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 3 (Mexica)

Here it is told what Moctezuma ordered when he heard the words of those who saw the boat which first came. Moctezuma then gave orders to Pinotl of Cuetlaxtlan and the others, and said to them: “I give you this order: there shall be surveillance everywhere on the coasts by the water which you have named: Nauhtla, Tuztlan, and Mictlancuauhtl–wherever they [the strangers] land.”

Then the stewards departed. They gave the orders that there would be surveillance.

For his part, Moctezuma assembled his princes: the Cihuacóatl Tlilpotonqui, the Tlacochcálcatl Cuappiaztzin, the Tizociahuácatl Quetzalaztatzin, and the Huiznahuatlailótlac Hecateupatiltzin. He made them listen to the story and showed them the necklaces which [the messengers] had brought him. He said to them:

“We have admired the turquoise blue ones. They shall be well guarded. The treasurers will protect them well. If they lose one piece, their houses will be our houses; their children, our children; their pregnant women, our pregnant women.”

And then the year turned, beautiful with Thirteen-Rabbit. And when it was coming to an end, at the time of the closing of Thirteen-Rabbit, then [ the Spaniards] arrived; they were observed again!

And then [ the stewards] hastened to inform Moctezuma. When he learned of it, he quickly dispatched messengers. It was as if he thought that the recently arrived one was our prince Quetzalcoatl.

For it was in their hearts that he would come alone, would come here, to regain his throne and the place he was accustomed to. For he traveled there [to the east] when he left.

Moctezuma sent five to receive him and to offer him gifts. A priest guided them, who was responsible for and held in his name the sanctuary of Yohualichan. The second was from Tepoztlan; the third from Tizatlan; the fourth from Huehuetlan, and the fifth, from Greater Mictlan.