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Aus William Hickling Prescott: History of the conquest of Mexico

|35| Prescott. (W.H.) History of the


Conquest of Mexico.

5 e d . 3 vol. L o n d o n . 1850.

t.I.

5 B.I.
ch. 1 Ancient Mexico. Climate and Products.
Primitive Races. Aztec Empire.

A n c i e n t M e x i c a n s oder Aztecs: b i l d e t e n n u r sehr kleinen Theil, ihr L a n d ,


die m o d e r n republic of M e x i c o . (2) Covered wahrscheinlich n i c h t m e h r als
10 16,000 square leagues. In its greatest breadth, it could n o t exceed 5 degrees
a n d Y , dwindling, as it a p p r o a c h e d its southeastern limits, to less t h a n two.
2

Yet such is the r e m a r k a b l e formation of this country, that, t h o u g h n o t


m o r e 2x as large as N e w E n g l a n d , it presented every variety of climate,
and was capable of yielding nearly every fruit found between the e q u a t o r
15 a n d the Arctic circle. ([2,] 3) D i e G e g e n d in 3 terraces getheilt (tierra ca-
liente, tierra t e m p l a d a (temperate) u n d tierra fria). ( 3 - 5 ) Die kalte tierra
(Plateaus) h a t a climate, the m e a n t e m p e r a t u r e of which is n o t lower t h a n
t h a t of the central parts of Italy. (6) Der B o d e n h a t häufig a p a r c h e d u n d
barren aspect, theils aus M a n g e l of trees to shelter the soil from t h e fierce
20 influence of the s u m m e r sun. In der Zeit der Aztecs das table l a n d thickly
covered m i t larch, oak, cypresses u n d other forest trees ... t h e curse of bar-
renness in later times m e h r chargeable on m a n als auf n a t u r e . D i e early
Spaniards m a c h t e n an i n d i s c r i m i n a t e war on t h e forests. (6) Midway across
the continent, etwas n ä h e r d e m Pacific als d e m Atlantic, at an elevation of

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nearly 7500 feet is the celebrated Valley von M e x i c o . ... e n c o m p a s s e d by a


towering r a m p a r t of porphyritic rock. (7) D e r Boden, früher carpeted with a
beautiful verdure u n d thickly sprinkled m i t stately trees, jezt oft bare u n d
weiß in m a n y places mit der incrustation of salts, caused by the draining of
l
the waters. 5 lakes ü b e r das Thal, n e h m e n / seiner Oberfläche ein. (7)
10 5
states of A n a h u a c . D i e Toltecs ... t h e true fountains der spätren Civilisation.
Im 7' Jh. N a c h 4 J a h r h u n d e r t e n verschwinden die Toltecs. Folgen andre rac-
es, wovon die m o s t n o t e d die Aztecs oder M e x i c a n s u n d Acolhuans oder
Tezcucans von ihrer H a u p t s t a d t Tezcuco. Breiteten ihre Herrschaft ü b e r die
r u d e r tribes in the n o r t h aus. D a n n geklopft d u r c h die T e p a n e c s . D a n n m i t 10
Hilfe der M e x i c a n allies wieder sich befreiend u n d n o c h brilliantre car-
rière ... A u c h die M e x i c a n s k a m e n from the r e m o t e regions of the north,
the p o p u l o u s hive of n a t i o n s in the N e w World, as it has b e e n in the old.
Sie arrived at t h e borders of A n a h u a c gen Beginn des 13 Jh., some t i m e af-
ter the o c c u p a t i o n of the land by the kindred races. Lang Zeit etablirten sie 15
sich nicht, sondern w a n d e r t e n von e i n e m Platz z u m andren. Schließlich
langten sie an den südwestlichen borders des H a u p t s e e s an u n d m a c h t e n
dort Halt 1325. Stifteten Tenochtitlan (Mexico); lebten ursprünglich dort
von Fischen, wildem Seegevögel u n d der Cultur solcher simple vegetables
als ihre floating gardens (halbe marshes) raise k o n n t e n . D i e ß die begin- 20
nings des Venedig der western world. ( 8 - 1 3 ) Skandale u n d U n e i n i g k e i t e n
u n t e r sich. M a c h t e n sich im Thal R u f für courage u n d cruelty in war. Be-
g i n n des 15* Jh. erhielten sie das L a n d der Tepanecs für ihren Beistand, den
sie den Tezcucans leisteten. D a n n League zwischen d e n states of M e x i c o ,
Tezcuco u n d d e m kleinen N a c h b a r k i n g d o m Tlacopan. (Ueber das L a n d , 25
das sie bei künftigen Kriegen u n t e r sich vertheilen würden) ... Z u n ä c h s t
h a t t e n die allies genug zu t h u n in i h r e m eignen Thal. G e g e n Mitte des
15' Jh., u n t e r d e m ersten M o n t e z u m a , sie h a d spread down the sides of the
table land to the borders of the Gulf of Mexico. Im Beginn des 16* Jh. das
Aztec d o m i n i o n reached across the c o n t i n e n t from A t l a n t i c z u m Pacific; 30
bis in die farthest corners of G u a t e m a l a u n d Nicaragua. U n d sie h a t t e n
überall m i t gleich kriegerischen u n d in der Cultur i h n e n n u r wenig nachge-
b e n d e n S t ä m m e n zu kämpfen. D i e history der Aztecs erinnert in vielen
P u n k t e n an das alte R o m , n i c h t n u r in i h r e n militairischen successes, son-
dern a u c h in der policy which led to t h e m . ( 1 3 - 1 6 ) (Don M a r i a n o Veytia, 35
Historia Antigua, 1836, Mexico, H a u p t q u e l l e für die alte G e s c h i c h t e . [17])

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Aus William Hickling Prescott: History of the conquest of Mexico

ch. II. succession to the crown ... Aztec nobility. —


Judicial System. —Laws und Revenues ... Military Institutions.

