Published Date

May 1, 2004

Resource Type

Primary Source

This resource was developed in 2004 as part of “The Conquest of Mexico” by Nancy Fitch.

From Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, The Florentine Codex, Book 12, Chapter 17 (Mexica)

Here it is told how the Spaniards accompanied Moctezuma as they entered the great palace and what then took place.

And when they had arrived and entered the great palace, they seized Moctezuma and placed him under guard, keeping him constantly under surveillance, and kept him together with Itzquauhtzin. As for the other [nobles], they were allowed to leave.

And when this transpired, then a cannon was shot. All was in disorder. One ran without direction; people were dispersed without rhyme or reason; they just ran off, as if they were being pursued quickly.

Everything was as if they had eaten mushrooms that drugged them, as if they had seen something awful. They were completely overcome with terror, as if everybody had lost heart. Even before it grew dark, the panic spread through the city; fear dominated all of them, so they could only sleep with dread.

An when dawn came, the crier called for all of the things [the Spaniards] needed: white tortillas, fried chickens, hens’ eggs, clean water, firewood, charcoal. Also, earthen cooking pots, small and large water pitchers, cups, and all [kinds] of pottery. [For] this was what Moctezuma had ordered. And when he summoned the nobles, they no longer paid attention to him, but rather, they were angry; they no longer accepted him; they no longer acted on his behalf; he was no longer obeyed. However, they gave [the Spaniards] everything they required–food, water, and fodder for the horses.

[The rest of the chapter talks about how the Spaniards then asked Moctezuma where all the treasures of the city were held. Moctezuma then took the Spaniards around the city. When they found gold in shields, they took it out and melted it into bars.]