Summary Ê When Montezuma Met Cortés The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History 102

When Montezuma Met Cortés The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History

Characters When Montezuma Met Cortés The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History

A dramatic rethinking of the encounter between Montezuma and Hernando Cortés that completely overturns what we know about the Spanish conuest of the AmericasOn November 8 1519 the Spanish conuistador Hernando Cortés first met Montezuma the Aztec emperor at the entrance to the capital city of Tenochtitlan This introduction the prelude to the Spanish seizure of Mexico City and to European colonization of the mainland of the Americas has long been the symbol This book's mission is actually a very cool one it exposes the story of Montezuma welcoming Cortez as the reincarnation of uetzalcoatl as a long storied fabrication that actually began with the confusion of the conuistadors themselves Evidence is presented that Cortez was neither a hero nor a villain but merely a uick witted con man who was possibly putting a uixotic spin on the events around him to his fellow conuistadors even as they wandered around in Tenochtitlan The author also presents evidence that the real Spanish Mexican War didn't start until long after Montezuma's fictional surrender The fact that the conuistadors themselves never really had any curiosity about the actual politics of their warfare attests to the persuasiveness of Cortez's narrativeThe basic idea of weaving in all our centuries of Cortez myth is also interesting at least in theory The difficulty of establishing an origin for all the different aspects of the myth and the uestions of whether elaborations from centuries later might offer some insight on the real history is reminiscent of the difficulties surrounding the story of ChristThe problem is that while the author presents evidence and data as I have just said the framing for that data which I have just offered is mine In my opinion I've just offered a better summary of the book than it ever offers for itself The author's own framing of Cortez and Monetzuma is extremely uninspiring and the entire book is a disaster of almost unreadable disorganization There is no need to mention roller coasters or random news articles that come up in a Google search for Monetzuma I think the author wanted to write for a popular audience but had completely forgotten how popular books work Awful Errata very cool one it exposes the story of Montezuma welcoming Cortez as the reincarnation of uetzalcoatl as a long storied fabrication that actually began with the confusion of the conuistadors themselves Evidence is presented that Cortez was neither a hero nor a Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace villain but merely a uick witted con man who was possibly putting a uixotic spin on the events around him to his fellow conuistadors even as they wandered around in Tenochtitlan The author also presents evidence that the real Spanish Mexican War didn't start until long after Montezuma's fictional surrender The fact that the conuistadors themselves never really had any curiosity about the actual politics of their warfare attests to the persuasiveness of Cortez's narrativeThe basic idea of weaving in all our centuries of Cortez myth is also interesting at least in theory The difficulty of establishing an origin for all the different aspects of the myth and the uestions of whether elaborations from centuries later might offer some insight on the real history is reminiscent of the difficulties surrounding the story of ChristThe problem is that while the author presents evidence and data as I have just said the framing for that data which I have just offered is mine In my opinion I've just offered a better summary of the book than it ever offers for itself The author's own framing of Cortez and Monetzuma is extremely uninspiring and the entire book is a disaster of almost unreadable disorganization There is no need to mention roller coasters or random news articles that come up in a Google search for Monetzuma I think the author wanted to write for a popular audience but had completely forgotten how popular books work Awful

Read ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free É Matthew Restall

Mary sources and overlooked accounts by conuistadors and Aztecs alike Restall explores Cortés’s and Montezuma’s posthumous reputations their achievements and failures and the worlds in which they lived leading step by step to a dramatic inversion of the old story As Restall takes us through this sweeping revisionist account of a pivotal moment in modern civilization he calls into uestion our view of the history of the Americas and indeed of history itse I abandoned reading this book at the half way mark It's one for academics and not as I had hoped a readable account of Montezuma and Cortes The author is often mentioning himself and referring to his construct of the book The best history books let the story tell itself On the Dark Side of the Moon: A Journey Toward Recovery view of the history of the Americas and indeed of history itse I abandoned reading this book at the half way mark It's one for academics and not as I had hoped a readable account of Montezuma and Cortes The author is often mentioning himself and referring to his construct of the book The best history books let the story tell itself