D i e Regierungsform verschieden in d e n verschiednen states of Anahuac.


Die der Aztecs u n d T e z c u c a n s m o n a r c h i s c h u n d fast absolut. Diese 2 n a -
5 tions sich d u r c h a u s ähnlich. Die Regierung der M e x i c a n s an elective mon-
archy. Vier von d e n principal nobles, die c h o s e n by their own b o d y in d e m
preceding reign, filled the office of electors, wozu added, m i t rein h o n o r ä -
r e m Rang, die 2 royal allies von T e z c u c o u n d Tlacopan. D e r sovereign se-
lected von d e n brothers des deceased prince oder in default of t h e m , aus
10 seinen Neffen. So die election restricted auf dieselbe family. Der c a n d i d a t e
preferred m u ß t e sich im Krieg ausgezeichnet h a b e n , obgleich er a m e m b e r
of the priesthood, wie bei d e m lezten M o n t e z u m a ... R e i h e von able princ-
es so g e s i c h e r t . . . G e k r ö n t der Erwählte erst bis er d u r c h siegreiche C a m p a -
gne d e n p o m p of h u m a n sacrifice etc sich g e b e n k o n n t e ... D i e A z t e c prin-
15 ces, besonders gen Schluß der Dynastie, lebten in a barbarie p o m p , truly
Oriental. ... a distinct class of nobles m i t large l a n d e d possessions, w h o
held the most i m p o r t a n t offices n e a r t h e person of the prince u n d en-
grossed the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the provinces a n d cities. ... an 30 caciques,
wovon jeder an 100,000 vassals auf seinen estates m u s t e r n k o n n t e ... D a s
20 country occupied von n u m e r o u s powerful chieftains who lived like i n d e -
p e n d e n t princes on their d o m a i n s . M u ß t e n , w e n n sie nicht in der capital
residirten, hostages d e n kings stellen ... Diese estates held von various ten-
ures u n d verschiednen restrictions unterworfen. Einige held o h n e limita-
tion, n u r n i c h t verkaufbar an e i n e n Plebejer. A n d r e entailed an die Aeltge-
25 b o r n s t e n u n d b e i M a n g e l von solchen, fielen zurück an die crown.
Obligation, die meisten, to military service. A n d r e , statt dieser D i e n s t e , to
provide for the repair der königlichen buildings u n d to keep t h e royal de-
m e s n e s in order, with an a n n u a l offering, by way of h o m a g e , of fruits u n d
flowers. ... In alledem several features of the feudal system. Die k i n g d o m s
30 of A n a h u a c aber, in their n a t u r e , despotic, attended, indeed, with m a n y
mitigating circumstances u n k n o w n to the despotisms of the East. Die legis-
lative power in M e x i c o u n d T e z c u c o resided ganz um d e n M o n a r c h e n .
Dagegen constitution der judicial tribunals. U n d diese wichtiger b e i e i n e m
r u d e people als die Legislative Gewalt. U e b e r j e d e r der principal cities m i t
35 ihren d e p e n d e n t territories ||36| gestellt a s u p r e m e judge, appointed by t h e
Crown, mit original u n d final jurisdiction in b o t h civil u n d c r i m i n a l cases.
K e i n Appell von seiner Sentenz, selbst n i c h t an den König. Sein Office le-
benslänglich; wer u s u r p e d his ensigns m i t T o d bestraft. H i e ß cihuacoatl.
U n t e r ihm, in j e d e r Provinz, a court, von 3 m e m b e r s . Ausser diesen courts

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ein body von inferior magistrates distributed t h r o u g h the country, chosen


von d e m Volk selbst in d e n verschiednen districts. Ihre authority limited
zu d e n smaller causes. N o c h another class of s u b o r d i n a t e officers gewählt
von d e m Volk selbst, die eine certain n u m b e r of families zu b e w a c h e n hat-
t e n u n d report any disorder or b r e a c h of t h e laws to t h e higher authorities. 5
... law erlaubte appeal zur highest j u d i c a t u r e n u r in c r i m i n a l m a t t e r s ...
der p e n a l code ausserordentlich streng ... D i e R i c h t e r der h ö h e r n Tribu-
n a l e erhielten von d e m produce eines Theils der K r o n l a n d e , reserved for
this purpose. Sie, sowohl wie der s u p r e m e j u d g e , held their offices for life.
... Die laws der Aztecs registered u n d exhibited to the people in their hier- 10
oglyphical paintings. D e r größre Theil davon, wie bei jeder uncivilisirten
N a t i o n , b e z i e h t sich m e h r auf Sicherheit of persons t h a n of property. Alle
grossen crimes gen die society capital. Selbst der M o r d eines Sklaven m i t
T o d bestraft. E h e b r e c h e r gesteinigt. Thieving m i t Sklaverei oder Tod. D o c h
dieß crime n i c h t sehr gefürchtet, since the entrances to their dwellings 15
n i c h t secured by bolts, or fastenings of any kind. ... I n t e m p e r a n c e bei
J ü n g r e n m i t Tod, bei older persons m i t loss of r a n k u n d confiscation of
property gestraft ... Die rites of marriage sehr c e r e m o n i ö s . Eignes Ehege-
richt. O h n e es keine Scheidung möglich ... Sklaverei. Verschiedne A r t e n
u n d Stufen. Kriegsgefangne, reserved fast stets für das Opfer; criminals, 20
public debtors, persons who, from extreme poverty, voluntarily resigned
their freedom u n d children, who were sold by their own parents. Bei sol-
c h e m freiwilligen Verkauf die services to be exacted limited m i t great pre-
cision. T h e slave was allowed to have his own family, to hold property, a n d
even other slaves. His children were free. No o n e could be b o r n to slavery 25
in Mexico. Oft durch T e s t a m e n t die Sklaven befreit. A u c h m i t i h n e n H e i -
rath. D o c h a refractory u n d vicious slave led into the m a r k e t m i t a collar
r o u n d his neck u n d dort öffentlich verkauft u n d on a second sale, reserved
for sacrifice ... Die Royal Revenues were derived from various sources. D i e ex-
tensive crownlands m a c h t e n ihre returns in kind. D i e Plätze in der N a c h - 30
barschaft der capital gezwungen to supply w o r k m e n u n d materials z u m
B a u der königlichen Paläste u n d keeping t h e m in repair. M u ß t e n a u c h fur-
n i s h fuel, provisions u n d was nöthig für seine ordinary domestic expendi-
ture. Die principal cities, die viele villages u n d a large territory von sich ab-
hängig h a t t e n , waren vertheilt in districts, with e a c h a share of the lands 35
alloted to it, for its support. Die i n h a b i t a n t s paid a stipulated part of the
p r o d u c e to the crown. Die vassals der great chiefs, also paid a portion of
their earnings into the public treasury - sehr viel A e h n l i c h k e i t m i t d e n reg-
u l a t i o n s (financial) des a l t e n persian empire ... D i e people der provinces
vertheilt in calpulli oder tribes, die die lands der n e i g h b o u r h o o d in com- 40
m o n hielten. Officers of their own a p p o i n t m e n t parcelled o u t these lands

