This book examines the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and transformations in political, social, cultural, and religious life in Mexico during the Conquest and the ensuing colonial period. In particular, contributors consider the ways in which the Conquest itself was remembered, both in its immediate aftermath and in later centuries. Was Moteuczoma really as weak as history portrayed him? As Susan D Gillespie instead suggests in 'Blaming Moteuczoma', the representation of Moteuczoma as a scapegoat for the Aztec defeat can be understood as a product of indigenous resistance and accommodation following the imposition of Spanish colonialism. Chapters address the various roles (real and imagined) of Moteuczoma, Cortes, and Malinche in the fall of the Aztecs; the representation of history in colonial art; and the complex cultural transformations that actually took place.
Rebecca P. Brienen and Margaret A. Jackson are assistant professors of art history at the University of Miami.