He led the woman through the valley, strewn with skulls and bones, then past the house, which was built by black creatures with horns and hooves. From the East on the river floated the ships, full of warriors in strange armor. The winged young man said that these intruders will pay its people in the true faith; the remains belong to those who died without a knowledge of this faith, and therefore eternally doomed to the darkness, and the house under construction is for those who will die in the coming battles with strangers.
After some time some wizards entertained the ruler trick: cut off his arms and legs, and then prize play them in place. The king suspected that it was an illusion, and ordered to cook their hands in boiling water. They said: cruel joke will cost Montezuma power. Strangers will avenge their injury, so much so that the water in the lake Texcoco will become blood.
Montezuma laughed at the prophecy, the next morning saw that the water of the lake turned red, and swim in it severed body parts And soon some old priest died he foretold the coming of the white man who will save the Indians from the yoke of the leaders and turn them to the true faith.
A reasonable question: aren’t these colorful stories figment of the imagination of the missionaries – after all, the conquest of the Aztecs is presented as predetermined and a good cause? But the information about the mysterious “light from the East” can be found in the documents created in the native Indian tradition: pictographic codes, historical annals, and in the memoirs of the conquistadors.
What is between 1508 and 1511 years in Mexico there has indeed been some unusual astronomical phenomenon, is confirmed by further evidence.
In 1537 held a hearing on the “wizard” by Martin Ocelot. The defendant admitted that 27 years ago Montezuma put him in a wooden cage, as it was predicted to him that “in this country will come to the bearded Spaniards because it told him a senior… on the basis of certain signs.”
The sense of foreboding
At first, historians believed that many of the legends about the signs that convey actual events, and the inexplicable “miracles” – the result of mass hysteria. The source of the panic were rumors about “people from the East”, which at that time was close to Mexico.
The Aztecs are thought to have been so frightened that they did not resist the conquistadors. Then the scientists decided that the “signs” – fabrication of missionaries, and found a parallel to almost all the themes in the works of ancient and medieval authors.
The paradox is that most of the legends, obviously, he composed all the Aztecs, but after the conquest. In Tenochtitlan there was no panic: there didn’t know anything about the Spanish people thinks so in our time the majority of researchers.
The legend of the signs is heterogeneous. In the first group of angels, preaching about the benefits of a new religion and other Christian motifs. These “signs” are contained in the writings of missionaries, and, most likely, they came up with.
The second group of legends about a bad ruler, his arrogance of the gods, known to us from sources. It is not excluded that some of these stories began to spread even in Nezahualpilli and possibly on his orders. One of the agents could be, for example, Martin Ocelot – process data on the “sorcerer” confirm that the legend of the struggle of Montezuma with dreamers based on historical facts.
The third group – the real natural phenomena, natural disasters, and catastrophes. The most mysterious phenomenon of luminescence, in which modern scientists admit polar lights. It is possible at the latitude of Mexico with a combination of the local weakening of the magnetic field of the Earth and the sharp increase in solar activity. “The shining” has long been a promise of frost and crop failures that occurred in the country of the Aztecs, strengthening the position of the enemies of Montezuma. Later a phenomenon began to assume the sign of his imminent death.
The last group – all sorts of miracles, which is likely the fruit of imagination or the result of exposure to the drug. Similar stories could appear after and before the conquest – as a reaction to the rumors about the Spaniards. The Aztecs knew in the East something was going on. In the ocean saw a huge court, on the shore, threw the chests with strange things, boats with overseas strangers.
Disasters, disturbing rumors about the “curse” the ruler gave the Aztecs a sense of the fragility of the world. They felt that will soon befall. Thus was born the myth of the signs.