Matthew Restall É 2 Free read

Of Cortés’s bold and brilliant military genius Montezuma on the other hand is remembered as a coward who gave away a vast empire and touched off a wave of colonial invasions across the hemisphereBut is this really what happened In a departure from traditional tellings When Montezuma Met Cortés uses “the Meeting” as Restall dubs their first encounter as the entry point into a comprehensive reevaluation of both Cortés and Montezuma Drawing on rare pri Matthew Restall certainly does his research I find myself skipping parts going ahead and then going back This book should be of interest to any history buff A whole different perspective on the Spanish invasion of Mexico Not a uick read but very enlightening Nikhil vast empire and touched off a wave of colonial invasions across the hemisphereBut is this really what happened In a departure from traditional tellings When Montezuma Met Cortés uses “the Meeting” as Restall dubs their first encounter as the entry point into a comprehensive reevaluation of both Cortés and Montezuma Drawing on rare pri Matthew Restall certainly does his research I find myself skipping parts going ahead and then going back This book should be of interest to any history buff A whole different perspective on the Spanish invasion of Mexico Not a uick read but Visual Communication: Images with Messages 7th Edition very enlightening


10 thoughts on “When Montezuma Met Cortés The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History

  1. says:

    Good review essay at NYRBBefore Cortés sailed to Mexico he had lived in the Caribbean for fifteen years first in Hispaniola and then in Cuba Like other settlers he received encomiendas grants that gave him land and the right to exploit the labor of native inhabitants whom he forced to search for precious metals He served as a notary in Hispaniola and later was secretary to Diego de Velázuez Cuba’s governor He “lived an ordinary life on Hispaniola and Cuba because he was an ordinary man of ordinary abilities” by renaming the Conuest of Mexico “the Spanish Aztec War” he grants the losers an active part in it In this same vein he refers to the Spanish captains and their men by the name given to them by their Nahua allies and enemies the Caxtilteca or the people of Castile He thus situates them precisely in the historical and political settings in which they were fighting the Caxtilteca were one small faction—though the most eccentric and ultimately the most politically astute—of many that united behind the Tlaxcaltecas in an internal war for the control of central MexicoAztec human sacrifice Spanish propaganda Francisco López de Gomara Cortés’s confessor and the first formal historian of the Conuest of Mexico raised the figure to 50000 sacrifices per yearThe number is remarkable for how preposterous it is than 137 sacrifices a day five an hour one every twelve minutes twenty four hours a day Aztec sacrifice was a nonmechanized process that demanded extensive ritual preparation and an individually selected victim and archaeologists have never found evidence to support the Spaniards’ figures The remains actually found don’t add up even to hundreds of victims let alone thousandsIn 1620 Mexico City was still being governed under the surveillance of a Spanish viceroy by Aztec nobility the descendants of the fifteenth and sixteenth century emperors They kept their power but the population decreased by an unimaginable 90 percent during the first eighty years of Spanish occupation due to epidemics and enforced servitude—still the worst genocide in historyThe spaces left by the dead were being occupied by unceasing waves of Spanish soldiers adventurers and their families Taino and African slaves priests and nuns and specialized workers needed to construct and maintain the colonial infrastructure This made the indigenous nobility irrelevant After the continent was successfully colonized and Europeanized it was emptied and repopulated A hundred and eighty seven million people died during the first century of the occupation of AmericaSpain’s American epic was the first modern European project of permanent occupation that actually workedI'll be reading it The NYRB reviewer accurately call Spain's conuest a genocide but it was largely an accidental one from the European diseases that came with the Spanish immigrants and felled the indigenes in uncountable numbers And this was almost certainly inevitable no matter which late medieval Europeans colonized first The die offs were no less in the French English and Portuguese coloniesI think most historians now agree that all of the indigenous peoples in the Americas lost around 90% of their population in the great European disease plagues Still an underdocumented episode in history perhaps because it's so ugly 187000000 deaths someone's guess is by far the world record


  2. says:

    This book's mission is actually a very cool one it exposes the story of Montezuma welcoming Cortez as the reincarnation of uetzalcoatl as a long storied fabrication that actually began with the confusion of the conuistadors themselves Evidence is presented that Cortez was neither a hero nor a villain but merely a uick witted con man who was possibly putting a uixotic spin on the events around him to his fellow conuistadors even as they wandered around in Tenochtitlan The author also presents evidence that the real Spanish Mexican War didn't start until long after Montezuma's fictional surrender The fact that the conuistadors themselves never really had any curiosity about the actual politics of their warfare attests to the persuasiveness of Cortez's narrativeThe basic idea of weaving in all our centuries of Cortez myth is also interesting at least in theory The difficulty of establishing an origin for all the different aspects of the myth and the uestions of whether elaborations from centuries later might offer some insight on the real history is reminiscent of the difficulties surrounding the story of ChristThe problem is that while the author presents evidence and data as I have just said the framing for that data which I have just offered is mine In my opinion I've just offered a better summary of the book than it ever offers for itself The author's own framing of Cortez and Monetzuma is extremely uninspiring and the entire book is a disaster of almost unreadable disorganization There is no need to mention roller coasters or random news articles that come up in a Google search for Monetzuma I think the author wanted to write for a popular audience but had completely forgotten how popular books work Awful


  3. says:

    It's meticulously researched and Restall brings up some interesting ways in which to think about history I'll give him that But if I had known the book was going to amount to a 350 page literature review with no real narrative to speak of for example the book starts with The Meeting then shifts to pre Cortez Aztec life then jumps to Cortez's early life then to Montezuma's death then Cortez's legacy and later life thenyou get the picture I would have skipped it


  4. says:

    Next year will be the 500th anniversary of Cortes's entrance into Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztec peoples of Mesoamerica Such a long span of time helps explain the story's blurring Much of what we think we know of the Aztecs and the Spanish conuest of Mexico is wrong Restall calls his history a revisionist one because he tries to correct the misperceptions and exaggerations which have grown from the various histories written about those events He explains that those blurred lines are historyIn effect his book explains how the Cortes story has hurdled history to become mythohistory Restall doesn't tell the story chronologically until the end of the book Nevertheless all the essential elements are here as he spends time with the particular facts which make it up So here are detailed discussions of Cortes's mission the famous burning of the boats who Marina Cortes's Nahua translatorlover was the politics of Mesoamerica and the politics of the Spanish conuistador mentality and much Most interesting and surprising is the description of what's perhaps the most famous event of the conuest the moment on 8 Nov 1519 when Montezuma met Cortes on the causeway leading into the city situated on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco and how what the Spanish called a surrender was in fact a captivity And how the 2 year war unfolded from the Aztec and Spanish misunderstanding of their respective cultures and intentions resulting in essentially the destruction of bothRestall excavates many layers of history and legend to get to the bedrock he calls the truth Much of his history is explaining how the events of the past are remembered and chronicled in ways reflecting the agendas of the many factions involved His history is a sifting through the inventions and inadvertent distortions and inevitable blanks in the record to get at the bedrock of what really happened Restall writes I have had to describe the myth in detail to expose history as mythistory in order to bust it His meditation on history and his retelling of the conuest of the Aztecs by Cortes and company is convincing fascinating reading


  5. says:

    Matthew Restall certainly does his research I find myself skipping parts going ahead and then going back This book should be of interest to any history buff A whole different perspective on the Spanish invasion of Mexico Not a uick read but very enlightening


  6. says:

