4 Myths About When Montezuma Met Cortés

The meeting of the Aztec King Montezuma and the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés on November 8, 1519 is one of the most significant in history, affecting the well-being, beliefs and culture of millions of people living in the Western Hemisphere. Yet for centuries historians have relied on only one side of the story: the Spanish narrative.

It was a tidy tale that described how Montezuma, upon meeting Cortés and his retinue, quickly abandoned his vast native empire, acknowledging the divine right of the Spaniards and the Catholic Church to take over his lands and his people. When a violent rebellion ensued, the story goes that the Spaniards retreated with hordes of gold, then returned and besieged the Aztec capital, securing their rightful conquest and adding to the glory of Spain with its new territory. gigantic, known as Mexico.

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