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Today in 1520 – The massacre at the festival of Tóxcatl takes place during the Fall of Tenochtitlan, resulting in turning the Aztecs against the Spanish. #onthisday #history
While Hernán Cortés was in Tenochtitlan, he heard about other Spaniards arriving on the coast – Pánfilo de Narváez had come from Cuba with orders to arrest him – and Cortés was forced to leave the city to fight them. During his absence, Moctezuma asked deputy governor Pedro de Alvarado for permission to celebrate Toxcatl (an Aztec festivity in honor of Tezcatlipoca, one of their main gods). But after the festivities had started, Alvarado interrupted the celebration, killing almost everyone present at the festival, men, women, and children alike. The few who managed to escape the massacre climbing over the walls proceeded to inform the community of the treacherous Spaniards' atrocity.
The Spanish version of the incident claims the conquistadors intervened to prevent a ritual of human sacrifice in the Templo Mayor; the Aztec version says the Spaniards were enticed into action by the gold the Aztecs were wearing, prompting an Aztec rebellion against the orders of Moctezuma. While differing so on Alvarado's specific motive, both accounts are in basic agreement that the celebrants were unarmed and that the massacre was without warning and unprovoked.
The Aztecs were already antagonistic towards the Spaniards for being inside their city and for holding Montezuma under house arrest. When Cortez and his men, including those who had come under Narvaez, returned, the Aztecs began to commence full scale hostilities against the Spaniards. The Spaniards had no choice but to retreat from the city, which they did on what is called the Sad Night (La Noche Triste), losing most of their men, who were either killed in the battle or were captured and sacrificed. . . .
#mesoamerica #mexican #aztecs #tenochtitlan #mexico #colonization