Ahuitzotl Timeline

Ahuitzotl Timeline

  • c. 1345 - 1521

    The Aztec civilization flourishes in Mesoamerica.

  • 1486 - 1502

    Ahuitzotl reigns as leader of the Aztec Empire.

  • 1487

    The Templo Mayor is completed at Tenochtitlan and inaugurated with the sacrifice of 20,000 captives.

  • c. 1494

    Aztec leader Ahuitzotl conquers the central valleys of Oaxaca.

  • c. 1499

    Aztec leader Ahuitzotl conquers the Soconusco region.

  • 1502 - 1520

    Motecuhzoma II reigns as leader of the Aztec Empire.


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Ahuitzotl, (died 1502, Tenochtitlán [Mexico]), eighth king of the Aztecs, under whose reign (1486–1502) the Aztec empire reached its greatest extent.

The aggressive Ahuitzotl succeeded his brother, Tizoc, to the throne. He proved an effective warrior, conquering tribes as far south as present-day Guatemala and in territory along the Gulf of Mexico, using such tactics as forced marches, ambushes, and surprise attacks. His men feared and respected him, and their king, after conquering a foreign city, chose to camp with his men rather than stay in a captured palace. Conquest brought enormous wealth to the Aztec empire as tribute poured in from all the vassal states. The capital of Tenochtitlán grew to such an extent that Ahuitzotl had another aqueduct built. He built the great temple of Malinalco as well. The king imposed tight bureaucratic control over the empire.

Ahuitzotl is known primarily for having occasioned the greatest orgy of human sacrifice in Aztec history. In 1487 he decided to dedicate his new temple at Tenochtitlán. The ceremonies, lasting four days, consisted of prisoners of war forming four lines, each one extending over three miles. As the captives were marched up to the altar, priests and Aztec nobles, including Ahuitzotl, had the honour of cutting open their chests and tearing out their hearts. Although actual numbers remain in dispute, as many as 20,000 prisoners may have been killed this way, while guests from the conquered provinces were asked to watch.

The cause of Ahuitzotl’s death in 1502 is disputed. According to some sources, he died when he hit his head on a stone lintel after a dike broke, flooding his garden in Tenochtitlán. Other accounts claim that he developed a disease that took his life.

Latin Empire, End of the

The Latin Empire that was established after the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 went into a steady decline in the years that followed. It was divided into several groups to start with, and rival empires also rose to weaken it further. The rulers who succeeded Emperor Henry were hounded with bad luck or were weak in the first place. Finally, the last Latin Emperor Baldwin II was driven out of Constantinople. This signalled the end of the Latin Empire in 1261, which is where it is recorded on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History. Although he tried, he was not meant to return to Constantinople to get his throne back. Baldwin II died in Italy in 1273.

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The Beginning of the End

The Latin Emperor Henry died without an heir, so the Empire was given to his brother-in-law, Peter II of Courtenay. The new king lived in Western Francia at that time, so he let his wife Yolanda travel to Constantinople ahead of him to rule as his regent. He left Francia in 1217, but he disappeared while passing through the Despotate of Epirus (led by Theodore Komnenos Doukas). Because of the mysterious disappearance of the emperor, Yolanda was forced to rule Constantinople until her own death in 1219.

A couple of years passed before her son, Robert I, accepted the position of Latin Emperor. He was a weak ruler, and by 1225, John III Vatatzes of Nicaea had reduced the Latin Empire into nothing more than the city of Constantinople. When he died, Robert left Constantinople to his younger brother, Baldwin II, who was a young boy at that time. The Regency was assigned to John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem, who ruled from 1229 to 1237.

When Baldwin II came of age, Constantinople had become so poor that he was forced to pawn or sell off some of the remaining treasures in the palace. In 1261, the Byzantine general Alexios Stratigopoulos and his troops entered Constantinople. Baldwin II fled Constantinople and returned to Western Francia which ended the reign of the Latin emperors. He lived until 1273 but never recovered Constantinople.

Triple Alliance

In 1426, the dominant power in central Mexico, Azcapotzalco, saw civil war over the question of succession. The heir was supported by Tenochtitlan, Tayahauh, lost in the struggle to his brother Maxtla and soon the city found itself at odds with Azcapotzalco.

In the ensuing revengeful measures by Maxtla, Tenochtitlan went to war with him by forging alliance with Tlacopan and Texcoco. Azcapotzalco was defeated in the war and the three members of alliance divided the Tepanec land between them.


Most of what is known about pre-historic Oaxaca comes from archeological work in the Central Valleys region. Evidence of human habitation dating back to about 11,000 years BC has been found in the Guilá Naquitz cave near the town of Mitla. More finds of nomadic peoples date back to about 5000 BC, with some evidence of the beginning of agriculture. By 2000 BC, agriculture had been established in the Central Valleys region of the state, with sedentary villages. [1] The diet developed around this time would remain until the Spanish Conquest, consisting primarily of harvested corn, beans, chocolate, tomatoes, chili peppers, squash and gourds. Meat was generally hunted and included tepezcuintle, turkey, deer, jabali, armadillo and iguana. [2]

The oldest known major settlements, such as Yanhuitlán and Laguna Zope are located in this area as well. The latter settlement is known for its small figures called “pretty women” or “baby face.” Between 1200 and 900 BC, pottery was being produced in the area as well. This pottery has been linked with similar work done in La Victoria, Guatemala. Other important settlements from the same time period include Tierras Largas, San José Mogote and Guadalupe, whose ceramics show Olmec influence. [1] The major native linguistic group, Oto-Manguean, can be traced back to at least 4400 BC. By 1500 BC, there were nine branches of this language. [2]

There are historical records from the area dating back as far as the 12th century, but except for the Zapotecs and Mixtecs, there is very few records of the native peoples of the state from the pre-Hispanic era into much of the colonial era. [3] By 500 BC, these valleys were mostly inhabited by the Zapotecs, with the Mixtecs on the eastern side. These two groups would be in near constant conflict until the end of the pre-Hispanic period. [4] Archeological evidence indicates that between 750 and 1521, there may have been population peaks of as high as 2.5 million. [3]

The Zapotecs were the earliest to gain dominance over the Central Valleys region. [2] The first major dominion was centered in Monte Albán, which flourished from 500 BC until 750 AD. [3] At its height, Monte Albán was home to some 25,000 people and was the capital city of the Zapotec nation. [2] It remained a secondary center of power for the Zapotecs until the Mixtecs overran it in 1325. [4] The site contains a number of notable features including the Danzantes, a set of stone reliefs and the finding of fine quality ceramics. [1]

