Link to enlarge K6042 (Las Bocas - Ceramic Vessel) THE FOUNDATION RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

Narrative of Some Things of New Spain and of the Great City of Temestitan,1 México.
Written by a Companion of Hernan Cortes, The Anonymous Conqueror.
Edited by Alec Christensen



Chapter   1
Chapter   2
Chapter   3
Chapter   4
Chapter   5
Chapter   6
Chapter   7
Chapter   8
Chapter   9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24


THERE were, and still are in this city, very good and handsome houses of the Lords, so large, and with so many halls, sitting-rooms, and lodgings with gardens above51 and below, that it was a marvelous thing to see. I entered more than four times the house of the chief Lord52 without any other purpose than to see things, and I walked till I was tired, and never saw the whole of it. It was the custom to place at the entrance of all the houses of the Lords very large halls and sitting-rooms around a great patio, and there was one so great that it could contain more than three thousand persons. On the terraced roof above, it having the same extension, thirty mounted men could have ridden cañas53 as comfortably as on a plaza.

This great city of Temistitan is a little longer than its width,54 and in the middle of it [74] where the great mosque used to be, and the palace of the Lord Montezuma,55 the Spaniards built their citadel, and established their quarters, and it is as well arranged, and has as many handsome squares and streets, as any city in the world. The streets are wide and long, and lined by beautiful houses of cement and brick, all of the same height, except a few, which have towers, and this uniformity improves their aspect. They number in this ward and in the citadel of the Spaniards more than four hundred good houses, than which no city of Spain has better within such a space, nor even in a greater, and all are strong houses of stone56 and mortar. There are two great squares, and the chief one has handsome arcades on all the sides. Here also they have built a fine church. The Franciscan convent is sufficiently beautiful, but that of the Dominicans is as large, as good, and as well made as any in Spain. In this monastery live preaching friars of upright life and great learning. There is a good hospital and other hermitages. [75] The houses of the Indians remain in the neighborhood of the citadel, or barracks of the Spaniards, and they are surrounded on all sides. In the ward of the Indians57 there are more than thirty churches where the natives hear Mass, and are instructed in the things of our holy faith. The people of this city and the suburbs are very skillful with their hands for every kind of thing, and of the greatest ingenuity and industry in the world. There are among them masters of occupations, and to make anything they only need to see it made once or twice. There are no people in the world who hold women in less esteem, for they never tell them what they do, even though they should know that by doing so they would be benefited. They have many women, like the Moors, but one is the principal one and the mistress, and the sons of this one inherit the property of the father.

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