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Aus William Hickling Prescott: History of the conquest of Mexico

a m o n g the several families of the calpulli; u n d , on the extinction or remov-


al of a family, its lands reverted to the c o m m o n stock, to be again distrib-
u t e d . T h e individual proprietor h a d no power to alienate t h e m . T h e laws
regulating these m a t t e r s were very precise, and h a d existed ever since t h e
5 occupation of the country by t h e Aztecs. ... Ausser dieser t a x on agricultu-
ral produce of the kingdom, there was another on its manufactures. Z . B . cotton
dresses u n d m a n t l e s of featherwork, o r n a m e n t e d armour, vases u n d plates
of gold, gold-dust, b a n d s u n d bracelets, crystal, gilt, u n d varnished jars u n d
goblets; bells, arms u n d utensils of Copper; r e a m s of paper; grain, fruits,
10 copal, amber, cochineal, cocoa, wild a n i m a l s u n d birds, timber, lime, m a t s
etc Salz, Tigerfelle etc. (Sieh A u f z ä h l u n g des tribute furnished by different
cities 33, not. *) ... Garnisons errichtet in d e n larger cities, wahrscheinlich
den entfernten u n d recently c o n q u e r e d , to keep down revolt u n d to enforce
the p a y m e n t of tribute. Die caziques, die s u b m i t t e d to the allied arms, ge-
15 wohnlich confirmed in their authority u n d die c o n q u e r e d places allowed to
retain their laws u n d usages. Taxgatherers verbreitet d u r c h das K i n g d o m ,
erkennbar an ihren official badges u n d gefürchtet wegen der merciless rig-
our ihrer exactions. Jeder defaulter war liable to be t a k e n a n d sold as a
slave. In der capital waren spacious granaries u n d warehouses für die re-
20 ception der tributes. A receiver general quartered in the palace ... h a t t e m a p
of t h e whole empire, m i t a m i n u t e specification der imposts assessed on
every part of it. Diese imposts, ursprünglich m o d e r a t e , so d r ü c k e n d at t h e
close der dynasty u n d n o c h d r ü c k e n d e r g e m a c h t d u r c h die m a n n e r of col-
lection, bred disaffection t h r o u g h o u t the l a n d u n d prepared d e n way for its
25 conquest by the Spaniards. Communication m i t d e n entferntesten T h e i l e n
des Landes d u r c h couriers. Posthäuser in the great roads, an 2 leagues dis-
t a n t from each other. D e r Courier m i t seiner D é p ê c h e , in the form of a
hieroglyphical painting, r a n m i t derselben zur ersten Station, where they
were taken by a n o t h e r messenger u . s . w . Diese couriers, trained from child-
30 hood, travelled m i t incredible swiftness; so daß die D e p e c h e n 1 - 2 0 0 miles
a day befördert. A u f d i e s e m Wege Intelligenz der m o v e m e n t s der royal ar-
mies rasch brought to court ... A e h n l i c h im alten R o m , in Persien. In
C h i n a three miles von einander. A b e r diese posts for the u s e of the govern-
m e n t only. ... In M e x i c o wie in Aejypten der soldier shared m i t d e m priest
35 die highest consideration. D e r Schutzgott der Aztecs war der Kriegsgott. Je-
der Krieg war a crusade zu H e k a t o m b e n für d e n Kriegsgott. D e r gefallne
Krieger k a m direkt to t h e region of ineffable bliss in t h e bright m a n s i o n s of
the Sun. ... Vor der Eröffnung des Kriegs ambassadors were sent, to re-
quire the hostile state to receive the M e x i c a n gods, a n d to pay the c u s t o m -
40 ary tribute. ... quotas were drawn from the c o n q u e r e d provinces, which
were always subjected to military service as well as the p a y m e n t of taxes;