Starting from 750 AD large urban centers such as Monte Albán fell across the Oaxaca area and smaller dominions grew and evolved until the Spanish Conquest in 1521. [3] Between 700 and 1300, the Mixtec were scattered among various dominions, including those of Achiutla, Tequixtepec-Chazumba, Apoala and Coixtlahuaca. The Zapotecs occupied a large region from Central Valleys region to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. [3] However, no major city state like Monte Albán arose again, with villages and city-states remaining small, between 1,000 and 3,000 people with a palace, temple, market and residences. In a number of cases, there were Mesoamerican ball courts as well. These and larger centers also functioned as military fortresses in time of invasion. Important Zapotec and Mixtec sites include Yagul, Zaachila, Inguiteria, Yanhuitlan, Tamazulapan, Tejupan, and Teposcolula. During nearly all of this time, these various entities were at war with one another, and faced the threat of Aztec expansion. [3]

While the Zapotec remained dominant in many parts of the Central Valleys and into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the Mixtec were pushing into Zapotec territory, taking Monte Albán. In areas they conquered, they became prolific builders, leaving behind numerous and still unexplored sites. However, the conquest of the Central Valleys was never completed with pressure coming from the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Zapotecs and Mixtecs both allied themselves and fought among themselves as they tried to maintain their lands and valuable trade routes between the high central plains of Mexico and Central America. [2] [4]

The first Aztecs arrived to the Oaxaca area in 1250, but true expansion into the region began in the 15th century. In 1457, Moctezuma I invaded the Tlaxiaco and Coixtlahuaca areas, gaining control, demanding tribute and establishing military outposts. [3] These were Mixtec lands at first, pushing these people even further into Zapotec territory. [1] Under Axayacatl and Tizoc, the Aztec began to take control of trade routes in the area and part of the Pacific Coast. By this time, the Zapotec were led by Cosijoeza with the government in Zaachila in the latter 15th century. Under Ahuitzotl, the Aztecs temporarily pushed the Zapotecs into Tehuantepec and established a permanent military base at Huaxyacac (Oaxaca city). The Aztecs were stopped only by the Spanish Conquest. [1] These conquests would change most of the place names in parts of Oaxaca to those from the Nahuatl language. [3] In 1486 the Aztecs established a fort on the hill of Huaxyácac (now called El Fortín), overlooking the present city of Oaxaca. This was the major Aztec military base charged with the enforcement of tribute collection and control of trade routes. [2]

However, Aztec rule in Oaxaca would last only a little more than thirty years. [2]

Very soon after the fall of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), Spaniards arrived in Oaxaca. Moctezuma II had informed Hernán Cortés that the area had gold. [1] In addition, when Zapotec leaders heard about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, they sent an offer of an alliance. [2] Several captains and representatives were sent to the area to explore the area, looking for gold, and routes to the Pacific to establish trade routes to Asian spice markets. The most prominent of Cortés’ captains to arrive here were Gonzalo de Sandoval, Francisco de Orozco and Pedro de Alvarado. They overcame the main Aztec military stronghold only four months after the fall of Tenochtitlan. [1] Their reports about the area prompted Cortés to seek the title of the Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca from the Spanish Crown. [2]

The valley Zapotecs, the Mixtecs of the Upper Mixteca, the Mazatecas and the Cuicatecas, for the most part, chose not to fight the newcomers, instead negotiating to keep most of the old hierarchy but with ultimate authority to the Spanish. [1] [2] Resistance to the new order was sporadic and confined to the Pacific coastal plain, the Zapotec Sierra, the Mixe region and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The Mixes put up the most resistance to intrusions on their lands. They not only resisted during the first decade or so of Spanish occupation, like other groups, but through the rest of the 16th century. The last major Mixe rebellion came in 1570, when they burned and looted Zapotec communities and threatened to annihilate the Spanish presidio of Villa Alta. However, this rebellion was put down by the Spanish, in alliance with about 2,000 Mixtecs and Aztecs. From this point, the Mixe people retreated to isolated parts of the Sierra Norte mountain range where they still live today. [2]

The first priest in the territory was Juan Díaz, who accompanied Francisco de Orozco y Tovar and build the first church in what is now the city of Oaxaca. He was followed by Bartolome de Olmade and others who began the superficial conversion of a number of indigenous, including the baptism of Zapotec leader Cosijoeza. In 1528, the Dominicans settled in the city of Oaxaca, forming the Bishopric of Oaxaca in 1535, and began to spread out from there, eventually reaching Tehuantepec and the coast. Other orders followed such as the Jesuits in 1596, the Mercedarians in 1601, and others in the 17th and 18th centuries. [1] [2]

Spanish conquest and the subsequent colonization and systematic exploitation of the region had a devastating effect on the indigenous population. Diseases introduced from Europe and forced labor led to the drastic reduction of the indigenous population and in some areas to its annihilation. [3] It has been estimated that the indigenous population of the region declined from 1.5 million in 1520 to 150,000 in 1650. [2] The reduction in the labor force they could dispose of prompted the Spanish to import African slaves, particularly in the Coastal Areas. The systematic exploitation of indigenous and African populations continued throughout the colonial period. [5] Initially, the Spanish did not change native power structures and allowed nobles to keep their privileges as long as they were loyal to the Spanish crown. However, all indigenous were eventually lumped into the category as the Spanish halted warfare among the city-states and creating the official category of “indio” (Indian). [3] Settlers arriving from Spain brought with them domestic animals that had never been seen in Oaxaca: horses, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, mules and oxen. [2] New crops such as sugar cane, vanilla and tobacco were introduced. [3] However, landholding still remained mostly in indigenous hands, in spite of the fact that only nine percent of Oaxaca's terrain is arable. The efforts by Spanish officials and merchants who tried to take indigenous privileges away met resistance. While some of it was violent, the indigenous also resorted to the administrative-judicial system or yield. Violence was reserved for the worst of situations. [2] A local product to reach economic importance in the colonial period was the cochineal insect, used for the making of textile dyes. This product was exported to Europe, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. The use of this insect faded in the 19th century with the discovery of cheaper dyes. [3]

For much of the colonial period, the state (then an intendencia or province) was relatively isolated with few roads and other forms of communication. Most politics and social issues were strictly on the local level. Despite Spanish domination, the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca maintained much of their culture and identity, more so than most other places in Mexico. Part of this is due to the geography of the land, making many communities isolated. [3]

By 1810, the city of Oaxaca had 18,000 inhabitants, most of whom were mestizos (of both Indigenous and European descent). During the Mexican War of Independence the government of this area remained loyal to the Spanish Crown. When representatives of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla came to meet with them, they were hanged and their heads were displayed publicly. Some early rebel groups emerged in the state, such as those led by Felipe Tinoco and Catarino Palacios, but these leaders were also eventually executed. After 1812, insurgents began to have some success in the state, especially in the areas around Huajuapan de León, where Valerio Trujano defended the city against royalist forces until José María Morelos y Pavón was able to come in with support to keep the area in rebel hands. After that point, insurgents had greater success in various parts of the state, but the capital remained in royalist hands until the end of the war. [1]

