Moctezuma II, Aztec emperor

Moctezuma II, Aztec emperor

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Moctezuma II (c.1466-1520), Aztec emperor. Moctezuma was the ruler (tlatoani) of Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City), then the centre of the Aztec Empire (Triple Alliance). It was during his reign that Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernan Cortes (1485-1547) arrived with an army in August 1519. Moctezuma welcomed Cortes as a guest, but some months later was taken hostage in his own city and died in unclear circumstances. Cortes and his army fought their way out of the city, regrouped and completed their conquest. Artwork from 'History of the Conquest of Mexico' (1847).

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