The broken spears : the Aztec account of the Conquest of Mexico

by Miguel León Portilla

Paper Book, 1992



Call number

F1230 .V5713 1992


Boston : Beacon Press, c1992.


For hundreds of years, the history of the conquest of Mexico and the defeat of the Aztecs has been told in the words of the Spanish victors. Miguel Leo n-Portilla has long been at the forefront of expanding that history to include the voices of indigenous peoples. In this new and updated edition of his classic? The Broken Spears, Leo n-Portilla has included accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries. These texts bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of an oral tradition that preserves the viewpoints of the vanquished instead of the victors. Leo n-Portilla's new Postscript reflects upon the critical importance of these unexpected historical accounts.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Mrs.Stansbury
I enjoyed reading the Aztec account of the colonization of Colonial Mexico. The book is a translation of Nahuatl writings. See- the Spanish provided an alphabet which the Aztecs did not have prior to Spanish arrival and then the Aztecs applied the alphabet to their native Nahuatl language and began
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writing. The only concern a reader should have is accuracy- the documents of the account were written 10 years and more after the fact. A tip when reading: start with Chapter 14 which summarizes all the events, then read Chapters 1 - 13 which elaborate on events in detail, and finally conclude with chapters 15 - 16. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying Colonial Mexico History or persons who want to know more about Aztecs and their culture.
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LibraryThing member jcvogan1
A worthwhile attempt at creating an Aztec narrative of the Conquest, but since the sources are all Spanish or oral the book is trying to be something that can't exist.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

xlix, 196 p.; 21 cm


0807055018 / 9780807055014


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