Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, 16th century

Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, 16th century

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aztec emperor Moctezuma II (c.1466-1520) with symbols of his reign (crown, sceptre and epaulette), illustration. Moctezuma was the ruler (tlatoani) of Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City) and the Aztec Empire (Triple Alliance). 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 then conquered the Aztecs. Artwork from a 19th-century copy of a 16th-century post-conquest codex and history of the Aztecs by Jesuit missionary Juan de Tovar.

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