The state was a department after the war ended in 1821, but after the fall of emperor Agustín de Iturbide, it became a state in 1824 with Jose Maria Murguia named as its first governor. [1]

During the 19th century, Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico was split between liberal (federalist) and conservative (centralist) factions. The political and military struggles between the factions resulted in wars and intrigues. Vicente Guerrero, a liberal, was executed by firing squad in Cuilapam in 1831. Liberal Manuel Gomez Pedraza became governor in 1832 but was opposed by General Estaban Moctezuma. He and commandant Luis Quintanar persecuted liberals in the state, including Benito Juárez. The constant warfare had a negative effect on the state's economy and those in the Tehuantepec area supported a separatist movement which was partially successful in the 1850s. [1]

Two Oaxacans, Benito Juarez and Porfirio Díaz became prominent players in the Reform War. It is difficult to overstate Juárez's meaning to the state. He was born on March 21, 1806 in the village of San Pablo Guelatao and was full blooded Zapotec. He began his career studying to be a priest then a lawyer. [2] [6] In 1847, Juarez became governor of Oaxaca, but still faced stern opposition from conservatives such as Lope San Germán. With the success of the Plan de Ayutla, Juarez became governor again, and worked to remove privileges and properties from the Church and landed classes. The Constitution of 1857, was ratified in Oaxaca city, and Juarez left the governor's position to become President of Mexico. [1] He was president during one of Mexico's most turbulent times, fighting invading French forces and conservatives. As a liberal, he imposed many of the reforms which remain today including those in education and separation of church and state. He is also considered to be a legend and a symbol for the indigenous population of the state. [2]

Porfirio Díaz was Juárez's ally through the French Intervention. French imperial forces took Oaxaca city, which was defended by Porfirio Díaz, landing the latter in prison. The capital was later recaptured by the liberals under Carlos Oronoz. However, soon after Juarez took back the presidency, Porfirio Díaz declared rebellion against him from Oaxaca in 1872 under the Plan de Tuxtepec. Juárez died in office. Díaz became president until the Mexican Revolution. [1]

During Díaz's rule, called the Porfiriato, a number of modernization efforts were undertaken in the state such as public lighting, first with gas then with electricity, railroad lines, new agriculture techniques and the revitalization of commerce. However, most of the benefits of these advances went to national and international corporations and workers and indigenous farmers organized against the regime. [1]

After the Mexican Revolution broke out, Díaz was soon ousted and the rest of the war was among the various factions that had power in different parts of the country. Various leaders such as Francisco I. Madero, Victoriano Huerta and Venustiano Carranza came to the state during this time. However the most important force in the area was the Liberation Army of the South under Emiliano Zapata. This army fought against the previous leaders, especially Venustiano Carranza, [1] and held various portions of the state until 1920. [2] At the end of the Revolution, a new state constitution was written and accepted in 1922. [1]

A series of major disasters occurred in the state from the 1920s to the 1940s. In 1928, a series of earthquakes destroyed many of the buildings in the capital. A much larger earthquake in 1931 was the largest in the state's history, devastating a number of cities along the coast. The 1930s brought the Great Depression, which along with the disasters, prompted wide-scale migration to Mexico City. In 1944, torrential rains caused massive flooding in the Tuxtepec region, causing hundreds of deaths. [7] Oaxaca suffered more large earthquakes in 1980, 1999, 2017, and 2020, as well as one in 2018, which caused a deadly helicopter crash.

In the 1940s and 1950s, new infrastructure projects were begun. These included the Izúcar-Tehuantepec section of the Panamerican Highway and the construction of the Miguel Alemán Dam. [7] From the 1980s to the present, there has been much development of the tourism industry in the state. This tourism, and the population growth of the capital, prompted the construction of the Oaxaca-Mexico City highway in 1994. [8] Development of tourism has been strongest in the Central Valleys area surrounding the capital, with secondary developments in Huatulco and other locations along the coast. This development was threatened by the violence associated with the 2006 uprising, which severely curtailed the number of incoming tourists for several years. [9] On February 12, 2008, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Oaxaca. [10]

From the Mexican Revolution until the 2000s, the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) party held control of almost all of Oaxacan politics from the local to the state level. [11] Challenges to the rule were sporadic and included the student movements of the 1970s, which brought down the state government. [12] Teachers’ strikes had been frequent since then, culminating in the 2006 popular mobilization by a broad spectrum of civil society actors, which included union activists, indigenous organizations, as well as organized women and youths who constituted the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). Between May and November 2006 the APPO-activists mobilized the local population in local councils, soup kitchens and barricades organizing demonstrations with the participation of more than a hundred thousand protesting against the marginalization of the poor and calling for the ousting of PRI-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. With the aid of the Calderon government in Mexico City who sent in thousands of Federal police, the blockade of the city was eventually ended by force and resulted in dozens of deaths and an even higher number of "disappeared" activists. [13] [14] [15] The PRI lost its hold on the state government in 2010. [11]

The Hungry Coyote, who ruled his Golden City

Nezahualcoyotl was born most probably on April 28, 1402 in Texcoco. His name meant ''The Hungry Coyote''. After becoming the ruler of his homeland, his talents and vision of the city flourished. Nezahualcoyotl is credited with the period in history known as Texcoco's Golden Age . The times of his reign brought the rule of law, scholarship and artistry to the city. Due to his vision high standards had been set and influenced surrounding cultures. Nezahualcoyotl designed a code of law based on the division of power, which created the councils of war, justice, finance and culture.

Nezahualcoyotl (1402-1472), ruler of Texcoco, as depicted in the 16th century Codex Ixtlilxochitl. ( Public Domain )

He was also considered as a science lover, passionate with books, the great philosopher and the poet. He published about thirty own poetic compositions in numerous collections of manuscripts which preserved pre-Hispanic songs. His poetry don't only exploits the beauty of the Nahuatl language, but has a philosophical depth that already earned him the epithet "wise". The poems of Nezahualcoyotl play key issues for the lyric of all time they include the historical references and autobiographical elements that talk about his career as a warrior. The delicacy of the language he used puts a huge lyrical and symbolic weight on future symbolism and local languages.

