THE AZTECS by Diego Duran


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A long, luxurious, almost legendary work, which, written by a Dominican in the 16th century, languished in Spain until the 19th and now finally in the 20th is refitted via English garb- modernized, simplified and expurgated in spots. It's a sumptuous storehouse of learning and legwork, a chronicle ""on the history of Mexico from its origins to the Conquest and the complete subjection of the country by the Spaniards, ending with Cortes' expedition to Honduras"". Though ra Diego Duran blows hot and cold over Indian idolatry, he still sought and favored the Aztec scheme of things, from the rigorously recorded rites and romances, cosmogonies and calendars, to the god-hero perplexities of Quetzalcoatl, Flacaelel, Monteczoma. The ""People of the Sun"", according to the Dominican's ualism, were beautiful but bloodthirsty, spiritually-slumping heathens whose ralvation lay in Christian conversion, but whose sovereignty was slaughtered once the Old World swashbucklers in the name of Jesus sighted their shores. The prose, incidentally, is about as stately as a pavane; nevertheless, scholars, especially anthropologists and theologians, should find the Historia a strangely satisfying, seminal work.

Publisher: Orion