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, Florentine Codex, Book 12, Chapter 31 (Mexica)


This image shows Spanish brigantines with cannon blasting away at the wall the Mexicas built to protect themselves from the Spaniards. The thirteen brigantines could hold horses men and cannons.

Step One

Make some observations about what is included in the image.

  • Who can you identify?
  • Where are they located in the image?
  • How are they dressed?
  • What kind of military action do you see?
  • What is the center of this image?

Step Two

Ask yourself some questions about what you see in the image.

  • What is the story being told in this image?
  • What are the similarities between this story and what you just read on the previous page?
  • What are the differences between this story and what you just read?
  • How do you account for the differences in the various stories?

Step Three

Write your own interpretation about the relative advantages and disadvantages of different weapons under different conditions based on the evidence.