The Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest

Topics: Aztec, Hernán Cortés, Mexico Pages: 3 (2105 words) Published: October 19, 2012
How can it be that the Aztecs, one of the greatest and strongest civilisations of its time, be defeated by only a few hundred men? The answers to this question are many but the one we shall explore is that of the factors that gave the Spanish soldiers the advantage over the Aztecs. The main factor that led to the victory of the Spanish Conquerors was the Aztec religion. The Aztecs had many myths about their gods however the most important was the story about Quetzacóatl (ket-zahl-co-ah-tul), the god of fertility and life. It was believed by the Aztecs that Quetzacoatl was once an Emperor of Tollan, the Totec Capital however he was forced to flee by the people as he greatly opposed human sacrifice. Before he left, he prophesied that he would return in Ce Acatl, the year of his birth which, by the Aztec calendar, was also known as Year One Reed. It was believed that Quetzacoatl would come from the east as a beared, pale-skinned man. The Aztecs were a very superstitious culture and before the Spanish had arrived in Mexico eight occurrences caused by nature, considered as The Omens, befell the Aztecs, signalling that bad times were ahead of them. First Omen: A comet flew across the night sky and destroyed, as it was thought, by the Sun. However many comets flashed overhead in the nights that followed and the Aztecs came to believe that a time would come where the Sun would no longer be able to destroy these comets and this would signal the end of the world for the Aztecs. Second Omen: The Temple of Huitzilopochtli (weet-see-loh-pcht-lee) burst into flames and no matter how much water was thrown onto it by the Aztecs, the flames could not be put out and the Temple was totally destroyed Third Omen: The Temple of Xiuhtecuhtli (shee-u-the-COO-tleh), the god of fire, the roof of which was made of straw, was struck by a silent lightning bolt during a light rainfall and was destroyed Fourth Omen: Comets in rows of three flew across the sky in daylight from West to East,...
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