    Likely a polarizing title OK back up All stories of conuest are polarizing; victor writes the history etc until recent pushback has gotten vanuished tales in print Columbus Cortés are taking their kickings these days But this one is likely to create a rift between scholars of Mesoamerica and everybody else not because of the content but the way it's put togetherThe first third of the book is essentially a review of the literature; an apologia It turns into the longest straw man argument I can recall largely because Restall focuses on the tellings of the tale of Montezuma from the late 1500s to approximately the early 20th century; I kept waiting for some recognition that of us grew up listening to Neil Young's Cortez the Killer than have heard all the operatic renditions combined But Neil and virtually everyone else who has written about the conuest of the Aztecs in a negative light has to wait until the second and later parts of the book and then is dismissed as a romantic Restall breezes past the indigenes who are demonizing Cortés with barely a nod This guts the overall message of Part One which argues that Cortés has been viewed as a romantic hero at worst an anti hero But to do that Restall's got to ignore the past half century and it weakens his argument unbelievablyHe also has an annoying habit of putting the why ahead of the what often with a teaser that we'll get to that later So he discusses Montezuma's death from a dozen angles before describing the events of his death; several outcomes of the arrival and stay of the conuistadors in Tenochtitlan are addressed dozens and dozens of pages before he describes how that took place; and he repeatedly discusses peoples' motives and legacies before he actually gets around to their biographies Malintzin La Malinche appears throughout the book but her story is almost in the epilogue; he never actually does get around to detailing the Noche Triste or the details of the feud with Veracruz but gives each a couple of dozen glancing referencesWhich is why I suggest the book may be polarizing Mesoamerican scholars don't need to be told what happened so it's likely going to be less annoying for them to read than somebody like myself who only knows the story in broad strokes and picked this up hoping to learn still unclear on many details thanks for askingAnd parts of it feel dishonest One suspects that one of the reasons Restall has delayed the telling of some of the events is that the details are lost to history Montezuma's death for instance is clouded by unreliable narrators on both sides So setting out an unclear event and drawing a book's worth of conclusions from it would seem sketchy But responding in detail to 500 years of histories romances novels paintings and sculptures there's plenty of grist for the mill And then a couple of paragraphs of Restall's best and convoluted guess as to what happenedWorse is the way he chooses data selectively while criticizing those who came before for doing the same thing For example the relative importance of the Spaniards in the fall of the Aztec empire varies from page to page At one point the Spaniards are a tiny percentage of an army essentially a spare part of the regular Aztec calendar which includes war season when the crops aren't due A few pages later and historians have failed to recognize just how large the invading army was Which is it? Tiny or huge? Montezuma's pets or a rapacious horde? Another perhaps telling example is the chapter that ends with Cortés having achieved nothing because the Dynastic Vine proves Montezuma's family still ruled decades and decades after the conuistador died It's immediately followed by a chapter that details the horror and ruin of total war brought to Mexico by the invaders If the Aztecs were still in control as Restall argues why would they have turned over dozens of the daughters of the ruling classes to be sex slaves to the invaders which Restall also argues And why if they had any power was tribute flowing out of Mexico to Castile instead of into Tenochtitlan from the surrounding countryside? And don't even get me started on the claim that the Aztecs didn't believe in human sacrifice right before describing how the Aztec would get all their captives stoned on hallucinogens and then ritually kill them and tear their hearts out which Restall wants to call executing OK execution by ritual murder and heart cleaving It's a fine pointThe true answer is still the simplest the Aztecs on the throne were puppets Their beliefs included human sacrifice Cortés probably did have his translator read the articles of surrender to Montezuma but the meaning likely changed by the time it went both directions through two translators the latter of whom would be familiar with the power of the huey tlatoani and who might well not have wanted to tell the emperor in so many words that it was time to hang 'em up and let the white man have his job Nobody really knows how Montezuma died although Restall's conclusion that the conuistadors showed the king to the combatants in order to get him killed by an Aztec seems far fetched It could just as easily have caused a huge rescue attempt by emotional subjects That said in Restall's defense it was a bloody war of conuest not a uick capitulation and Montezuma almost undoubtedly didn't just hand over the whole empire to Cortés just because he was such a charming fellowLook it's an fascinating subject and Restall's key point Montezuma didn't abdicate he was the huey tlatoani until he was the dead huey tlatoani Long live the huey tlatoani is a valid one and well made And it's a good enough book that I've just bothered to write the guts of a decent college paper about it sans footnotes because I have my degrees and I don't have to touch another style manual as long as I live nyah nyah nyah But in attempting to dismiss pretty much everything ever composed about Montezuma as mythistory Restall has written himself in circles One dust jacket critic enthuses that Restall has changed the way history will be written If this is the future of history give me its pastTwo stars for a general reader; likely a must read for Aztec academiaPS What's with his hangup over the Angry Aztec jigsaw puzzle? Is he as concerned about the Rotten Romans and Awful Egyptians?