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a n d the royal army, gewöhnlich m i t d e m M o n a r c h an der Spitze b e g a n n


ihren Marsch. A remarkable resemblance dieser military usages m i t d e n e n
der alten R ö m e r ... various military orders, e a c h having its privileges u n d
peculiar insignia. D a z u a sort of knighthood, of inferior degree; der cheap-
est reward of martial prowess; wer ihn n o c h n i c h t erreicht, excluded from 5
using o r n a m e n t s on his arms or his person u n d obliged to wear a coarse
white stuff, m a d e from the threads of the aloe, called » n e q u e n « . Selbst die
m e m b e r s der royal family nicht von d i e s e m Gesetz a u s g e n o m m e n ... Der
dress der higher warriors pittoresk u n d oft magnificent. Ihre bodies bedeckt
m i t a close vest of quilted cotton, so thick as to be i m p e n e t r a b l e to the light 10
missiles of I n d i a n warfare. T h e wealthier chiefs s o m e t i m e s wore, statt
diesen cotton mail, a cuirass m a d e of t h i n plates of gold, or silver. Over it
was thrown a surcoat of the gorgeous feather work in which they excelled.
Ihre h e l m s oft von wood, fashioned like the h e a d s of wild a n i m a l s u n d
m a n c h m a l von Silber, on the top of which waved a panache of variegated 15
feathers, sprinkled m i t precious stones u n d o r n a m e n t s of gold. They wore
also collars, bracelets u n d earrings, of the s a m e rich materials. N a t i o n a l -
flagge m i t embroidery von Gold u n d Federwerk. Die c o m p a n i e s u n d great
chiefs a u c h ihre appropriate b a n n e r s u n d devices ... war war bei i h n e n a
trade, aber n o c h keine science. ... the valour of a warrior geschäzt n a c h der 20
Z a h l seiner G e f a n g n e n u n d kein r a n s o m large genug to save the devoted
captive. Ihr military code natürlich a u c h drakonisch. Hospitals waren errich-
tet in d e n H a u p t s t ä d t e n für die eure der sick u n d das p e r m a n e n t refuge des
disabled soldier u n d surgeons placed over t h e m . So die Aztec u n d Tezcu-
can races advanced in civilisation sehr weit ü b e r die wandering tribes of 25
N o r t h America. ... T h e a m e r i c a n I n d i a n has s o m e t h i n g peculiarly sensitive
in his n a t u r e . He shrinks instinctively from the r u d e t o u c h of a foreign
h a n d . Even when this foreign influence comes in the form of civilisation,
he seems to sink and p i n e away b e n e a t h it. It has b e e n so with t h e M e x i -
cans. ... the m o r a l characteristics of the n a t i o n , all that constituted its indi- 30
viduality as a race, are effaced for ever. ( 1 9 - 4 2 ) |

|37| ch.III. Mexican Mythologie.—The Sacerdotal Order.—


The Temples. —Human Sacrifices.

D i e m e x i c a n i s c h e Religion war nicht m e h r im ersten S t a d i u m . Sie h a t t e re-


ceived a peculiar complexion from t h e priests, who h a d digested as thor- 35
o u g h u n d b u r d e n s o m e a ceremonial as ever existed in any n a t i o n . Allego-
risch-Asiatisch ihre Deities. Die Aztecs h a t t e n von ihren Vorfahren eine
mildre Religion geerbt, worauf they später engrafted their own mythologie.

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Die leztre wurde h e r r s c h e n d u n d gab its dark colouring d e n creeds der er-
oberten nations, which the M e x i c a n s , like the a n c i e n t R o m a n s , s e e m will-
ingly to have incorporated into their own, u n t i l the same funereal supersti-
tion settled over the farthest borders of A n a h u a c . 13 H a u p t g o t t h e i t e n ,
5 200 inferior, j e d e m wovon s o m e special day, oder appropriate festival, was
consecrated. Huitzilopotchli (der M e x i c a n Mars) an der Spitze aller. Dieser
die p a t r o n deity der n a t i o n . Die p h a n t a s t i c forms der m e x i c a n idols im
h ö c h s t e n G r a d symbolical. Der H u i t z i etc von einer Jungfrau geboren, (wie
B u d h (Indien) F o h i (China) Shaka (Tibet.)) ... his altars reeked with t h e
10 blood of h u m a n h e c a t o m b s in every city of t h e empire. ... Die Sage m i t
d e m emigrirten G o t t Quetzalcoatl b a h n t e d e n Spaniern den Weg ... Diese
M e x i c a n Götter stiegen hierarchisch h e r a b bis zu den p é n a t e s oder h o u s e -
hold gods, whose little images in der h u m b l e s t dwelling sich fanden. In
ihren Begräbniß R i t u a l i e n finden wir ein G e m e n g s e i von römischkafholi-
15 sehen, m u s u l m ä n i s c h e n , tartarischen, altgriechischen u n d R ö m i s c h e n Ri-
ten. Taufe (ganz wie d a n n die Christen; a u c h um die S ü n d e wegzuspülen).
Die priests s u c h t e n to dazzle the i m a g i n a t i o n des people by the m o s t for-
m a l a n d p o m p o u s ceremonial. D e r influence der priesthood am größten in
d e m imperfect state of civilisation, where sie engrosses all the scanty
20 science of the t i m e in its own body. D i e ß besonders der Fall, w e n n diese
science nicht um die real p h e n o m e n a of n a t u r e , sondern die fanciful chi-
meras of h u m a n superstition sich k ü m m e r t . So die sciences of astrology
u n d divination, worin die A z t e c priests initiated ... they seemed to hold
the keys of the future in their own h a n d s ... D e r sacerdotal order sehr zahl-
25 reich; 5000 priests attached d e m H a u p t t e m p e l in der capital. D i e various
ranks u n d functions dieser b o d y hierarchisch gegliedert. Die musikalisch-
sten leiteten die Chöre. A n d r e arrangirten die festivals conform z u m Calen-
dar. A n d r e überwachten die E r z i e h u n g der J u g e n d u n d andre die hiero-
glyphical paintings u n d oral traditions; while the dismal rites of sacrifice
30 were reserved for the chief dignitaries of the order. An der Spitze der g a n z e n
body 2 Hohepriester, gewählt von king u n d d e n principal n o b l e s ; inferior
n u r d e m sovereign. Die priests e a c h devoted d e m service einer particular
deity, u n d hatten quarters in den spacious precincts ihres t e m p l e ; sonst
i h n e n erlaubt zu h e i r a t h e n . Viele prayers, W a c h e n , Fasten, Geissein, Ka-
35 steien des Fleisches. Parochial Pfaffen in d e n Districts vertheilt. W i e bei
d e n Katholiken confession u n d absolution. Priestly absolution was re-
ceived in place of the legal p u n i s h m e n t of offences u n d authorised an
acquittal in case of arrest. ... F ü r die e d u c a t i o n certain buildings appropri-
ated in der enclosure des principal t e m p l e . In diesem Convent (Kloster) die
40 Jugend, weibliche u n d m ä n n l i c h e erzogen ... To each of the principal t e m -
ples lands were a n n e x e d for the m a i n t e n a n c e of the priests. U n t e r d e m