Middle section of page 34 of Codex Osuna, from 1565, showing the pictorial symbols for Texcoco, Tenochtitlan (Mexico), and Tlacopán. ( Public Domain )

Nezahualcoyotl was also a great architect, engineer, city planner, reluctant warrior and lawgiver. His vision of the city as the most modern place near the Lake Texcoco brought to the citizens, many impressive gardens, self-governing academy of scholars and poets, monuments, aqueducts, and palaces. The most overwhelming with the abundance was the palace of the king, which was the most magnificent creation a magnificent palace which provided, among other numerous outbuildings, bath carved into the rock.

The vision of the peaceful world influenced dreams of many. After centuries his poetry is still very popular in Mexico and all over the world. Nowadays, one of his poems is printed on the 100 peso note in Mexico. The poem sounds like a message from the pre-Columbian ruler to the people of all the centuries:

I love the song of the mockingbird,
Bird of four hundred voices,
I love the color of the jadestone
And the intoxicating scent of flowers,
But more than all I love my brother, man.

The Undying Empire: A Trebizond Timeline

[13] Motto: Primus est in fide et fidelis (First in faith and loyalty), Arms: Or a stag passant argent in full, per fess sable.

[16] The Earldom of Saheecan Motto: Forti fidelique (Strong and loyal), Arms:Azure a castle sable in full, per fess vert

The Anglo-Dutch Union


Am finally caught up again. Great writing. I'm also awed by how much you can write in such a small amount of time.

The English colonies seem much more different than the OTL English colonies. For one, tobacco is probably going to boom earlier and it appears that England will stay mostly Catholic which will have major effects in the colonies in the coming centuries, no doubt. In fact, I expect the English to remain allies with the Spanish as they will share the same religion and have the French as a common enemy.



This is an interesting account of an alternate invasion of the Americas. I'm curious as to how English Brazil will turn out.

I appreciate that you looked into it. If it's any consolation, I don't know enough to tell what (if anything) you got wrong.

On a long overdue side-note, I also want to thank you for putting some thought into this and not just making it "And then the Trapezutines took back Constantinople, and Anatolia, and the Maghreb, and then colonized one of the two American continents all by themselves, and then took over the whole Mediterranean, and then everyone in the world became Orthodox, and then they conquered the Moon, all by the year 1600!"

  1. I also like the alternate fate for Columbus in this timeline. We've already got someone else (falsely) credited as the discoverer of the New World, so it stands to reason to have him do something else. I hope that Savona won't end up like Genoa.
  2. Does the shattering of Muscovy mean that the Golden Horde might be given more of a chance to found a lasting nation-state? I like the idea of that since Russia's expansion to encompass everything from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Strait was far from inevitable.
  3. Do the Brasilian Earldoms still exist following the mass die-off or were they decimated as well? If they were decimated I'm thinking that they'd eventually only exist as white European-dominated earldoms still using the names of the tribes that used to exist there. At the very least they'd be more Metis than pure Native American.

I expected them to anglicize the word for Tobacco more. You may still wish to do that.

A little early for predictions, but Greater England is probably going to be a demographic juggernaut. It remains to be seen how connected it'll stay to the home country.

Lots of native enthusiasm. Am surprised that none of the new nobles died in England (as was often the case with native Americans visiting the old world.)


Am finally caught up again. Great writing. I'm also awed by how much you can write in such a small amount of time.

The English colonies seem much more different than the OTL English colonies. For one, tobacco is probably going to boom earlier and it appears that England will stay mostly Catholic which will have major effects in the colonies in the coming centuries, no doubt. In fact, I expect the English to remain allies with the Spanish as they will share the same religion and have the French as a common enemy.

Completely agree. I love that the Trapezuntines aren't always lucky and that they also experience many problems like the last war with the Ottomans. Those chapters were so well written that they seem like real history to me.

You're right, tobacco will boom early and boom hard, and that will keep England chugging along quite well. I think that in the coming decades, religious dissidents (those that dodge the inquisition) will be exiled to Brasil in a manner similar to OTL. I haven't decided on their relations with Spain so far, but it would make sense.


Fair warning, this is kind of experimental, and I can always do a rewrite.

I hope this finds you well. Firstly, I must extend my deepest condolences to you over Doctor Patel’s unfortunate demise. He was far too kind a person to wind up spit-roasted by Papua New Guineans.

My own work on Timeline L-843 is going quite well. It has now been nearly a century since the point of divergence (seventy-three years, to be exact) and I am eager to construct my first first world report. Do you have any suggestions on how to compose these? I know you have a great deal of experience in matters such as these. Anyway, I hope to have the report completed shortly and will present it to you by the end of the quarter. I can’t promise that, though. My team is rather small, and while the developmental stage that L-843 is in is conducive the collection of information we are still overstretched.

Doctor William Sarkozy

File One: A Global Overview: 1500

Before I begin, I’d like to note that I’ve never done this before and I humbly ask that any readers have patience with me as I find my feet.

Events in the New World are mostly unchanged from our timeline. Mesoamerica and Andeoamerica are both puttering along nicely. The Aztec Triple Alliance has risen to prominence in TL-1’s Mexico, and they are currently in the closing years of the great conqueror Ahuitzotl. Interestingly, there appears to be an ongoing revival in the fortunes of the Maya people, and several new city-states have been founded in the mountainous interior of the region. Meanwhile, to the south, the Muisca appear to be on the verge of developing currency, an interesting development which may radically alter the fate of the pre-Columbian societies. Further south, the Incan Empire is larger than in TL-1. Ali, I mean Mr. Mohammed, believes that this may be due to the introduction of chickens from Polynesian contact. It appears that the two civilizations made contact on TL-1’s Easter Island in 1480, an event which is speculated to have occurred in our timeline. I should also note that there is a small band of Amerindians who have begun planting mesquite pods along the Canadian River in TL-1’s Texas. If they are left alone long enough they have a good shot at civilization, but alas colonization has already begun.

The Americas were opened in 1480 by an English sailor named John Jay the Younger. Jay the Younger was able to secure enough tobacco, or as it is known in this timeline, ‘jachaing’, for tobacco farming and trading to become lucrative trades. The English have conquered Manhattan and the western half of Long Island and begun their settlement, with an estimated population of 1,500 Englishmen in the western hemisphere two decades after first contact. The capital of the colony is the small port of Fort Saint George, located on the southern tip of Manhattan Island. The tribes of the Sanhican and Shinnecox, known in this timeline as the Sanheecans and the Shynecocks, have been incorporated into the English crown, their chiefs being invested as earls and their peoples converted. Unfortunately, the usual bout of Columbian plagues began in 1497, and I expect that their ravages will be as devastating as they were in our timeline.

