ORIGINAL TITLE Title: “Algunas Particularidades del Emperador Moctezuma, Rey del Mexico y de toda la provincia de la Nueva España, Bisabuelo del Conde de Moctezuma, Don Pedro y de Don Francisco Donxpoual…cuyo titulo testifico mrd. El Rey Fernando el Quarto nro. Señor”
PRONUNCIATION: “Algunas Particularidades del Emperador Moctezuma, Rey del Mexico y de toda la provincia de la Nueva España, Bisabuelo del Conde de Moctezuma, Don Pedro y de Don Francisco Donxpoual…cuyo titulo testifico mrd. El Rey Fernando el Quarto nro. Señor”
TYPE: Documents (Bound)
DIMENSIONS: 30 cm
COMPONENTS: 6 pages. Manuscript in black ink.
NOTES: Importance and Formal Ban of Historia de las Indias
The importance of the present document is that it is made with information that, by Royal Decree, was forbidden:

The first printing was in December 1552, in the workshop of Agustín Millán in Zaragoza, published under the title Primera y segunda parte de la Historia General de las Indias con todo el descubrimiento y cosas notables que han acaecido dende que se ganaron hasta el año de 1551. The work was revised and published with different titles in subsequent years. However, the Spanish Crown forbade publication in 1556. For almost one hundred and fifty years it fell out of publication. The Royal decree also ordered the confiscation of the copies already published.

The ban was reaffirmed during the reign of Philip II of Spain and was in effect for many years more. There was never a formal explanation for the ban, but it could have been because of the excessive praise of Cortéz, for the criticisms directed at the Catholic Monarchs, if not for the manner in which it referred to Francisco de los Cobos, secretary of Carlos V. The writer had the consolation that it was published in other languages.
ITEM ID: 4396

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A Description of Montezuma by his Grandsons

DATE
Century: 17th (1601-1700)
Notes: c1630-1640 (based on the rule of King Ferdinand IV)

A Description of Montezuma by his Grandsons whose names are noted in the first paragraph, which is a completely original part of this document.

A very interesting document made by the grandsons of Emperor Montezuma. It’s a description of Montezuma: his looks, personality, his wealth, his many women, properties, the imperial court, etc. The manuscript appears to be paraphrased from a description made by Lopez de Gomara in his “Historia de las Indias” (1552). However, it is quite interesting that the grandsons extracted the description and rewrote it with some changes.

The present document was most likely made with the purpose to develop an account of the ancestry of the Count of Montezuma in the early XVII Century – probably, to establish a Blood Purity.

Description of Moctezuma
The document opens with a physical description of Montezuma:

“Montezuma was an average size man, thin, with dark skin as every Indian is, he had long hair and had 6 little black hairs of beard and in good condition”

Followed by a brief moral sketch (were he is described as a fair, charming and sane man), the meaning of his name, his majesty, his cleanliness added with much curious information about his life and his rule: the ceremony surrounding his meals, the customs and entertainments of the Emperor and his household, his palaces and court, the tribute system etc.

The document includes a section entirely devoted to the many woman of the Emperor. It starts by noting the many palaces that Moctezuma had, describing them as majestic places of great luxury. It’s noted that in those houses there were, allegedly, over 3,000 women that belonged to Montezuma – it even states that at one point there were 150 women pregnant at the same time.

On this point the document varies considerably from the text of Gomara: in the original text it said that the woman “ persuaded by the devil, aborted by taking substances to expel the creatures, perhaps because their children weren’t supposed to inherit ” while the present document states that these woman in fact died while taking those substances.