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lezten M o n t e z u m a they covered every district des e m p i r e . A u s s e r d e m der


religious order enriched durch die first-fruits etc. D a s surplus ü b e r das für
d e n support des n a t i o n a l worship Erheischte vertheilt in alms u n t e r die
poor. Sehr zahlreiche T e m p e l . D u r c h die Construction derselben (nämlich
in g e w u n d n e n Treppen um die p y r a m i d h e r u m , o b e n die Altäre etc) all re- 5
ligious services were public. T h e long processions of priests, winding r o u n d
their massive sides, as they rose higher a n d higher towards the s u m m i t , and
t h e d i s m a l rites of sacrifice performed there, were all visible from the
remotest corners of the capital ... Die impression davon kept in full force
by their n u m e r o u s festivals. ... Processionen von W e i b e r n u n d K i n d e r n , 10
d a n n aber n u r Thierblut auf den A l t ä r e n der G ö t t e r geopfert ... H u m a n
sacrifices von den Aztecs acceptirt früh im 14' J a h r h u n d e r t , 200 J a h r e vor
der Conquest. I m Anfang selten; n a h m e n z u m i t der A u s d e h n u n g des e m -
pire; schließlich jedes festival closed m i t dieser a b o m i n a t i o n . ... Oft bei
diesen Opfern die ausgesuchtesten T o r t u r e n rigorously prescribed in the 15
A z t e c ritual. Z i e m l i c h gut beschrieben im 21 Sang des D a n t e . Die p h a n t a s -
tic creations des Florentine poet nearly realised zur selben Zeit, wo er
schrieb, d u r c h die barbarians of an u n k n o w n world. Bei einigen Gelegen-
heiten a u c h W e i b e r u n d Kinder geopfert. D e r body des geopferten captive
delivered d e m warrior, der i h n gefangen in der Schlacht; d a n n served up in 20
an e n t e r t a i n m e n t to his friends. D i e ß a b a n q u e t t e e m i n g m i t delicious
beverages u n d delicate viands, prepared m i t art u n d a t t e n d e d by b o t h
sexes. Nirgends die Menschenopfer auf solcher scale wie in A n a h u a c . V o n
2 0 - 5 0 , 0 0 0 jährlich geopfert. Bei great occasions, wie Königskrönung oder
Consecration eines Tempels, die Z a h l n o c h m o r e appalling. Customary to 25
preserve the skulls der sacrificed, in buildings appropriated to the purpose.
D i e H u n d e v o n Pfaffen brachten d e n G l a u b e n auf, d a ß die only diet ihrer
idols was human hearts. Das great object of war bei d e n Aztecs war ebenso
sehr to gather victims for their sacrifices, als to extend their empire. Der in-
fluence dieser practices, die familiarity m i t d e n bloody rites der sacrifices 30
begat a thirst for carnage, (bei den Aztecs) like that excited in the R o m a n s
by the exhibitions of the Circus. Die beständige recurrence der ceremonies,
worin das Volk Theil n a h m , associated religion m i t i h r e n m o s t i n t i m a t e
concerns, u n d spread the gloom of superstition ü b e r d e n domestic hearth,
bis der Character der n a t i o n a grave u n d selbst m e l a n c h o l y aspect a n n a h m . 35
D i e Pfaffen wurden i m m e r mächtiger. T h e whole n a t i o n , von d e m peasant
bis z u m Prinzen, bowed their necks der T y r a n n e y des F a n a t i s m u s . Aber
m a n d e n k e an die Inquisition im 16' Jh. D a b e i enoblirte das Opfer, während
die Inquisition Infamie in dieser W e l t m i t everlasting perdition in der an-
dern verband ... Die civilisation, die die M e x i c a n s besassen, k a m von d e n 40
Toltecs, R a c e die nie ihre Altäre m i t Blut befleckte. All that deserved the
n a m e of science in Mexico c a m e from this source. ( 4 6 - 7 0 )

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Aus William Hickling Prescott: History of the conquest of Mexico

ch. IV Mexican Hieroglyphics. Manuscripts.


Arithmetic. Chronology. Astronomy.

