“If the reader asks:“ What have you done, all these conquistadors, in the New World? ”I will answer this way. First of all, we introduced Christianity here, freeing the country from the previous horrors: it is enough to point out that at least Meshiko sacrificed at least 2 500 people every year! That's what we changed! We have altered, in this connection, morals, and all life. ”
((Bernal Díaz del Castillo. Truthful история conquest of new spain. M .: Forum, 2000, p. 319)
Among the reasons that ruined the Aztec empire are the superiority of Europeans in armaments (and who would doubt it!), And the diseases they brought, that is, the use of "bacteriological weapons”, And this is also true, especially if we look at the number of dead, and hatred towards them by conquered tribes that automatically became allies of their“ white liberators ”, and even the personal qualities of the emperor Montezuma. But ... there was another very important circumstance: the heavenly and all sorts of other signs that foreshadowed, according to the Aztec, great calamities and misfortunes. In Yevgeny Permyak's novel “Humpback Bear” it is very faithfully shown how our dark, ignorant women in 1917 look for signs of misfortunes that have befallen the country in natural phenomena: “No wonder, babonka, so circling-purge!” And if that was the case the era of the telegraph and the first airplanes, then what could have been expected from the Aztec intimidated by the priests, for which it was raining, that the wind, that bloody dawn were phenomena of divine nature. And what could they have thought if the epoch of the reign of Montezuma was indeed accompanied by various sinister signs. Who could say what they foretell and what they say? Could they mean the return of the legendary Quetzalcoatl, who promised to return and punish his offenders? Flood, earthquakes, unprecedented drought - all this could also happen according to the will of the gods. Yes, and the signs were too many to not pay any attention to them.
Fragment of the Bourbon Codex with Spanish signatures, page 11. In the upper left corner - the goddess Tlasoloteotl. The days of the cycle are shown at the bottom of the page and the column on the right. The entire Bourbon Codex can be viewed on the website of the National Assembly of France, in the library of which it is stored. The original codex is located in the National Library of France in Paris. There is his Russian-language edition, made in Ukraine.
So, what are these ominous omens that undermined the very spirit of the Aztec people and deprived them of the will to win, and pointed to the coming of newcomers from across the sea, as the punishment of the gods? How do we know about them and what do we know about them?
First of all, let's call the source: these are the works of Christian missionaries who came to the New World after the conquistadors.
The first to report the "signs" that took place on the eve of the invasion was a certain Fry Thoribio de Benavente, nicknamed Motolinia. In his Memoirs (Memorials) created between 1531-1543, the head of 55, he told about strange phenomena that took place several years before the appearance of Cortes.
One of the pages of the Codex Tellerian-Remensis, with the image of the god Xipe Totek, dressed in a shirt of human skin.
First of all, people saw in the sky figures of warriors in unusual costumes, fighting with each other. Then the “angel” appeared to the prisoner, who should have been sacrificed, and encouraged him and promised that these sacrifices would very soon cease, as those who would rule this earth were already close. Then at night, on the eastern side of the sky, people saw a kind of glow, and then a column of smoke and flames.
Bernardino de Sahagun - the largest specialist in Aztec culture, who worked hard to preserve it, made a list of signs that spoke about the coming of Cortes and his people. In the first edition of his so-called “Madrid Codes” (1561-1565) or “The Universal History of New Spain Things”, he described a number of miracles that foreshadowed the seizure of Aztec powers by aliens. Of course, for us it all looks, to put it mildly, strange, but people of that time had a different psychology. De Sahagun wrote that the arrival of Europeans was predicted ... a ceiling beam. Then the cliffs and hills seemed to crumble to dust, which was clearly "not good." And most importantly, a dead and already buried woman seemed to have come to the Aztec ruler Montezuma (Motekuhsome) and told him that the power of the rulers of Mexico City would end with him, because those who are destined to enslave this land are on their way!
Then in his 12 book, The Conquest of New Spain, a list of eight more such signs was given.
The first sign was a glow that appeared in the east between 1508 and 1510 (or in 1511), which, like a dawn, illuminated everything. And the top of this fiery "pyramid" reached the very "middle of the sky".
One type of sacrifice: the tongue is pierced with something sharp and blood is sacrificed from it! "Code Teleleriano-Remensis".
Then there was a fire in the temple of the god Huitzilopochtli; then, without thunder, lightning struck the shiutekutli, the god of fire, into the temple, and it caught fire. The fourth sign of disaster was a comet with three tails, which appeared either during the day or at night, and moving across the sky towards the east, scattering sparks in all directions. For the fifth sign, the Aztecs considered an unexpected increase in the level of Lake Texcoco, a flooded part of Tenochtitlan. Well, and then the real miracles began. The goddess Siukoatl suddenly began to wander around the city and lament: "My children, I leave you," and the emperor Montezume was brought a bird that looked like a crane, but for some reason had a mirror on its head. Then this bird disappeared in some unknown place, but a new miracle was brought to him: freaks with two heads, who also seemed to have disappeared in the most magical way.
