Many are familiar with the popular tale of the meeting between Emperor Moctezuma and conquistador Hernán Cortés. As it goes, Moctezuma mistook the Spanish invaders for gods, thereby setting the stage for the conquest of the Aztec Empire. But how does this compare to what the historical record tells us? In this lesson, students read from two 16th century sources and one contemporary historian's interpretation of the event to answer the question: What happened when Moctezuma met Cortés?
[Teacher Materials and Student Materials updated on 04/14/2021.]
Image source: Illustration of Moctezuma from the Mendoza Codex. Retrieved from the Digital Bodleian Library.