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Posts Tagged ‘Tenochtitlán

“People who enjoy waving flags don’t deserve to have one”*…

 

Every self-respecting country has a unique name, a national flag, an anthem, a coat of arms, banknotes, passports, letterhead, and stationery.  Newly formed countries have to design them.

From Anne Quito, the story of South Sudan’s development of an “identity package”: “Branding the World’s Newest Country.”

* Banksy, Wall and Piece

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As we salute, we might recall that it was on this date in 1325 (according to legend) that Tenochtitlan was founded.  Located on an island in Lake Texcoco, in the Valley of Mexico, it became the capital of the expanding Aztec Empire in the 15th century, until captured by the Spanish in in the early 16th century.  At its peak, it was the largest city in the Pre-Columbian Americas.  Today the ruins of Tenochtitlan are located in central Mexico City.

Reconstruction of Tenochtitlan. (National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City)

 source

 

Written by LW

March 18, 2015 at 1:01 am

Sounding it out…

 

click here to hear pronunciation

On the heels of Tuesday’s almanac entry, several readers have wondered how to pronounce the name of Moctezuma’s capital, the Aztec metropolis overrun by Cortez…

More educational enunciation on Pronunciation Manual’s You Tube channel

click here to hear pronunciation

[TotH to EWW]

As we remember to roll our Rs, we might recall that Pronunciation Guide’s spiritual ancestor, Sesame Street, premiered on this date in 1969.

source

Written by LW

November 10, 2011 at 1:01 am

Ready… Aim…

 

In 1936, 16-year-old Ria van Dijk from Tilburg, Holland, fires a gun in a fairground shooting gallery. She hits the target, triggering a camera to take her portrait as a prize.

At the age of 88, Ria van Dijk still makes her annual pilgrimage to the Shooting Gallery.

Lens Culture

Watch Ria’s progress in Retronaut’s “Shooting Gallery, 1936-2009.”

 

As we remember to exhale, then squeeze, we might recall that it was on this date in 1519 that Moctezuma welcomed Hernando Cortez and his 650 explorers to his capital at Tenochtitlan.  The Aztec ruler, believing that Cortez could be the white-skinned deity Quetzalcoatl, whose return had been foretold for centuries, greeted the arrival of these strange visitors with courtesy– until it became clear that the Spaniards were only too human and bent on conquest.

Cortez and his men, dazzled by Aztec riches and horrified by the human sacrifice central to their religion, began systematically to plunder Tenochtitlán and to tear down the bloody temples.  Moctezuma’s warriors fought back against the Spaniards; but Cortez had thousands of Indian allies (resentful of Aztec rule), Spanish reinforcements, superior weapons and disease; he completed the conquest of the Aztecs– approximately 25 million people– late in the summer of 1521.

Moctezuma imprisoned by Cortez (source)

 

Written by LW

November 8, 2011 at 1:01 am

The Riddle of the Sands…

With thanks to reader MK for the lead, a look at the Sand Sculpture at Harrison Hot Springs.  For 19 years, proprietors Karen and Bob Bell hosted the World Championships of Sand Sculpture.  For reasons obscure, there was no competition last year; still, the accomplishments of the 157 artists who worked there are nifty to behold.  Consider, e.g., this piece by Carl Jara:

or this one, by Brett Terry:

 

More at the Harrisand gallery.

As we brush off our feet, we might recall that on this date in 1519, Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán (roughly where Mexico City stands today).  Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomed him with great ceremony, as might befit a returning god…  little did the Aztec chief know…

Criss-crossed with canals, laced with aqueducts and markets, and set beside a grand lake, with floating gardens, Tenochtitlán was “the Venice of the New World”… or, rather, Venice was the mini-Tenochtitlán of Europe– the Mexican city was much larger and grander than that Italian town.

Indeed, according to early Spanish accounts,  Tenochtitlán was unlike the European cities they knew, but more like the ones they had seen in romantic books, as it was neither crowded nor dirty.  Indeed, Tenochtitlán was larger, more beautiful and more complex than any European city at the time. The population of the lake city was 200,000 – 300,000, at a time when London’s numbered about 40,000 and only 65,000 people lived in Paris.  Tenochtitlán’s craftsmen (for instance, its extraordinary goldsmiths) were a match for those in Europe, and the grandeur of the city’s pyramids rivalled that of the Egyptian “wonders of the world.”

Tenochtitlán

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