To Describe actions u n d events by delineating visible objects seems to be a


n a t u r a l suggestion, a n d is practised, after a certain fashion, by t h e r u d e s t
5 savage. ... picture-writing h ö h e r e Stufe, to p a i n t intelligibly a consecutive
series of actions ... Aber geht das Object des Schreibers h i n a u s ü b e r die
Gegenwart, the literal i m i t a t i o n of objects will n o t answer for this m o r e
complex plan. W ü r d e z u viel R a u m u n d Zeit e i n n e h m e n . D a n n n ö t h i g t o
abridge the pictures, to confine the drawing to outlines, or to such p r o m i -
10 n e n t parts der bodies delineated, as m a y readily suggest the whole. D i e ß
das representative oder figurative writing, die niedrigste stage der H i e r o -
glyphics, K o m m e n aber n i e abstrakte I d e e n h i n e i n , o h n e Type in der m a t e r i a l
(
world. This constitutes Symbolical writing. D i e 3 u n d lezte division ist die
phonetic, wo signs are m a d e to represent s o u n d s , either entire words, oder
15 parts of t h e m . Dieß die n ä c h s t e approach der hieroglyphical series ans Al-
phabet, wodurch die Sprache aufgelöst in ihre E l e m e n t a r l a u t e u n d an appa-
ratus supplied u m leicht u n d g e n a u die feinsten G e d a n k e n s c h a t t e n auszu-
drücken. Die Aejypter waren geschickt in allen 3 A r t e n von Hieroglyphen.
D i e Aejypter almost wholly relied in i h r e m ordinary intercourse u n d writ-
20 ten records on the p h o n e t i c character. D i e Aztecs, a u c h b e k a n n t m i t d e n
verschiednen varieties der Hieroglyphen, m e h r auf die figurative als die an-
dern. ||38| Um das picture-writing der Aztecs zu würdigen, m u ß m a n es be-
t r a c h t e n in V e r b i n d u n g m i t oral tradition, der es als E r g ä n z u n g galt ... Die
Materials ihrer M a n u s c r i p t e besonders g e m a c h t aus a fine fabric from t h e
25 leaves of the aloe, agave Americana, called by the natives maguey, which
grows luxuriantly over the tablelands of M e x i c o . ... Z u r Zeit der A n k u n f t
der Spanier M a s s e n von diesen M a n u s c r i p t s aufgehäuft. Der erste Erzbi-
schof von Mexico ( d e m die soldiers n a t ü r l i c h nachfolgen) D o n J u a n de Z u -
marraga collected these paintings von allen Ecken, besonders von T e z c u c o ,
30 d e m great depository der n a t i o n a l archives u n d verbrennt sie d a n n in a
„ m o u n t a i n h e a p " auf d e m Marktplatz von Tlatelolco. E b e n s o h a t t e Erzbi-
schof Ximenes a similar autodafé arabischer M a n u s c r i p t e einige 20 J a h r e
vorher in G r a n a d a g e f e i e r t . . . Ausser d e n hieroglyphischen m a p s die tradi-
tions des country e m b o d i e d in d e n songs u n d h y m n s , carefully taught in
35 den public schools. ... Sie devised a system of n o t a t i o n in their arithmetic,
sufficiently simple. D i e ersten 20 n u m b e r s were expressed by a correspond-
ing n u m b e r of dots. Die ersten 5 h a t t e n spezifische n a m e s ; after which they
were represented by c o m b i n i n g the fifth with one of the 4 preceding: as 5
+ one für 6, 5 u n d 2 für 7 etc. 10 u n d 15 h a t t e n jeder e i n e n b e s o n d e r n Na-

411
Londoner Hefte 1850-1853 • Heft XIV

m e n , which was also c o m b i n e d m i t d e n first 4, to express a higher quantity.


Diese four d a h e r die radical characters ihrer oral a r i t h m e t i c , wie they were
of the written im alten R o m . 20 wurde ausgedrückt d u r c h a separate hiero-
glyphic - a flag. Larger s u m s reckoned by twenties, u n d , in writing, by re-
peating the n u m b e r of flags. Das square of 20, 400, h a t t e a separate sign, 5
das einer plume u n d so die cube of 20, oder 8000, d e n o t e d by a purse, oder
sack. D i e ß war der whole arithmetic apparatus der M e x i c a n e r . they used to
d e n o t e fractions der larger s u m s by drawing only a part of the object. So %
oder % of a p l u m e , or of a purse, represented t h a t proportion of their re-
spective s u m s etc. Diese M a s c h i n e r i e n i c h t schwerfälliger als die der great 10
m a t h e m a t i c i a n s der Antiquity, u n a c q u a i n t e d m i t d e m arabischen oder in-
dischen System which has given a new aspect to m a t h e m a t i c a l science,
d u r c h das d e t e r m i n i n g d e n value, in a great m e a s u r e , by the relative posi-
t i o n of the figures. ... Ihr Civil Year adjusted sie by the solar. T h e i l t e n es in
18 m o n t h s , von 20 Tagen jeder. 5 c o m p l e m e n t a r y days added, to m a k e up 15
die volle Z a h l 365. Der m o n t h getheilt in 4 weeks, von 5 days jede, on the
last of which was the public fair or m a r k e t day. F ü r die fast 6 S t u n d e n
U e b e r s c h u ß des solar year ü b e r 365 Tagen, sorgten sie a u c h durch interca-
te
lation, nicht jedes 4 Jahr wie die Europäer, s o n d e r n in längren intervals,
like some of the Asiatics. Sie warteten bis n a c h Ablauf von 52 vague years, 20
when they interposed 13 days oder vielmehr 12½, die Zahl, die sie in Rück-
stand waren. Die Pfaffen h a t t e n für sich a second sacred calendar, w o n a c h
sie ihre own records hielten, regulated the festivals u n d seasons of sacrifice,
u n d m a d e all their astrological calculations, (dans les pays les plus diffé-
rents ... le sacerdoce a dû au culte des élémens et des astres un pouvoir 25
d o n t a u j o u r d ' h u i n o u s concevons à peine l'idée) the false science of astrol-
ogy is n a t u r a l to a state of society partially civilised ... Das eye des simple
child of n a t u r e watches die Gestirne d u r c h lange N ä c h t e , sieht sie chang-
ing m i t d e n seasons des Jahr, associates sie n a t ü r l i c h m i t ihnen, as the pe-
riods over which they hold a mysterious influence. E b e n s o , he connects 30
their appearance m i t any interesting event of the t i m e u n d explores, in
their flaming characters, the destinies of the n e w b o r n infant. ( 7 6 - 1 0 6 )

ch. 5 Aztec Agriculture. Mechanical Arts.