“Telleriano-Remensis Codex”, p. 177. Captives captured ...
It is clear that Sahagun himself did not invent this, but simply wrote down what he was told by the old Indians from Tlatelolco, who was the satellite city of Tenochtitlan. But the Dominican Diego Durán, who also collected Indian folklore, received information from a descendant of the ruling house of the city of Texcoco, with whom the Aztecs had very difficult relations. Therefore, in his “History of the Indies of New Spain” (1572-1581), the prophecies are completely different.
“Telleriano-Remensis Codex”, p. 185. In the year 11 Reed 1399 (this figure is Spanish) Kolouakan is ravaged.
In the book of Durán, the “bad” prophecies begin with a description of the statements of Necayalpilli, the ruler of Texcoco, who died in 1515 year. He had the fame of a wise man and a magician, although the city of Texcoco, once an equal partner of Tenochtitlan, did not play its previous role at the time of his death. So he told Montezuma about future troubles, most likely not without gloating:
"You should know - in a few years our cities will be destroyed and plundered, ourselves and our sons are killed, and our vassals are humiliated and enslaved."
“Telleriano-Remensis Codex”, p. 197. Blood vomiting epidemic, 1450-1454
Realizing that Montezuma would not like such a prophecy and he would begin to doubt it, Nezahalpilli said he would be defeated (and more than once) if he went to war with Tlashkalteks, and then signs indicating the death of his state would appear in the sky.
“Telleriano-Remensis Codex”, p. 201. in the Year of Seven (1460 on the European account) of knives there was an earthquake.
Naturally, Montezuma decided to check whether this is so and immediately began a war with the city of Tlaxcala. But, as Nesaalpilli predicted, his army was defeated, and soon a strange glow appeared on the eastern horizon, a comet appeared and a solar eclipse happened. He himself said that the last years of his life should be spent in peace and tranquility, and all wars with the surrounding tribes ceased.
And then suddenly a stone spoke, intended either for human sacrifice, or for the sculpture of Montezuma, and told the Aztecs that the authorities of their ruler would soon come to an end, and he himself would be punished for his pride, the desire to achieve what he was worshiped as a god. In confirmation of its correctness, this prophetic stone allowed itself to be brought only to the middle of the dam leading to Tenochtitlan, that is, the very place where later the meeting of Cortes and Montezuma occurred, where he fell into the water and drowned.
“Telleriano-Remensis Codex”, p. 205. 1465 year - the beginning of human sacrifice.
Since the number of people who informed the emperor about their prophetic dreams, which promise him trouble, began to grow, well, simply rapidly, the emperor ordered all such dreamers, who predicted troubles, to lead to him, and after hearing them, put them in prison, where they starved them to death. The result of this was that now few people in the empire decided to tell anyone about their dreams.
The most comprehensive list of signs predicting the collapse of the empire of Montezuma is contained in the Indian Monarchy (21 - 1591) 1611-volume work of Juan de Torquemada (Torquemada), head of the Franciscan mission in New Spain. He and the works of his predecessors, missionaries studied, studied the surviving pre-Hispanic manuscripts of the Indians, and interviewed the descendants of the rulers Tlashkaly and Texcoco. At the same time, he was not limited to rewriting old books, but also added new and vivid details to the narration. Thus, the message of Sahagun about the revived dead woman he turned into the real history of the afterlife wanderings of the sister of Montezuma Papantzin, who met a winged young man in the next world, who informed her that the arrival of newcomers was coming, which would bring her true faith to the people, and afterlife flour. Moreover, it seems that Papancin did not die as a result, but lived, having made her prophecy, 21 for another year and was the first woman in Tlatelolko who accepted holy baptism.
“Telleriano-Remensis Codex”, p. 229. In the year 3 Reed (1495 g.) There was an eclipse of the sun.
Torquemada apparently had a good imagination and wrote a lot of things, and then his works were copied many times by other missionaries and Spanish chroniclers who read this all for the truth, because "he was there." Over time, however, namely in the XVII century. In the writings of a number of Spaniards, for example, Antonio Herrera and Tordesillas appeared in the General History of Castilian Exploits on the Islands and the Continent of the Sea-Ocean (1601 - 1615). For example, the story of the sorcerers, who, being invited to the palace to Montezuma, cut off his arms and legs for fun and engrave them back. But, being mistrustful by nature, the emperor ordered to boil their limbs in boiling water, after which they, of course, did not grow, and then offended sorcerers predicted the death of his kingdom to Montezuma, and the water in the lake would turn into blood. The emperor glanced and yes — the water became blood, and the arms and legs of the unfortunate sorcerers were swimming in it. Interestingly, this story has parallels with the Mayan-Quiche popol Popol Vuh, where the focus also takes place with cutting and incrementing arms and legs.