  7. says:

    wow eye opener shedding away all the legendsgenocide to the tenth powerno spoiler alerts here The author brilliant detective work


  8. says:

    I abandoned reading this book at the half way mark It's one for academics and not as I had hoped a readable account of Montezuma and Cortes The author is often mentioning himself and referring to his construct of the book The best history books let the story tell itself


  9. says:

    Rethinking “the conuest of Mexico” from the native point of view—the “Spanish Aztec War” It’s fascinating but very tough because there is so little to go on from the Aztec side since they had no formal written language and records And the Spanish preserved few if any memories of how things really were before their arrival wiping it all clean No religious texts no history books no philosophy treatises no gossip and tales No nothing The truth will never be known All irretrievably lost Cultural genocide to go along with all the thorough rest A great shame and pity


  10. says:

    What if everything you heard about the Conuistor Hernando Cortés and the Aztec emperor Montezuma was incorrect? This book is a work of superb historical scholarship that goes against the grain of mainstream narrative that often glorify Cortés In peeling back the myth we get closer to the truth of what actually happened in history between Cortés and the Aztecs This book makes a strong case of how people even today have not look at him and his claims critically enough even by those who teach history For myself a fascinating part of the book is the looks at who the Aztec emperor name Montezuma was I didn’t know much about him before the book I thought it was interesting how the author documents Montezuma was a big collector and even had a zoo collection that show what he prized and control From this observation author Robert Greenberger noted the proximity of where Montezuma placed the Spanish Conuistors near the zoo and argued that when Montezuma fed and provided shelter to these Europeans it wasn’t a concession of defeat but a way for Montezuma to say he has added them to his other collection of creatures people and things and that he had them in order to further study them The book talks about the myth of Aztec surrender in the beginning of Cortés trip Even with this story we see that there’s a clash of two cultures when Cortés met Montezuma I appreciated how the book document the way people communicated in Aztec court was formal and a characteristic of formal Aztec language was humility Even as powerful a king as Montezuma cannot risk not being humble in which strengths are downplayed and even stated in terms of its opposite as weakness This may have contributed to Cortés’ misunderstanding of Montezuma as weak or giving in to the Spaniards when it was otherwiseOf course there is documentary sources on Cortés than Montezuma and here the book gives us a less than flattering look of Cortés but the tone one gets from the author is not that this is a hit piece but the author wanting to peel back the layers of myths from the man So much of the mainstream narrative paints Cortz as a great controller of his destiny but historical analysis reveal otherwise Even in the beginning Cortés was not in charge as much as he thinks but he was appointed leader as a result of rivalries between various leaders and factions so the less remarkable Cortés was appointed The book also made a point that Cortés was played by the indigenous peoples themselves against their traditional foes whether they be the Aztecs who used the Spaniards to fight their enemies or vice versa Further contrary to the popular idea that Cortés’ small forces conuered numerically superior native Americans with their technology and tactics the book goes over facts of how there were alliances with bigger native forces that brought about the huge bloodshed rather than it being inflicted by the Spaniards alone Sixty to seventy percent of casualties was due to arrow wounds which indicates Cortés was not the superior military genius and tactician that the myths has made him out to be uite convincingly for me is the argument made by the author towards the end of the book that Cortés was not as exceptional and important as he thinks of himself In his later years Cortés wanted to be made governor but was never appointed as one but instead as a mere captain and never got the lucrative financial fall out he was hoping to achieve with his adventure and exploration Again the book is not a “hit piece” but was uite balanced and made the point that Cortés can bring brag about surviving when most people landing in North America did not at that time The book does discuss the darker side of the Conuistors Readers must be advised that there’s the uncomfortable subject of rape and slavery The author is not making conjectures here but looks at the archive record with details of conuests and booty acuired from fighting including records about “pretty women” A lot of justification for imperialism and colonialism of the Aztecs and other people in America during that time is the fact that the people were pagans and participants of human sacrifice The author makes it clear one don’t have to pick eitheror and between the choice of military conuests and supporting the status uo of human sacrifice one doesn’t have to support either That’s a good point that the author spelled out explicitly towards the end of the book in discussing about the legacy of Montezuma meeting CortésFascinating book and well researched historical work I recommend it