Merchants. Domestic Manners.

Husbandry, to a very limited extent, practisirt by m o s t der r u d e tribes of 35


N o r t h America. Wherever a natural opening in the forest, or a rich strip of
interval m e t their eyes, or a green slope was found along the rivers, they
planted it m i t beans u n d I n d i a n corn. (Mais) In Mexico die Agricultur in-

412
w

Aus William Hickling Prescott: History of the conquest of Mexico

terwoven m i t d e n civil u n d religious institutions der n a t i o n . All, except t h e


soldiers u n d great nobles, even t h e i n h a b i t a n t s of the cities, cultivated the
soil. D a s work chiefly d o n e by m e n , die w o m e n scattering t h e seed, husk-
ing the corn u n d taking part only in d e n lighter labours of t h e field. (113)
5 W e n n der Boden erschöpft ließen sie i h n brachliegen. Canals, severe pe-
nalties gegen die Destruction of the woods. A m p l e granaries for their har-
vests. (114) U n t e r ihren A g r i c u l t u r p r o d u c t e n die B a n a n a , Cacao, Vanilla.
Das great staple des L a n d s , wie des A m e r i c a n continent, war M a i z e oder
I n d i a n Corn, which grew freely along the valleys, a n d up the steep sides of
10 the Cordilleras to the high level of the table land. Its gigantic stalks, in
these equinoctial regions, afford a saccharine m a t t e r u n d lieferte d e n n a -
tives sugar little inferior to that of t h e cane itself, which was n o t i n t r o d u c e d
a m o n g t h e m till after the Conquest. A b e r das Miracle der N a t u r war die
great Mexican Aloe oder Maguey. Seine Blätter zu Papier b e n u z t , sein Saft
15 fermented in an intoxicating beverage, pulque; a u c h seine leaves zur Bedek-
kung für die m o r e h u m b l e dwellings; von s e i n e n tough u n d twisted fibres
thread u n d draus coarse stuffs g e m a c h t u n d strong cords; pins u n d needles
g e m a c h t von den thorns at the extremity of its leaves; and the root, when
properly cooked, was converted into a palatable a n d n u t r i t i o u s food. Die
20 agave, in short, war m e a t , drink, clothing u n d writing materials für d e n Az-
tec. ( 1 1 4 - 1 1 6 ) Sie k a n n t e n u n d p r o d u c i r t e n Silber, lead u n d tin. Gold,
found on the surface or gleaned from the beds of rivers, was cast into bars,
or, in the form of dust, m a d e part of the regular tribute of the s o u t h e r n
provinces of the empire. D e r use von iron, w o m i t der B o d e n impregnated,
25 i h n e n u n k n o w n . Trotz seiner a b u n d a n c e , erheischt es so viele Processe to
prepare it for use, t h a t it has c o m m o n l y b e e n o n e of the last metals pressed
into the service of m a n . (117) |
|39| Substitut für sie an alloy von tin u n d copper u n d m i t diesen tools
m a d e of this bronze, could cut n o t only metals, sondern m i t Hilfe eines si-
30 liceous dust, the h a r d e s t substances, wie Basalt, Porphyr etc. Sehr kunst-
volle G o l d s c h m i e d e ... T h e y employed a n o t h e r tool, m a d e of itztli, or ob-
sidian, a dark transparent m i n e r a l , excedingly hard, found in a b u n d a n c e in
their hills. They m a d e it into knives, razors u n d ihre serrated swords. ... Sie
wrought d a m i t die various stones u n d alabasters employed in the construc-
35 tion of their public works u n d principal dwellings; ... Sculptured images
waren sehr zahlreich ... m a c h t e n utensils of earthenware für the ordinary
purposes of domestic life ... F a m o s e F a r b e n , mineralische u n d vegetabili-
sche. V o n i h n e n die cochineal eingeführt n a c h E u r o p a ... So colorirten sie
brilliant die webs aller Art of fineness v o m cotton raised in a b u n d a n c e
40 t h r o u g h o u t the warmer regions of the country. H a t t e n a u c h die art of inter-
weaving m i t diesen das delicate hair of rabbits etc u n d darauf n o c h oft ge-

413

lb
f
Londoner Hefte 1850-1853 • Heft XIV

legt a rich embroidery of birds, flowers, or s o m e other fanciful device.


