History comprehends a malleable aspect of human existence that can be the subject of biases depending on the person or group who gives an account. It is almost impossible to regard any one account as purely objective because each person will essentially have his or her own predispositions inclined toward a personal interest or affinity…
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The modern appreciation of historical facts gave birth to a thorough analysis of the events of the past and what the Western historians were at times unable to point out or those that were dismissed. Essentially, there were things that must be taken into consideration. “The conquistadors caught a fleeting glance of a civilization with a theology and symbolism as complex as contemporary Catholicism” (Fagan, p.343). The full understanding of any story must involve weighing in all possible accounts of what took place. It cannot be limited to an assertion inferred as fundamental facts. The same goes for a deeper understanding of the Conquistadors arrival and their colonization of the Aztecs. Limiting to the Spaniards’ accounts and personal inclinations gives rise to bias so that revisiting the available accounts of the natives must be integrated. This illuminates any historical reading to have an impartial assessment to reconcile facts from fiction. What Bernal Diaz provided in “The True History of the Conquest of New Spain” was a personal account of the battle with the Aztecs. It was a vivid narration that aims to disclose the true occurrences of the battle to provide for a more genuine description to put to rest all other claims proliferated by others. It contained detailed descriptions of the practices of the actual encounter. The most graphic were the practices of the natives on their captives, “with stone knives they sawed open their chests and drew out their palpitating hearts and offered them to the idols that were there, and they kicked the bodies down the steps, and Indian butchers who were waiting below cut off the arms and feet and flayed (the skin off) the faces” (Diaz, n.p.). The autobiographical account described the cannibalistic practices of the natives. The cries of the people on the destruction of their city, though veiled through the words of Diaz, seem to be valid reason for their anger. The people sought for the reconstruction of what they have lost. Diaz, as Wyman noted in her introduction came from a more deprived background wherein his venture into foreign land was for personal gain. The mind of a soldier and his hardships primarily regulate his point of view. The brotherhood among soldiers and their sufferings would be most palpable to him. This is apparent in the account as a strict narrative of a battle. This particular endeavour was the principal reason for his ascent into the social strata which maintains his courageous stance amidst the difficulties. Inadvertently, Diaz divulged Aztec practices such as how women helped the men by making their crude weapons including the preparation of the stones for their slings and in the sounding of the devices. In contrast to the narrative of Diaz, Hernan Cortes presents to the monarchy a descriptive account of the city of Temixtitlan under Moctezuma. He illustrates a place filled with life and vitality. It is one where there are social centers filled with economic growth. The market is filled with products and various trades. There are also specialized shops such as apothecaries and an indication of medicinal application including the sale of much sought after herbs and spices. “This Province is in the form of a circle, surrounded on all sides by lofty and
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