The English are not the only Europeans to have reached the New World. The Portuguese also made landfall in our timeline’s Brazil in 1486, although knowledge of this was not made public until 1491. This is a good place to note some developments in etymology. The English have named North America ‘Brasil’ after the legendary Isles of Hy-Brasil, while the Portuguese have names South America ‘Virginia’ after the Virgin Mary. Any agents sent to observe this timeline will need to be briefed on this, and I imagine it will be the cause of a great amount of confusion. The Portuguese have established a number of forts in Virginia, all intended to provide resupply ports for their voyages to India. The largest of these is Rio de Agosto, which is located at our timeline’s Natal. The first plantations are being formed in Virginia, as cacao becomes a valuable good in Europe.

In Europe, things look quite different. In Iberia, a different end to the War of the Castilian Succession has seen Portugal and Castile enter personal union under Afonso V & XII of the House of Avís. The civil war was significantly longer than in TL-1, lasting from 1475 to 1482, but Afonso and Joanna were able to win a decisive victory with the aid of the French. Afonso then helped soothe the hurt feelings between his two realms by finishing the Reconquista in 1485, carrying the fight over into Morocco and capturing Tangier, Larache and Tetouan before his death in 1491. Portugal is now ruled by Duarte II (b.1477), who is expected to inherit Castile upon his mother’s death. Aragon, meanwhile, has been exhausted by the long succession war and repeated conflicts with France. The once-proud Aragonese Crown is a shadow of its former self, having lost its eastern territories to the Turks and its Italian ones to the French and barely clinging on in Sardinia. Fernando II was overthrown in 1494 after the loss of Naples and was succeeded by his minor son, Juan I, who is essentially a puppet of the nobility.

Further north, the British Isles are remarkably calm. The strength of their French allies has given the English pause in attacking the Scots, who are busily expanding their control into Ireland. The War of the Roses ended much earlier in this timeline, with the Yorkists retaining the throne under Edward IV. The succession is secure, with three male heirs waiting in the wings, and Edward IV is a strong and capable monarch. The Lancastrian claim to throne has been extinguished, with the Tudor brothers assassinated in 1489. The Scottish, meanwhile, are enjoying a period of peace and prosperity under James IV, whose frequent communications with the French have made him appear as more trouble than he is worth to hawks in London. Across the Irish Sea, the House of FitzGerald has been steadily gathering influence as the Scottish attempt to win them over to their cause for a war against the English. The Irish lords are even more powerful than in our timeline, as Gerald FitzGerald had foolishly been invested as governor of the Pale, making him King of Ireland in all but name. He may soon become the legal King of Ireland as well, as he is in the process of attempting to win an alliance with the French, which would completely secure his independence.

Across the English Channel lies the hegemon of Europe, France. An earlier victory in the Hundred Years’ War saw the English exiled from the continent bar only Calais, and Brittany and Burgundy proper brought into their sphere of influence. A succession of capable monarchs allowed France to rise to great heights, becoming the de facto hegemon of central and western Europe with no Austria to counter-balance them. Charles VIII still sits upon his throne, as the fluke door incident that killed him in TL-1 never occurred. With a steady hand on the tiller throughout the 1490s and with no unified Spain to oppose them, the French solidified themselves as hegemons of Italy, with Savoy, the northern Italian city-states, Florence and the Papal States themselves being effective vassals of the French crown. Naples and Milan are in personal union with France, whose tendrils now extend as far as Epirus. However, not everything is well for this great hegemon, and France’s many enemies have begun to conspire against her, with her great size even forcing many of her former allies to reconsider their relations with the great power. Many of the dukes were also going tired of Charles’ centralizing reforms.

Italy in L-834 is radically different from our own. Genoa and Venice, who dominate the peninsula in most timelines, have been significantly reduced in power. Genoa was burned to the ground in 1480 by the Milanese, the survivors fleeing to Corsica, where they established the Calvian Republic under Paolo di Campofregoso. However, they were unable to recover their former colonial empire, which was divided between many different states and powers. However, the Genoese shadow would be filled in at least one area, Liguria, with the rise of Savona. Many former Genoese traders and captains defected to the Savonese after the republic was proclaimed by Cristoffa Corombo, a former Genoese merchant. Savona was able to fill the void in the eastern Mediterranean left by Genoa’s downfall, and was able to beat back Venetian efforts to extend their control west of Sicily. Venice, meanwhile, has been dealt one bad hand after the other. They had lost a good portion of their navy in a struggle with the Ottomans over the eastern territories of Genoa in the 1480s, and as a result had lost much of their eastern trade network. Then, they had come down against Charles VIII in his invasion of Italy in the 1490s, which had resulted in them losing all of their mainland territories west of Padua. However, they have managed to cling to their Egyptian trade network, which is just barely keeping their head above water, and the doge, Agostino Barbarigo, is a capable and skilled ruler.

Things are even more chaotic in central Italy. Charles was able to claim the throne of Milan, which he quickly expanded to include much of the Po Valley, seized from the Venetians. The many counties and cities of the plain were vassalized to Milan (and thus, indirectly, France), which has angered many. However, there is little any of them can do, and for now they are limited to angrily stewing. The Florentines were also reduced by the French, with the Medicis being forced into exile in the trans-Appenine cities of Urbino and Ancona. However, they have not been fully defeated, and from exile Lorenzo de’ Medici plots his revenge. In the place of the Medicis, the reformist priest Girolamo Savonarola and his followers have taken over Florence, preparing their state for what they believe will be the final battle with the forces of the devil. Needless to say, Savonarola is unhinged. In Rome, meanwhile, Pope Alexander VI threads a narrow line between advancing his own interests and that of King Charles. He was initially a supporter of French intervention in Italy, but has come to resent Paris’ constant meddling. Charles has won in Italy, but he has not won Italy.

Across the Alps, Germany is in a state of flux. The Habsburgs had formerly been the chief hegemons of the Holy Roman Empire, but their sudden and unexpected destruction by Matthais the Raven in the 1490s had left the Empire adrift. Into this void stepped Bogislaw X, the Duke of Pomerania and Margrave of Brandenburg, jure uxoris. In a long and surprise-filled reign, he restored the unity of the Duchy of Pomerania, then turned the tide against his former overlord in Berlin, invading in a long and bloody multi-year struggle that culminated in the installation of his wife, Margaret, as Electress of Brandenburg. His meteoric rise had made his name in the Holy Roman Empire, but also the animosity of many, several of whom believe him to be a warmonger. One of these men is Fredrick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. Bogislaw and Fredrick are the chief candidates for the vacant office of emperor, and the two are attempting to muster the votes needed to secure the office for themselves. This is almost certain to spill over into open conflict.

