David Olusoga TV - Mankind: The Story of All of Us TV - Chris Everard - Michael Cremo - Carl Sagan TV - E F Schumacher - Who Killed the Aztecs? TV - The Aztec Massacre TV - Matthew Restall - Robert Winston TV - Cortes: Warriors TV - Aztec Eye-Witness - In Search of Ancient Astronauts TV - Dan Snow TV - Michael Wood - J Jorge Klor de Alva - Jacques Soustelle - Laurette Sejourne - Joseph Needham and Gwei-Djen Lu - D H Lawrence - John Collier - Sophie & Michael Coe - William H McNeill - Unsolved History: Aztec Temple of Blood TV - In Search of History TV - David Olusoga TV - Lost Pyramids of the Aztecs TV -
An encounter that would prove to be one of the most cataclysmic events in all human history. On the eve of Spain’s arrival, Central America was dominated by the Aztecs. David Olusoga, Civilisations s1e6: First Contact
The Aztecs believe they owe a debt of blood to their gods. Mankind: The Story of All of Us VII: New World, History 2012
The Aztecs have created one of the most sophisticated civilisations on the planet. ibid.
Aztec priests sacrifice thousands of men, women and children a year. Up to 20,000 in one of their most important ceremonies. ibid.
The people of the Americas have no immunity to a deadly threat – disease. ibid.
Montezuma’s treasuries are filled with gold. ibid.
Six months later half the city is dead from Smallpox. ibid.
Genoa was the home town of Christopher Columbus. On October 11th 1492 whilst halfway across the Atlantic on his voyage to discover America Columbus saw a UFO and recorded the event in his ship’s log. At the same time Columbus recorded a UFO hovering above the Atlantic sea, the Aztec civilisation of Central America carved figurines of men with reptilian bodies. Chris Everard, Secret Space II
They did not think it was built by humans like us ... According to the ancient Aztec tradition the Cholula pyramid was built by a being they call a Giant. Michael Cremo, author Forbidden Archaeology
The Conquistadors sought not knowledge but gold. They used their superior weapons to loot and murder. In their madness they obliterated a civilisation. Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Who Speaks For Earth? PBS 1980
It was not the power of the Spaniards that destroyed the Aztec Empire but the disbelief of the Aztecs themselves. E F Schumacher, Roots of Economic Growth, 1962
When the Spanish first set foot on Mexican soil they faced some fifteen million native Americans. And yet within half a century up to 80% of this population is wiped out. Who Killed the Aztecs?
Conventional wisdom suggested that the collapse of the Aztec population resulted from an historic one-off: the first contact with peoples of different infections and immunities. New evidence points to an epidemic caused by a local virus that suddenly wipes out the native population in devastating numbers. ibid.
But the number of deaths and the speed at which the casualties spread across the Aztec Empire suggests that in Mexico a second mutation took place. This mutation allowed the virus to pass directly from human to human. Once this happened the scene was set for an Aztec apocalypse. ibid.
Historical records show that human sacrifice played a central role in Aztec culture. It is thought that they practised it on an unprecedented scale. Could the bodies at Zultepec have met the same fate? Or is there something even darker behind their demise? The Aztec Massacre, PBS 2008
The Spanish were the first Europeans in Mexico. They landed their ships on the Gold Coast in 1519 in search of new wealth. ibid.
The collapse of the Inca empire in the hands of the Spanish Conquistadors was a bloody affair. ibid.
They’re not really professional soldiers. Some of them are but most of them are regular Spaniards ... armed entrepreneurs. Professor Matthew Restall, colonial Latin American historian
The Aztecs practised human sacrifice on an almost industrial scale. Spanish Conquistadors reported that they could smell the abattoir stench of the temples long before they could see them. The Aztec’s insatiable thirst for human blood is both unique and terrifying. Robert Winston, The Story of God, BBC 2005
In August 1519 the Spanish adventurer Hernan Cortes prepared to lead his men into the unexplored territories of central America, modern-day Mexico. Lured on by rumours of immense treasure he and his small band of a few hundred Conquistadors had come to conquer an entire continent for king, for country and for the Holy Catholic Church. Cortes: Warriors, BBC 2008
The emperor’s name was Montezuma. He ate his prisoners and offered their hearts to the sun ... He presided over an advanced civilisation that had writing, education and organised religion. He ruled over millions of people. ibid.
Dona Marina had a son by Cortes but later married another Spaniard. Most of the Spaniards remained in the new world bitter at how little they’d made from the conquest. ibid.
The blood flowed like water. The stench of it and entrails filled the air. The Spaniards invaded every room hunting and killing. Aztec eye-witness
The Temple of Quetzalcoatl: legend tells us that he was a light-skinned bearded man who came from the stars. Supposedly, he taught men law, the arts, and the cultivation of corn. The head of a great feathered serpent represents the god Quetzalcoatl. When Quetzalcoatl finished his mission on earth he departed to his native star promising to come back some day. In Search of Ancient Astronauts, 1973
Cholula, Mexico, is home to the largest pyramid in the world. More than 3,000 years old it is estimated it took approximately 1,400 years to complete. ibid.
They are universally known as the Aztecs. The Aztecs were one of America’s great civilisation, and in 1502 their last and best known emperor was crowned ... Best known in the west as Montezuma. Dan Snow, Montezuma, BBC 2009
How Montezuma – sophisticated, semi-divine emperor – came to fight a courageous psychological duel with a formidable opponent from another world. It’s also the story how in less than two years the Aztec civilisation he governed would be virtually wiped out by a handful of European adventurers. ibid.
Montezuma’s Aztec empire stretched from the Gulf of Mexico in the east to the Pacific ocean in the west. ibid.
No-one knows exactly how many human sacrifices in any given year. ibid.
Cortes’s motivation ... Gold, God, Glory and Greed. He wanted to win new lands and wealth for his sovereign King Charles of Spain. ibid.
Cortes deployed every European technology and tactical advantage he had on the battlefield. ibid.
Cortes lost control of the city and then recaptured it after a terrible siege. ibid.
On April 21st 1519 an ominous sight appears off the coast of Mexico. A fleet of Spanish caravels. Unlike earlier expeditions that came here to explore, Hernan Cortes and his men have come to conquer. Michael Wood, Conquistadors, BBC 2000
On August 8th 1519, four months after landing on the coast, Cortes leaves a garrison of one hundred and fifty men and sets off to confront an empire of millions. He has just three hundred soldiers and eight hundred native allies. Although the Aztecs have an army of over four hundred thousand warriors, Cortes vows to conquer or die. ibid.
The Spanish were awe-struck at a metropolis whose population of two hundred and fifty thousand surpassed even the cities of Europe. ibid.
Over one hundred tons of gold were looted as well as countless gems and precious stone. ibid.
Within years it would kill almost 90% of the Aztec population. With no immunity to European diseases the Aztecs were decimated by what they called the great rash. ibid.
Why are violence and the sacred so intertwined? Why is death seen as necessary to renew life? ... To us the Aztec universe may appear irrational, terrifying, murderous in its brutality; and yet it is a mirror held up to our humanity which we ignore at our cost. For in the name of other ideals and other gods Western culture has been no less addicted to killing, even in our own century. Michael Wood, In Search of the First Civilizations
Today we are at last beginning to understand the intricacies of this amazing culture, which was the equal of any in Europe in moral refinement, artistic sensibility, social complexity, and political organization. J Jorge Klor de Alva, The Broken Spears