The author of another story, Cervantes Salazar, simply wrote that one old priest of the god of war, Huitzilopochtli, before his death, had predicted the appearance of white people who would free the Indians from the yoke of the priests and lead them to the path of true faith. That is to say, all these legends were ... simply invented by the Spaniards in order to show that the death of the Indian kingdom was predetermined from above and the Spaniards did the work simply god-pleasing. And it would be very simple if only Spaniards would write stories about disastrous signs.
However, the chronicles about the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico were written not only by missionaries. They were written both by Indians and mestizos, and not by anyone, but by descendants of the rulers of cities such as Texcoco and Tlashkala. No doubt they knew the ancient traditions of their homeland. And some of them probably preserved ancient manuscripts. Despite this, their writings are strikingly reminiscent of missionary chronicles. However, their descriptions of signs coincide in many ways with Spanish. Again, the simplest reason was that the Indian “nobility” had already studied since childhood in the Catholic college of Santa Cruz de Tlatelolko, where young Indians were not only forced to cram Latin, but also gave them the beginnings of a medieval university education: that is, studied the works of the church fathers and even ... ancient philosophers. And their missionary teachers were also far from always stupid dogmatists, and they collected Mexican antiquities and often resorted to the services of their students. In other words, in the language of modernity, “the circle of these people was narrow,” therefore, among them, informational streams of similar content spread and opinions about them, too, naturally, were similar.
Here it is - it is the glow in the sky in the East remembered by everyone, which lasted for about 40 days. Page 239.
Nevertheless, almost all chroniclers, both “their own” and Spanish, mention the mysterious “night light” in the east, which is described by them either as “shining in the form of a cloud”, or as a “pyramid with tongues of flame”. In addition, the so-called codes - documents relating to the pre-Hispanic tradition of information transfer, made during the colonial period copies of ancient "books" of historical and ritual nature, written pictographic (pictorial) letter, often with explanatory drawings in Aztec or European languages. The most famous of these is the “Telleriano-Remensis Code”, compiled in the 60s. XVI century. And here it also speaks of an unusual radiance in the east, which the Indians perceived as a signal of the return of Quetzalcoatl:
"They say ... that it was very big and very bright, and that was located on the east side, and what came out of the earth and reached the heavens ... It was one of the miracles that they saw before the Christians came and thought that it was Quetzalcoatl that they expected. ”
An unusual phenomenon took place in 1509 year. In addition, other catastrophic phenomena are named in the code: solar eclipses, earthquakes, snowfalls, and also “miracles”: when stones suddenly “smoked” in 1512, so that “smoke reached the skies”, and then birds appeared without entrails, hard as a bone!
We also received comments on a number of Aztec documents subsequently lost, written in European languages. So, in the "History of Mexicans in their drawings," written in the 40-ies. XVI century., Also mentioned two signs from the list of Sahagun: about the fire in the temple and ... again about the lights in the sky. "Night Light" he dated 1511 year.
So that in 1508 and 1511. Some unusual astronomical phenomenon was indeed observed in the sky on Mexico, many documents confirm, both Indian and Spanish. For example, the mysterious "light from the east" is found in the memoirs of a soldier of the army of Cortes Bernal Díaz del Castillo: "The Mexican Indians said that shortly before we came to New Spain, they saw a sign in the sky the color of an average between scarlet and green, round, as the wheel of the carriage, and next to it from the side of the sun was seen another sign in the form of a long beam that connected with the scarlet, and Montezuma ... ordered to call the priests and the diviners to look at him and find out what this thing was never before unheard of Noah, and the priests asked for his idol meaning [Huizilpochtli] and received an answer that there would be great wars, and epidemics, and bloodshed. ”
In addition, in the year of the ascension of Montezuma to the throne, a severe drought began, then famine, which reached its apogee in 1505. The following year, according to all signs, the harvest was supposed to be good, but the fields were invaded by hordes of rodents, of which there were so many that they were driven away with torches.
That year - the 1 year of the Rabbit on the Aztec calendar - ended the cycle of 52 years, or the Aztec "century". But the first year of the previous cycle, also the 1-th Rabbit, was also hungry. So that the new "century" would not start under such adverse circumstances, Montezuma decided on an unprecedented step - he moved the celebration of "New Fire" to the next, 1507 year - 2-th Reed. But even here it was not without the darkest omens. At the very beginning of the year there was a solar eclipse, and then another earthquake. True, the Aztecs themselves for some reason did not consider this eclipse at the beginning of the calendar cycle a sign. Information about him is preserved only in the Codex Teleleriano-Remensis. Perhaps, in other documents, the message about the eclipse was simply “removed”? However, in the 1510 year (May 8), another eclipse happened, and in the 1504 year, a lightning bolt hit one of the temples. Is this not an event, considering it an unkind omen, then described Sahagun?