Before I cover the events of Eastern Europe, it is important to note unfolding events in the Low Countries. While the Burgundians had been ejected from Burgundy proper during the 1470s and 1480s, they still clung on in their northern possessions. Philip IV attempted to preserve himself via an alliance with Austria, but when this state unceremoniously collapsed under Hungarian assault, he was left without a patron. Reluctantly, he submitted to Paris, managing to secure an arrangement similar to that which the English had before the Hundred Years’ War, where he was recognized as King-in-the-Rhine-Mouths in vassalage to the King of France. Philip’s reign has been spent in a centralization effort that has stitched together the lands around the Mouths of the Rhine--

(Transmission Ended due to Data Overage)

Sol Zagato



The Anglo-Dutch Union


Interesting update. I like how the overview is a meta-update.

France seems much more powerful than OTL, especially since the Spanish and Habsburgs so far aren't as strong as OTL to oppose them. I imagine many countries surrounding France are getting nervous and would probably want to seek alliances with each other in case the French start getting ambitious like OTL. In fact with no stable dynasty as Holy roman emperor, the French king may want to claim that position. He certainly has enough money and influence to do so.

Result: War of the Grand Alliance two centuries early?


Interesting update. I like how the overview is a meta-update.

France seems much more powerful than OTL, especially since the Spanish and Habsburgs so far aren't as strong as OTL to oppose them. I imagine many countries surrounding France are getting nervous and would probably want to seek alliances with each other in case the French start getting ambitious like OTL. In fact with no stable dynasty as Holy roman emperor, the French king may want to claim that position. He certainly has enough money and influence to do so.

Result: War of the Grand Alliance two centuries early?

The French are definitely going to get coalitoned soon, the only question is when. Bogislaw would be the more aggressive of the chief candidates, so if he prevails it will probably be sooner rather than later.

Anyone have any thoughts on the King-in-the-Rhine-Mouths? I'm not quite sure if I built it up properly.


Report on Timeline L-843 (II)

File One: A Global Overview (ii)

I must apologize for the abrupt end of yesterday’s transmission. Dr. Rosario had been uploading a scroll of Chinese poetry through the same connection and had neglected to inform me of this. Hence, I did not know to cut down the size of the transmission to prevent a data overflow, which was why the transmission was cut off so abruptly. I’ll try and pick up from where I left off, but some details about the Low Countries may have been cut off.

Central Europe in Timeline L-843 is dominated by the kingdoms of Hungary and Poland, which as in our timeline have risen to the status of regional hegemons. It appears that John Hunyadi was elected King of Hungary in opposition to Ladislaus the Posthumous, and with the powers of the king he was able to repulse the Ottomans from Hungary, reducing Serbia to a subject in personal union and Wallachia and Bosnia to tributaries, forming a series of buffers with the Ottomans. After John’s death in 1467, he was succeded by his son, Ladislaus VI, who died without an heir in 1488. He, in turn, was succeeded by his brother and premier general, Matthew the Raven. Matthew crushed the Habsburgs following a failed attempt on their part to claim the throne, and reduced Styria and Austria proper to vassals, exiling the former emperors south to Carantia. This, along with his successful effort to claim the throne of Bohemia, left Matthew as the head of a great Central European powerhouse. Across the Carpathians, meanwhile, Poland is far less stable than in our timeline. A series of succession disputes have left Jan Olbracht with a difficult time administering outside of Krakow, while many of the local lords have effectively become sovereign rulers. On the far side of Poland, meanwhile, Lithuania is gripped in a civil war between Aleksander Jagellion and the partisans of Olbracht, the latter wanting a strong king to protect them and their lands from increasing Mongol encroachment. This speaks more to Aleksander’s incompetence than it does Jan Olbracht’s ability.

Further north, the State of the Teutonic Order has been expelled from their former holdings in Prussia, being exiled into their Livonian territories. Nonetheless, they are still a force to be reckoned with and have fought off several attempts to conquer them by the Danes and the Swedes. There is a growing movement of those who wish for the Order to transition to a more typical government form, as they feel that their current structure leaves them weak in the face of increasingly aggressive neighbors. The Hanseatic League is also still going strong, their merchants traveling as far afield as Bristol and Novogord, and Lübeck remains one of the power-houses of the north. However, they are far from the uncontested lords of the Baltic that they claim to be. John of Oldenburg still presides over a might Kalmar Union, which controls all of its analogous TL-1 territories as well as the Kola Peninsula, several small ports along the coast of Germany, and the Northern Islands, which were never gambled away in this timeline. His reign has seen an increase in the strength of the domestic economy and the expansion of foreign trade. In recent years, John has begun pushing for the re-opening of the old westward sailing routes, in hopes of establishing colonies to rival New England. However, these plans may soon be shelves, as he is growing old, and the succession of the three thrones is disputed between his sons Ernst, Christian and Jacob.

Further east, on the far shore of the Baltic, Russia is a madhouse. The Great Stand at the Ugra River went badly for the Muscovites, to say the least, and the rising duchy had her capital brutally sacked and then burned to the ground. In the ensuing power vacuum, the Russian principalities struggled for dominance, and after nearly two decades of chaos the dust has finally settled with three dominant powers. The first is a revived Novgorod, which has managed to regain control over much of its former territory and now fields one of the more formidable, albeit heavily mercenary, armies. Novgorod has established itself as the predominant power of northern Russia, with access to the all-important Baltic and White seas, which have made it very rich off its back of trade. To the south is Ryazan, one of the few states to have preserved its independence from the Muscovites, and was thus in a good position to profit from their loss. Anna of Ryazan, regentess of the principality, had spent several years campaigning against her neighboring principalities, which has allowed her to more than double the size of her realm. The Ryazantines also have the backing of the Golden Horde, whose khan, Ahmed Sultan, views them as the most pliable of his Russian vassals. Finally, there is Novgorod-Suzdal, the direct heir of Muscovy. After the sack of Moscow, one of the surviving Muscovite lords, Vasily the Pale, had marshalled the survivors and marched to his own personal fief, Nizhny Novgorod. With his capital here, he was able to reconstitute about half of Muscoy, presenting himself as the legitimate successor. Vasily is by far the most capable successor, but is beset by problems, chiefly that his realm is adjacent to the powerful Kazan Khanate, which means he can never turn his full attention to his domestic enemies. For now, the Russian states are in a period of uneasy detente, but this certainly won’t last.

