hernán cortés arrived to mexico city 500 years ago

earlier this month, the 500th anniversary of one of the most significant moments in human history was celebrated: hernán cortés, representing the spanish empire, arrived  to tenochtitlan (the modern day mexico city).

fun english practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

moctezuma meets hernán cortés

moctezuma meets cortés

a post on mexiconewsdaily.com reports that to commemorate the event…

federico acosta, a mexican who traces his lineage back 16 generations to the daughter of moctezuma, and ascanio pignatelli, an italian whose ancestry goes back the same number of generations to cortés’ daughter, shared a hug at the exact same spot where their forebears met on november 8, 1519 in the aztec city of tenochtitlán.

trace means find through investigation. lineage means ancestry. spot is location. forebears are ancestors.

a symbolic hug between descendants of moctezuma and hernán cortés

16 generations later, descendants of moctezuma & cortés shared a hug in mexico city

the post verifies the authenticity of this symbolic hug.

both men are sure of their lineage: acosta’s family received a government pension granted to moctezuma’s descendants until the 1930s, while pignatelli’s family inherited one of cortés’ noble titles but sold it 150 years ago.

grant means give, allow. inherit means receive from a family member or a friend after they die. it is used at the end of this hip hop classic by grandmaster melle mel where it means receive from previous generations. listen for this verse at 4:18 in the video

so learn from the past & work for the future & don’t be a slave to no computer
’cause the children of man inherit the land & the future of the world is in your hands
so just throw your hands in the air & wave em like u just don’t care
& if u believe that you’re the future scream it out & say oh yeah

in reference to the dark history that unfolded (happened) after the the spanish arrived, pignatelli said that he

lamented the bloodshed, telling the newspaper milenio: “i know that there was a lot of suffering here, a lot of pain.” at a church atop the great pyramid of cholula…where more than 5,000 cholutecas were massacred by the spanish and their indigenous allies on their way to tenochtitlán in 1519…pignatelli prayed for forgiveness for the atrocities committed by his forebear 500 years ago.

lament means he is sorry. bloodshed is violence. atop means on top of. pray means ask god. forgiveness is pardon.

painting of spanish man, ingeigenous woman and their kids who are mestizos   

paintings portray the early days of the mestizaje as awkward

acosta recognizes the significance and the impact of the historic meeting between cortés and moctezuma

we are the fusion of two cultures, the european and ours. we are the result of that meeting, the vast majority of us have spanish and mexican blood.

european is frequently a difficult word for non-natives to pronounce. say it like this–>yur-uh-PEE-un. listen to it here.  the fusion of two cultures (european and indigenous) is often referred to as the mestizaje.

aztecs giving cortés gifts

we bring u gifts, cortés. now please get the fuck out of here. 

the article includes a summary of the conquest of mexico.

upon reaching tenochtitlán…cortés and his men were met by moctezuma at the entrance to the city. the tlatoani, or ruler, of the city built by the mexica, or aztec, people, greeted cortés and his companions with courtesy and offered them gifts in the hope that they would leave. however, the gifts whetted the spaniards’ appetite for more riches and they remained in tenochtitlán and eventually took moctezuma hostage.

upon in this context means when. reach means arrive. entrance is the noun equivalent for the verb enter. greet is say hello. however, like but, though or nevertheless, is for contrasting ideas. whet their appetite means make them hungry for more. eventually means after awhile. hostage means moctezuma was a prisoner of the spanish soldiers staying in tenochtitlan as guests.

an image of cortés crying superimposed over the noche triste tree

cortés lamented losing all of the aztec gold he tried to escape with on the night of sorrows (pocho.com)

the final comment on the conquest says…

on june 30, 1520, the aztecs revolted and drove the spanish out of the city. many spaniards were killed during the uprising which came to be known as la noche triste (the night of sorrows). but cortés and the surviving men regrouped and just over a year later, they had conquered tenochtitlán.

drive out is a phrasal verb that means remove by force.  drove is the irregular past tense of drive. sorrow is extreme sadness. regroup means reorganize after a failure.  revolt and uprising both indicate rebellion. uprising is also the name of the last album released by bob marley during his lifetime.

this is another famous bob marley track from uprising. both songs seem to fit with the theme of this post.

was the symbolic hug between descendants of moctezuma and cortés an important moment for mexico?  share your observations under leave a reply