In the same year, returning from a campaign against Mixtecs, 1 800 Aztec warriors drowned in the river. Then in 1509, in Oaxaca, their troops, crossing over the highlands, were caught in a blizzard. Someone just froze, and someone was stoned and stoned trees. Thus, the number of "signs" every year of the reign of Montezuma grew as ... "snowball". And from here it was not at all far from the thought of a curse to which the gods subjected the power of the Aztecs.
Very funny, but historians of the XIX and the first half of the XX centuries. considered all these legends about the signs almost the absolute truth. Moreover, their opinion was such that the Aztecs were simply demoralized by all these sinister signs, and as a result, the conquistadors were not given a proper response from their side.
It was argued that what is explained by the action of natural causes - that took place, beyond any doubt. And all of the revived women there must be recognized as a result of ... stress or the action of hallucinogenic fungi, which, by the way, are so often mentioned in their comments and readers of articles on HE. For example, the two-headed freaks who were brought to the palace to Montezuma are just Siamese twins, who died, and then the resurrected woman stayed in a coma, and then came out of it. And the lake of blood seen by Montezuma is, again, a vision of a man who has eaten hallucinogens. In addition, before the Indians on the mainland should already have heard rumors about white aliens who appeared on the islands of the Caribbean.
Thus, in 1509, the expedition of Juan Diaz de Solis and Vicente Yáñez Pinson traveled off the coast of Yucatán, and two years later a boat with the sailors of a Spanish ship crashed was thrown onto the coast of the peninsula. Two of them - Gonzalo Guerrero and Jeronimo de Aguilar, after that survived until the appearance of Cortes in Mexico.
Naturally, Montezuma should have known from the merchants about what was happening in the neighboring Mayan country. Part of the inhabitants of the Antilles, too, could become a source of information about the newcomers, especially since having escaped to the mainland, they could tell a lot to the Aztecs.
However, in the 90-s. XX century. there was a lurch in the scientific environment in the opposite direction - there were scientists who not only denied that the legends about all these signs were based on real facts, but also generally doubted their Indian origin. All, they say, that this is written, there is nothing like the falsification of "bad" Spanish missionaries. Why, of course, there are recognizable Christian motifs in many of these signs. In a word, everything looks like, everything is recognizable, and therefore - invented for the glory of God. Well, the students and teachers from Santa Cruz College became the distributors of all these dramatic stories.
The war between the Spaniards and the Indians. 100 Spaniards and 400 Ueszinc killed. The Spaniards entered Meshiko. Page 249.
Then the Belgian scholar Michel Grolish suggested that all the legends about prophecies be divided into two large groups: first, the prophecies in the “Spanish” and “Aztec” spirits, that is, those where the angel is the person, or the dead woman prophesies. But the second - these are eight signs, which are reported by Sahagun, can also be divided into two cycles, because the Aztecs had an idea of the dual nature of the world around them. The first four include: flickering light in the east, fires, lightning strikes, the appearance of a comet, that is, symbols of heaven. The last four are floods, a crying goddess, a bird with a mirror on her head, and various monsters — symbols of the earth!
If we carefully consider them, then it will be possible to conclude that the design of myths about signs and meaningful and textually happened after the completion of the conquest. In this case, it turns out that all these eight phenomena predict quite specific events. For example, a fire in a temple caused by a lightning strike is an attack by the Spaniards on Indian temples, a comet predicted death to Montezuma, and people’s vision of strange animals are horsemen, and nothing more!
However, in any case, the Indians hardly invented (and why should they have done this?) The nighttime glow in the east between 1508 and 1511. Meanwhile, it is mentioned by almost all sources. That is, it could be quite a real occurrence of nature. It could even be aurora, which at the latitude of Mexico City can sometimes happen in the event of a strong magnetic storm caused by an outbreak on the sun. And then there were frosts and crop failures, that is, the fact of the harmful influence of this celestial phenomenon was evident.
Montezuma and Marina meet with Emperor Montezuma. "History Tlashkaly."
That is, both crop failures, and frosts, followed by famine, floods, and certainly unusual phenomena in heaven, plus the rumors spread by the emperor's enemies about the evil god-cursed ruler, who is punished by the gods, and some strange rumors about strange bearded White people, dressed in unimaginable clothes, plowing the seas around Mexico on huge canoes, all this could not but influence people's consciousness and cause them fear for the fate of the world around them. The Aztecs clearly felt that something unknown threatened them. But what it is, was unknown to them and therefore - the scarecrow was even more. Well, then the Spaniards appeared with horses, cannons and muskets, and even the most skeptics recognized that “in all this there is something and this something - clearly the wrath of the gods! But it is pointless to fight against the wrath of the gods! ”