On the steppe, the Golden Horde is still standing strong, having crushed and reincorporated the Nogai and Crimean Hordes as well as reduced the Russians to their previous thralldom. However, Ahmed Sultan’s prestige was serious damaged in 1495, when his invasion of Georgia ended with the disastrous Great Stand at Aleks’andretsikhe. In spite of this, he has managed to shore up his position, and is now posed to take advantage of the ongoing turmoil in Lithuania. Further north, Kazan is preparing to make inroads into Russia with the ongoing strife, while further to the east the Uzbek Khanate is rushing to fill in the void left by the collapse of the Nogais a few years previous. However, they are troubled by the activities of their breakaway Kazakh Khanate, who threatens their southern border in a way not unlike Novgorod-Suzdal and Kazan. Even further south, the Shaybanid Khanate has formed several years ahead of their TL-1 ethnogenesis, quickly taking control of most of the south-central steppe. They now pose a credible threat to the Timurids, and they may eventually displace them.

Turning back to Europe, the Balkans are quite interesting. In the 1460s, a successful crusade caused serious damage to the Ottomans, nearly succeeding in driving them out of Europe. However, entropy and a lack of coordination gave the Sublime Porte enough time to recover some of their ground, and they now are once again posed to invade Europe. However, a brewing conflict between the grand vizier, Mahmud Angelović Paşa, who is credited by many for the survival of their European territory, and the young and headstrong sultan, Mehmed III, may derail them into civil war once again. The primary enemy of the Ottomans are the Hungarians, who have absorbed Serbia, (Did I already say that? Eh, better safe than sorry) having defeated the Venetians in the 1480s. However, the Venetians still cling on in the Aegean, holding their Moreote ports, Crete, and many of the islands. Most of the southern mainland, i.e. the Peloponnese and Boeotia, is held by the Empire of the Morea, a Byzantine rump state that is ruled by the descendants of Thomas Palaiologos. I should note that in TL-843, Constantine XI died in the 1440s and instead Demetrios Palaiologos was killed with the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Anyway, there are also a handful of surviving states in the Balkans. The Despotate of Thessaly is ruled by Mikhael Angelos, the half-brother of Angelović Paşa, and so he has been allowed to remain somewhat independent, albeit as a fairly loyal tributary. There are also the unstable and civil-war prone states of Epirus and Albania, which can barely be considered functioning states. Leonardo III Tocco is by now an exhausted and senile old man, but he failed to name a regent, and so the court factions of Arta are left to feud over who aught to rule for him until his death. None of these factions are able to exert control over the highlanders, either. The Albanians, meanwhile, are a schizophrenic mess. Skanderbeg died in 1486 without an heir, and since then there has never been a single, undisputed ruler. These have given the Ottomans the perfect opportunity to make inroads into the region, and neither state is likely to last.

Across the straits, Anatolia looks radically different. Some bad timing and foolish mistakes during the 1460s caused the collapse of Ottoman territory in Anatolia. The Karamanid Beyliks are now the chief Anatolian powers, dominating the plateau and everything east of the coastal mountains, making the Ottomans and ironic echo of the Komnenian Empire. The Karamanids are fairly powerful states, but remain decentralized and are thus unable to reach their full potential. There was formerly the Chandarid Beylik, but after double-crossing the Ottomans in the 1480s, they were unceremoniously destroyed and fled into exile in Mesopotamia. That leaves the only other state on the peninsula, the Trapezuntine Empire. A series of surprising victories since the 1440s have revitalized the Trapezuntine state, carving out a sizeable niche for themselves along the southern coast of the Black Sea. In the 1480s, a nearly-disastrous war with the Ottomans saw a siege of Trebizond itself and almost caused the destruction of the Empire, but the Trapezuntines were able to rally and managed to secure a white peace. Now, they are a fairly prosperous trading empire with allies in Georgia and Mesopotamia, but the emperor, Alexandros II, has begun to reach middle age, and issues of family and succession are becoming increasingly daunting.

In the Caucasus, things are almost identical to TL-1. The Georgians dominate the western half of the mountains, forming a strong bulwark of Orthodox Christendom in the region alongside the Trapezuntines, but they have little interest in expanding and are perfectly content sitting tight. This is because the rest of the region is dominated by the Qutlughid Empire, the successors of the Aq Qoyunlu horde. The Qutlughids extend from the Greater Caucasus all the way down to the Persian Gulf, as well as a good chunk of Persia and Mazandaran. They are a force to be reckoned with, the first self-proclaimed Persian Empire since the collapse of the Sassanians. While they are definitely a first-rate power, they are plagued with internal troubles, most notably religious difference between the intensely Sunni rulers and the religious mix that they rule over, as well as disputes between the remaining Turkmen nobles and the sedentary Arabs and Persians who make up the bulk of the population. However, they have strong leadership in the form of Arlsan II and his lieutenants, and the likelihood of these problems boiling over into civil war is unlikely.

The only independent state in Syria is the Third Chandarid Beylik, which is allowed to exist as a buffer zone between the Egyptian Mamluks and the Qutlughids. The Chandarids form a ruling class above the native Syrians, although the constant threat of being destroyed by their neighbors forces them to remain at least somewhat merciful towards their subjects.

In Africa, things are more or less as in our timeline. The Mamluks are still a major power, holding control over Libya, Egypt, Lower Syria and the Hejaz. Further west, the Hafsid ‘Caliphate’ rules over Tunisia and western Algeria, forming a regional power that is most notable for its patronage of the barbary corsairs. The Zayyanids are also a goodly-sized state, although they are unable to obtain the success of their eastern neighbors. Finally, there is Morocco, which is currently in the grasp of a civil war between the Wattasids and their various vassals, which does little but help the Iberians make inroads into the region.

I’m going to cut the transmission here, so I don’t cause another overflow. Hold on, please….

Ahuitzotl, 8th Aztec Emperor

Ahuitzotl (Nahuatl: āhuitzotl, pronounced [a%CB%90%CB%88witsot%C9%AC]) was the eighth Aztec ruler, the Hueyi Tlatoani, of the city of Tenochtitlan. He was responsible for much of the expansion of the Mexica domain, and consolidated the empire's power after a weak performance by his predecessor. He took power as Tlatoani in the year 7 Rabbit (1486), after the death of his predecessor Tízoc.

Perhaps the greatest known military leader of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, Ahuitzotl began his reign by suppressing a Huastec rebellion, and then swiftly more than doubled the size of lands under Aztec dominance. He conquered the Mixtec, Zapotec, and other peoples from Mexico's Pacific coast down to the western part of Guatemala. Ahuitzotl also supervised a major rebuilding of Tenochtitlan on a grander scale including the expansion of the Great Pyramid or Templo Mayor in the year 8 Reed (1487). Ahuitzotl died in the year 10 Rabbit (1502) and was succeeded by his nephew, Moctezuma II.

Ahuitzotl took his name from the animal Ahuitzotl, but it appears the Aztecs thought of it as a creature in its own right, and not merely a mythical beast representing the king.

