Rashed Alshamisi March 01,2013



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Rashed Alshamisi

March 01,2013

History -125-003


The Spanish’s and The Aztecs Accounts

One of the important historical events during the 15th and the 16th centuries was the conquering of the empires around the world by sea voyages. One of the most important was the Spanish Empire’s conquest against the people who lived in the Mexican lands back in the sixteenth century who used to be called the Aztec. They were conquered by the voyages sent on behalf of the Spanish empire headed by Hernando Cortes. Hernando Cortez had been assigned to conquer Mexico and try to spread the Christian religion under the empire of Spain. The Spanish and the Aztec had written historical records about the event of conquering the Mexican land. While the Spanish started to memorize in the sixteenth century, the Aztec wrote the event in there own perspective after many years (Stearns, 164-174). After reading Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec accounts, and comparing between the similarities and the differences. In my opinion, I think that Cortez account is more creditable and reliable than Diaz and Aztec accounts. Later, I would argue about how credible Cortez account is in this paper in three reasons, which the three reasons are the day that the accounts published, translation, and the descriptions they provided.

There are two of the major’s similarities between the Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec accounts are the gifts exchange and the welcoming. Cortez accounts pointed out that the Aztec offered him some gold and necklaces (Cortez, 169). Moreover, Diaz accounts mentioned that Cortez gave the Montezuma who was the king of the Aztec a colorful necklace made from glass stone. Also, he noted that the king of the Aztec Montezuma offered very rich necklace made from golden crabs to the Captain Cortez (Diaz, 1). In the Aztecs accounts, they stated that Montezuma rewarded Captain Cortez by giving him a mask that made from gold and some colorful dress (Aztec, 174). As a result, these three accounts lead to another points of similarities, which it is the greeting welcoming. I could figure out similarities of the welcoming in the way of exchanging the gift because Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec had referenced about exchanging the gold.

While there are some similarities in the way of exchanging the gifts in the Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec, there are still some differences between Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec accounts is the date that each account was written. According to Cortez account, the captain of the Spanish voyage, who was his duty to conquer the Mexico and spread the Christian religion; he has stated his accounts during his voyages in Mexico (Cortez, 166,170). However, the Broken Spears or the Aztec account has written about the Spanish conquered many years later (Aztec, 174). While these two accounts were written after a short period of time after the events took place, Diaz wrote his account after nearly forty years later, which means that the credibility of the source can be argued. Looking and comparing the three dates of the three sources. Within the Spanish account, I assume that Cortez account was more credible because he was in a high army position person who had to report the details directly to the king of the Spanish and because Diaz wrote hiss account forty years later means that he might forgot many details about the events or his motivations might have changed, so it show that he might wrote it with less credibility. Also, the Aztec accounts seems to be is less reliable than Cortez accounts because it was written after years, so it lead me to figure out that the Aztec account might be forget some of the important details since that event began.

Although after covering the timeline differences within the three accounts, there are another differences in Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec were the description and the details mentioned to provide information about the events. Comparing the Spanish accounts with the Aztec account, it would be obvious to notice that the Spanish accounts including Cortez and Diaz’s accounts had described the many events providing many details. For example, both of the Spanish accounts described how the city look, how the people way of living, and the talked about what happened with them in Mexico specifically like how the people treat them. However, the Aztec account depended on providing the event with the important things happened without mentioning specific details that support the credibility of the source like, they mentioned about the disease that started to kill their citizens. As more details the source have, the more credible can be, because it show and explain the event clearly which would show the motivation and the purpose as it was in the Spanish to provide a report to the king, so Cortes would write it as the best it can be to show his credibility. The Cortez account would be more reliable because it described all the events with details without being biased and without showing the negative sides.

Although the description that have stated in the three accounts have showed the differences between them, the third major deference to consider is the translation in the Cortez, Diaz, and the Aztec accounts. According to the Spanish accounts, Cortez was the only communicator who sent the information and the details for the king of Spanish, and he was writing in Spanish because he was the higher man rank in the army of Spanish and the leader (Cortez, 166,170). Moreover, In Diaz account, who was a soldier in the Spanish army and a motivated man to right an account for him, he pointed out that he was there in conquer Mexico event, and he saw all what happened their like he saw the cross of in front his eyes (Diaz, 1,5). On the other hand, the Aztec account, which it was written more years later, transferred the story from generation to generation, and it was written in their language then translated (Aztec, 174). As a result, the Spanish accounts, which are Cortez and Diaz account is more creditable than the Aztec account because in the translation could be some losing information did not mention them or important details. Also, I support Cortez account is the most creditable account because he was the leader of the army, his accounts was not translator to another language, he wrote it by him self at the same moment that the event happened, and he has to make a complete report for the king about the event. Thus, gives the more creditable for Cortez account.



In conclusion, this history paper discuses the historical event that happened during the 15th and the 16th centuries between two empires, which they are the Spanish and the Aztec. Moreover, this paper argues that how reliable and credible the three accounts are. For example, there are two different Spanish accounts, which they are the Cortez accounts, and the Diaz accounts. Cortez was a captain in the Spanish army, who sent to conquer Mexico. Diaz is a soldier in the army of Cortez. However, the third accounts were a Native American who lived in the northern Mexico at the time that Cortez conquered their land, their accounts was called the Aztec accounts or the Broken spears. I made a comparing between the three accounts in similarities and differences. As a result, it shows to me that the Cortez account was the most credible one and reliable for many reasons like the date that the accounts published, translation, and the descriptions they provided. First, when I was comparing the date that the accounts published between Diaz accounts, Cortez accounts, and the Aztec accounts, I figured out that Cortez are more reliable because he wrote his accounts earlier, at the same time that the conquered happened, but the Aztec accounts and Diaz more years later, which mean that they might be forgotten some important details were happened. Second, in the descriptions that they provided between the three accounts, Cortez was reliable because he was the leader of the Spanish army, so he had to wrote a report for his king showed his movement and progress in details. Also, Diaz accounts and Cortez accounts considered to provide more details then the Aztec because the Aztec would not mention about their geographic, historical, religion, plantation, customs and tradition of their city. Finally, the transition, Diaz and Cortez accounts were not translate, but it still gives Cortez more reliability and creditability because Cortez wrote his accounts in the same event, and Diaz wrote his account long time ago after Cortez account which lead me to assume that Diaz could forget some important events. However, Aztec still less credible because their accounts was translated and it seems that they might when they translated they have different thought, and different perspectives of the Spanish conquered on their land. In short, this paper confirms how and why Cortez account is credible.

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