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SPANG021 - The Conquest of Mexico
Value: 15 credits
Tutors: Alexander Samson, Elizabeth Baquedano
Assessment: one 4,000 word essay.
This module explores the archaeology and history of the Conquest
of Mexico, between 1519-1521. It tells the story of this momentous event from
both sides – the victorious Spanish conquistadors and their Catholic priests, and
the defeated Aztecs and their contemporaries - preserved by native Mexican
historians such as Fernando de Alvarado Tezozomoc, and Chimalpahin. Indigenous
accounts of the conquest and of pre-conquest religious, political and economic
life were recorded in native books called codices, some of which were
pre-Hispanic, others post-conquest in date. Archaeology too has its place in
this multidisciplinary investigation, because its focus on material culture can
evaluate the written record, and thus provide a more balanced view of these
events. This module builds on the insights gained in the ‘Text and Image’ module, but both may be taken as separate units.
Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:
- Brotherston, Gordon, Painted Books from Mexico. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1995.
- Brotherston, Gordon, Feather Crown: The Eighteen Feasts of the Mexica Year. London: The Trustees of the British Museum, 2005.
- Berdan, Frances F., and Patricia Rieff Anawalt (editors) The Codex Mendoza. 4 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.
- Cortés, Hernán, Letters from Mexico. Translated and edited by Anthony Pagden. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.
- León Portilla, Miguel,The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon Press, 1966.
- Sahagún, Bernardino de, Florentine Codex, General History of the Things of New Spain. Translated by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles Dibble. 12 books, Book 12. Santa Fe: The School of American Research; Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1950-78.
- Thomas, Hugh, The Conquest of Mexico. London: Hutchinson, 1993.