... Die Art, worin sie m o s t delighted, war ihr plumaje oder featherwork. T h e
gorgeous p l u m a g e of the tropical birds, b e s o n d e r s des parrot tribe, afforded
every variety of colour; u n d die fine down of t h e h u m m i n g b i r d ... supplied
t h e m with soft aerial tints t h a t gave an exquisite finish to the picture. T h e 5
feathers, pasted on a fine cotton web, were wrought into dresses for the
wealthy, hangings for apartments u n d o r n a m e n t s for the temples.
( 1 1 8 - 1 2 2 ) K e i n e shops in M e x i c o ; die various m a n u f a c t u r e s u n d agricul-
tural produces were brought together for sale in the great market-places of
the principal cities. Fairs hier gehalten j e d e n 5* Tag u n d grosser Concurs 10
von der Nachbarschaft, to buy or sell; a particular quarter was allotted to
each k i n d of article; die transactions geführt u n d e r t h e inspections of mag-
istrates, a p p o i n t e d for the purpose. D e r traffic geführt theils d u r c h barter,
theils by a regulated currency of different values. This consisted of trans-
p a r e n t quills of gold dust; of bits of tin, cut in t h e form of a T; u n d of bags 15
of cacao, containing a specified n u m b e r of grains. „O felicem m o n e t a m
sagt Peter Martyr (De Orbe novo), q u a e suavem u t i l e m q u e praebet h u m a n o
generi p o t u m , et a tartareâ peste avaritiae suos i m m u n e s servat possessores,
q u o d suffodi aut diu servari n e q u e a t . " (123) K e i n e K a s t e n in M e x i c o , d o c h
usually folgte der Sohn der Beschäftigung des Vaters. D i e different trades 20
were arranged in eine Art von guilds; having e a c h a particular district der
city appropriated to it, with its own chief, its own tutelar deity, its peculiar
festivals u. s. w. trade geschäzt von d e n Aztecs. ... A b e r besonders geachtet
war die o c c u p a t i o n des merchant. Er war a sort of itinerant trader, der seine
journeys m a c h t e zu d e n remotest borders of A n a h u a c u n d d e n countries 25
beyond, carrying m i t i h m m e r c h a n d i s e of rich stuffs, jewelry, slaves u n d
a n d r e n valuable c o m m o d i t i e s . Die slaves were obtained auf d e m grossen
M a r k t von Aztcapotzalco, n o t m a n y leagues von der capital, wo regularly
fairs held für d e n Verkauf derselben ... slavedealing was an h o n o u r a b l e
calling a m o n g the Aztecs. R e i s t e n in bewaffneten Caravanen, visited die 30
different provinces, always bearing some present of value from i h r e m own
sovereign u n d usually receiving others in return, m i t a permission to trade.
... Ihr government i m m e r bereit to e m b a r k in a war, w e n n sie injured, find-
ing it a very convenient pretext for extending the m e x i c a n empire. N o t u n -
gewöhnlich to allow the m e r c h a n t s to raise levies themselves, which were 35
placed u n d e r their c o m m a n d . A u c h sehr c o m m o n für d e n Prinz to employ
t h e m e r c h a n t s as a sort of spies, to furnish h i m information der countries
w o d u r c h sie passed u n d der dispositions der i n h a b i t a n t s gegen ihn. So ihre
Sphären of action sehr a u s g e d e h n t ü b e r die von h u m b l e traders u n d they
acquired a high consideration in the body politic. They were allowed to as- 40
s u m e insignia and devices of their own. Einige von i h n e n bildeten a coun-

414
Aus William Hickling Prescott: History of the conquest of Mexico

cil of finances, wenigstens in T e z c u c o . T h e y were m u c h consulted von d e m


m o n a r c h , der i m m e r einige u m sich h a t t e ; n a n n t e sie „uncle" ... h a t t e n
ihre own courts, worin civil u n d c r i m i n a l cases, capital n o t excepted, were
d e t e r m i n e d ; so t h a t they formed an independent community, as it were, of
5 themselves. U n d , da ihr various traffic sie m i t a b u n d a n t stores of wealth ver-
sah, genossen sie viele der m o s t essential advantages of an hereditary aris-
tocracy. ( 1 2 4 - 6 ) Polygamie erlaubt d e n M e x i c a n s , beschränkt auf die
reichsten Klassen. (128) Die Aztecs r a u c h t e n Pfeifen u n d Cigarren u n d
schnupften. (130) Grosse F e i n s c h m e c k e r . Saucen, confections etc. O n e
10 other dish, of a disgusting n a t u r e , was s o m e t i m e s a d d e d to the feast, espe-
cially w h e n the celebration partook of a religious character. On s u c h occa-
sions a slave was sacrificed, a n d his flesh elaborately dressed, formed o n e
of the chief o r n a m e n t s of the b a n q u e t . C a n n i b a l i s m , in the G u i s e of an E p -
i c u r e a n science, b e c o m e s even the m o r e revolting. (131) T h e m e a t s were
15 kept warm by chafingdishes. T h e table was o r n a m e n t e d m i t vases of silver
u n d s o m e t i m e s gold, of delicate w o r k m a n s h i p . Die drinking-cups u n d
spoons m a d e of t h e same costly materials u n d likewise of tortoise-shell.
T h e favourite beverage war die chocolatl, flavoured with vanilla a n d differ-
ent spices. (131, 2) T h e e n t e r t a i n m e n t (die b a n q u e t s ) was c o n c l u d e d by a
20 liberal distribution of rich dresses u n d o r n a m e n t s a m o n g the guests. (133)
(when they withdrew, after midnight.)

Vol. III.

Die Aztecs did n o t h i n g to ameliorate the c o n d i t i o n or in any way to pro-


m o t e the progress, of their vassals. Their vassals were serfs, u s e d only to
25 minister to their pleasure, held in awe by a r m e d garrisons, ground to the
dust by imposts in peace, by military conscriptions in war. They did not,
like the R o m a n s , e x t e n d the rights of citizenship to the c o n q u e r e d . T h e y
did n o t a m a l g a m a t e t h e m into one great n a t i o n , m i t c o m m o n rights u n d
interests. They held t h e m as aliens ... even those who in t h e Valley were
30 gathered r o u n d the very walls of the capital. T h e Aztec metropolis, the
heart of the m o n a r c h y , h a d n o t a sympathy, n o t a pulsation, in c o m m o n
with the rest of the body politic. (176, 7) ( K a n n t e n nicht den u s e of milk.) |
|40J D i e Aztecs k a n n t e n no domesticated a n i m a l s whatever. (341)

415