During the 1518 Grijalva expedition along the eastern edge of Mesoamerica, the Spaniards first heard news of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. According to Bernal Diaz del Castillo, indigenous caciques provided a tantalizing piece of information: "that further on, in the direction of the sunset, there was plenty of gold, and they said, 'Colua, Colua, Mejico, Mejico'." This place of gold and sunset, the Mexica capital of Tenochtitlan, became the primary goal of the 'conquistadores' who used theology, sermons and legal proclamations to justify their advance, alliances, violence and settlements. Other historical accounts show that the indigenous peoples interpreted this invasion in their own legal and religious terms. This seminar explores the various ways that Spaniards and indigenous writers experienced and memorialized the journey to the splendid city of Tenochtitlan.
Davíd Carrasco. Professor. Harvard University
Manuel Lucena Giraldo. Researcher. C.S.I.C. Spain
Federico Navarrete Linares. Researcher. UNAM. Mexico