Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fall of Tenochtitlán

1519 Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomed him with great pomp as would befit a returning god.

It was the year that Italy saw the death, on May 2, of Leonardo da Vinci, followed shortly by his countrywoman Lucrezia Borgia on June 24.

In Rome, Germany’s Martin Luther was gazing on new works by Michelangelo and Raphael adorning the palace of Pope Leo X, while answering charges that he had called the pontiff "fallible". Meanwhile, off the coast of Italy, Mediterranean traders sailed in fear of the corsairs of the notorious North African pirate, Khair ad Din (Barbarossa).

At the time, in England, the ink was scarcely dry on Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), while elsewhere in Europe, King Charles of Spain was being elected Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile, across the big pond, Pedro Arias de Ávila, the new Governor of Panama was no doubt explaining to his superiors in Spain why in January he had beheaded Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the explorer and conquistador. In Holland, Erasmus published his Colloquia ...

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