2001. 33. Print. **Original Source Listed:** de Sahagún, *Florentine Codex*, p. 25. _____________________________ **Further Reading:** [Bernardino de Sahagún](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardino_de_Sahag%C3%BAn) [The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, or the Spanish–Aztec War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_conquest_of_the_Aztec_Empire)

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