On 3 August 2007, Mexican archaeologists announced discovery of what is believed to be the tomb of Ahuitzotl beneath a sculpture of Tlaltecuhtli near the Zlo in Mexico City.[1][2]

Ahuitzotl Timeline - History

Cuauhtémoc (c. 1495-1525) was the last emperor of the Aztec city-state of Tenochtitlan, ruling from 1520 to 1521. Only 25 years old when he came to power, he was immediately thrust into a desperate defense of the city against the invading Spanish conquistadors. Today, Cuauhtémoc is considered to be one of the most important symbols of Mexico, also representing the indigenous people of the area.

Early Life

It was thought that Cuauhtémoc was born in 1495, although the exact date is not known. His bearing impressed many who saw him. The Spanish writer Bernal Diaz de Castillo wrote in his book, History of the Conquest, that he was “elegant in his person” for an Aztec. Since Spaniards often denigrated the appearance and abilities of the Aztecs, this was notable praise.

Cuauhtémoc was the nephew of two previous emperors, the renowned ruler, Moctezuma II, and his brother, Cuitlahuac. Since Cuauhtémoc had previously married Princess Tecuichpo, the daughter of Moctezuma, he was also that ruler’s son-in-law. He is known to have had military experience from a young age, although again the precise details are lost. He is also said to have burned with a fiery hatred for the Spaniards.

Rising to Power

The first incident through which Cuauhtémoc became more widely known is not definitely attested by reliable sources, but has come to be seen as indicative of his character. The royal palace of the Aztecs had been taken by the Spaniards, and Moctezuma had been captured by them. At this point, two rival groups of Spanish soldiers clashed, an incident which resulted in the death of the emperor.

The Spanish governor of Cuba, Diego Valazquez, had become jealous of the conquistador Hernán Cortés and ordered a force to Mexico to overthrow him. Cortés took some of his soldiers to repel this attack, but left a substantial force behind in Tenochtitlan. After returning, he was shocked to find out that Pedro de Alvarado, his lieutenant, had had six hundred members of the Aztec nobility killed.

This brutal action pushed the Aztecs into full-scale rebellion, and their forces laid siege to the palace. Cortés told Moctezuma that he must command his subjects to cease their assault, but the people instead showered him with stones. Some of these hit Moctezuma, giving him injuries that he later died from. Legend has it that it was Cuauhtémoc who had provoked the stone-throwing by defiantly waving a javelin towards Moctezuma.

Rise to Emperor

After Moctezuma’s death, Cuitlahuac became emperor. The new ruler did not share Moctezuma’s fear of Cortés, since he did not believe the legend that the Spaniards had been sent by Quetzalcoatl, a god who had fair skin and a beard. Cuitlahuac then died after only four months of his reign, possibly by smallpox – a disease which had been imported to the Americas by the Europeans.

Despite his short tenure as emperor, Cuitlahuac was successful in clearing Tenochtitlan of the conquistadors. In July of 1520, on the Noche Triste (sad night) the Spaniards were driven from the city. Shortly after this, the emperor died and Cuauhtémoc was chosen by a council of nobles to rule in his stead. His most pressing task would be to defend Tenochtitlan, which Cortés was already preparing to attack again.

The Spanish invaders had made an uneasy alliance with the Tlaxcalans, who had an ancient enmity with the Aztecs and allowed the Spaniards to base themselves in their territory. Cortés’ plan was to build ships and launch a large-scale naval attack on the city, which in the 16th century was on the shores of a substantial lake. Before launching the attack, Cortés have Cuauhtémoc a final opportunity to surrender to the Spanish.

Battle Commences

Cuauhtémoc refused to countenance surrendering to Cortés’s army. Furthermore, he inflamed the situation by making a decree that anyone discovered in his realm who had converted to Christianity would be sacrificed. Seeing this defiance from his opponent, Cortés mounted his initial attack some-time in March, 1521, at first planning to bring the Valley of Mexico, which was close to Tenochtitlan, under his control.

The Spanish soldiers reached Tacuba, adjacent to the capital city, but were driven back by Cuauhtémoc, who relied on both land and naval forces in a strong counter-attack. The Europeans were on the defensive, but then reinforcements from Hispaniola arrived. This provided Cortés with 200 soldiers, 80 horses – and, crucially, ammunition. With these resources behind him, Cortés’s men were able to bring the Valley of Mexico completely under their control.

The Final Assault

The Spanish were now able to launch a full-scale assault. On April 28, 1521, the brigantines they had constructed were launched, and a few days later ground troops joined the attack. Cuauhtémoc quickly realized that his troops, who lacked horses, were little more than sitting targets for the Spaniards in open terrain. He therefore changed tactics and brought his soldiers back into Tenochtitlan itself.

Cuauhtémoc’s plan was to fight the invading conquistadors at close quarters, in the streets that the Aztecs knew intimately. At first, the tactic was brilliantly successful: the Spanish assault was driven back beyond the city gates, all the way to the siege lines that had been prepared earlier. Cortés, however, then changed his own approach, deciding to attack the Aztecs’ food supplies.

Assisted by their Tlaxcalan allies, the Spaniards seized control of the city’s main market, threatening the city’s defenders with starvation and famine. Cuauhtémoc responded by attempting to raise a new army from rural areas, in order that they could come to the aid of the starving city residents. His plan was never fully put into practice, however, as he was captured while making a crossing of the lake.

Capture and Torture

The capture of Cuauhtémoc immediately brought an end to any significant resistance from the Aztecs. Cortés, mindful of his reputation for chivalry, initially treated his prisoner with a degree of honor. However, under pressure from his avaricious royal treasurer, Aldrete, he later permitted Cuauhtémoc to be tortured, with the hope that he might break and reveal the location of any treasure he had hidden from the invaders.

Cuauhtémoc refused to buckle even under repeated bouts of torture, repeatedly stating that he did not know about any hidden treasure. Eventually, having become ashamed of what he had allowed to be inflicted on his vanquished enemy, Cortés reversed his earlier decision and forced Aldrete to stop the infliction of such torture.

Later Life and Death

By 1525, Cuauhtémoc had become an auxiliary soldier under Cortés, and was serving with the Spaniard’s army as it pushed into Honduras. Despite his ability, Cortés was convinced by an Indian convert to Christianity that Cuauhtémoc was a traitor who was plotting against him. Cortés instigated a treason trial for the Aztec, and he was found guilty and sentenced to die by hanging.

The decision did not meet with universal acclaim even among the Spanish – Bernal Diaz de Castillo was among a number who believed that he had been unfairly condemned. Nevertheless, Cuauhtémoc was indeed executed later in 1525. In his last speech, he told Cortés that he had known all along that he had been destined for such a fate, thanks to the “false promises” that Cortés had made.

Watch the video: The Otomí: Prehispanic History