Remains of Conquistadors in Mexico

Angela

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The butchery was of course not all one sided.

See:
https://www.archaeology.org/news/7650-190513-mexico-bones-analyzed

"According to an Associated Press report, disfigured human remains uncovered at the Zultepec-Teoaque site have been analyzed by archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. A convoy of about 75 Spaniards and several hundred of their foot soldiers and allies were traveling from Cuba to the Aztec capital with supplies to reinforce Hernan Cortes in 1520 when they were captured by residents of the Aztec-allied city of Zultepec. Cut marks on the bones indicate the men, women, and horses in the convoy were sacrificed and eaten over a span of several months. Analysis of the bones found at the site, including skulls on racks, suggests the women were pregnant, which is thought to have qualified them as “warriors.” Archaeologist Enrique Martínez said the bodies were also used to enact scenes from creation myths. One man was dismembered and burned as described in the myth of “El Quinto Sol,” or Fifth Sun, in which Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun, must be nourished with blood. The town took the name Tecoaque, which means “the place where they ate them” in Nahuatl, Martínez explained."
 
Wow this seems to have been a particularly gruesome part of history (even when you consider the religious context and significance linked with all those acts that look like absolute savagery to us, it perhaps becomes even more bizarre, if less gratuitous, because of that)... but it's an impressive and fascinating story nonetheless. The Aztec mindset, shown in their religious beliefs and actual practices (especially dealing with enemies), always makes me more convinced that the fall of their Empire had much more to do with the native allies than with the Spaniards' skills.
 
My paternal grandmother was Cortés and what he can find out is an Aragonese surname that emigrates to Extremadura and Andalusia. I do not have much information about it but I think that there were Spanish women fighting alongside their husbands or perhaps free in America.


In any case, cannibalism was already something terrible and incomprehensible for the Europe of that time.
 
Some part of me wants to say that what the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples did, as they did to these kidnapped Spaniards and their native allies, was much less cruel and sadistic than the unwarranted and bloodthirsty violence that other peoples perpetrated countless times with no other reason but the desire to kill and make people suffer. But other part of me also wants to say that the very fact that those Mesoamerican peoples could find some sort of theological "beauty" and religious significance in such violent and nasty acts, not practiced only occasionally, but regularly and often (as in the case under analysis) on a massive scale, is a very bad indication of their society's mindset and worldview.
 
Some part of me wants to say that what the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples did, as they did to these kidnapped Spaniards and their native allies, was much less cruel and sadistic than the unwarranted and bloodthirsty violence that other peoples perpetrated countless times with no other reason but the desire to kill and make people suffer. But other part of me also wants to say that the very fact that those Mesoamerican peoples could find some sort of theological "beauty" and religious significance in such violent and nasty acts, not practiced only occasionally, but regularly and often (as in the case under analysis) on a massive scale, is a very bad indication of their society's mindset and worldview.

I'm not a moral relativist. If something is inhuman, it's inhuman, period. The Aztec culture was a bloodthirsty one which had conquered and killed in the most brutal possible ways. It doesn't make it ok that they were "brown". Nor does it make it better that the natives being butchered were being butchered by other natives.

As was already said, the hatred of the Aztecs, the lack of cohesion between the native peoples, helped the Spanish conquerors.

That doesn't make what they did right either, or, in a European context what all the major conquerors did.

This is, however, what human history looks like, right up until less than 100 years ago, no matter the continent or the pigmentation of the people involved.

White men are not the evil which plagues human societies. This kind of behavior has been perpetrated by East Asians against East Asians, West Asians against West Asians, Africans against Africans, Native Americans against Native Americans, and Europeans against Europeans, as well as Europeans against others.

What is wrong on university campuses today is that too many people have been admitted who know nothing of history, and that is no longer fixed by required world history courses.
 
I'm not a moral relativist. If something is inhuman, it's inhuman, period. The Aztec culture was a bloodthirsty one which had conquered and killed in the most brutal possible ways. It doesn't make it ok that they were "brown". Nor does it make it better that the natives being butchered were being butchered by other natives.

As was already said, the hatred of the Aztecs, the lack of cohesion between the native peoples, helped the Spanish conquerors.

That doesn't make what they did right either, or, in a European context what all the major conquerors did.

This is, however, what human history looks like, right up until less than 100 years ago, no matter the continent or the pigmentation of the people involved.

White men are not the evil which plagues human societies. This kind of behavior has been perpetrated by East Asians against East Asians, West Asians against West Asians, Africans against Africans, Native Americans against Native Americans, and Europeans against Europeans, as well as Europeans against others.

What is wrong on university campuses today is that too many people have been admitted who know nothing of history, and that is no longer fixed by required world history courses.

I agree with your opinion. I'm not sure if your comment was just a propos of what I wrote, or a response to it, but I mentioned nothing about their "racial" makeup nor compared them to the "whites". My comparison was between similar cruelties perpetrated by other peoples (including they themselves and other Native American nations) exclusively for gratuitous and sadistic desire of violence and slaughter, and the gruesome acts they made as part of supposedly "cosmological/theological" reasonings and religious ceremonies. That means the violence was more ritualistic and less full of "bloodthirsty hatred" than in other cases of similarly nasty slaughters, but it was also even more bizarre because they gave violence a philosophical and theological disguise that legitimated and ritualized the most horrible acts of warfare.
 
I agree with your opinion. I'm not sure if your comment was just a propos of what I wrote, or a response to it, but I mentioned nothing about their "racial" makeup nor compared them to the "whites". My comparison was between similar cruelties perpetrated by other peoples (including they themselves and other Native American nations) exclusively for gratuitous and sadistic desire of violence and slaughter, and the gruesome acts they made as part of supposedly "cosmological/theological" reasonings and religious ceremonies. That means the violence was more ritualistic and less full of "bloodthirsty hatred" than in other cases of similarly nasty slaughters, but it was also even more bizarre because they gave violence a philosophical and theological disguise that legitimated and ritualized the most horrible acts of warfare.

No, Ygorcs, it was just a general reaction to the find, and to the nonsense I hear every day coming from professors and students at American universities.

I very much agree with both your posts.
 

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