In 1519, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés landed in Mexico and who quickly learn of the great empire that lay to the west. In this 8-part podcast series, Cortés will search out – and conquer – the legendary city of Tenochtitlan – the capital of the mighty Aztec Empire.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 1
Cortés organizes and leads an army to Mexico to seek out the rich lands to the west. He does all of this despite a confrontation with the governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 2
Cortés forges an alliance with a discontented people, and establishes the first European settlement in New Spain – Vera Cruz. Also, he encounters the first emissaries of the Aztec Empire, who offer the Spanish a large bribe to leave their lands. Instead, Cortés becomes determined to travel to the heart of the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlan – and meet their ruler – Montezuma.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 3
The Spanish head west, encountering resistance from the independent Tlaxcalan people, as well as confronting possible treachery in the city of Cholula. The episode will wrap with Cortes and his army heading into the Valley of Mexico – the location of Tenochtitlan – the Aztec capital and the home of Emperor Montezuma.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 4
The Spanish march into Tenochtitlan – the Aztec capital. In doing so, Cortés will come face-to-face with the legendary Montezuma.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 5
Cortés must deal with threats from the recently arrived Panfilo de Narvaez, and an uprising in Tenochtitlan. Things will end with the La Noche Triste – the Night of Sorrows (hint: that’s won’t end well for the Spanish).
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 6
In the wake of his defeat at Tenochtitlan, Cortés has to fend off the Aztecs at the Battle of Otumba. He must then consolidate his forces, and plot his return to the Valley of Mexico. Meanwhile, smallpox ravages the Aztec Empire – and brings a new emperor – Cuauhtémoc.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 7
The Spanish and their allies converge on the Valley of Mexico and begin the siege of Tenochtitlan – which will signal the end of the Aztec Empire.
Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico – Part 8
We look at the aftermath of the siege of Tenochtitlan, cover the rest of Cortés’ life, and do a review of the lives of some of the key players in the series. We wrap with some thoughts on Cortés and the fall of the Aztec Empire.
There is a lot of information on Cortés and the Aztec Empire. Below are some of the key sources that used for the podcast.
Conquest: Cortes, Montezuma, and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas.
When Montezuma met Cortes: The True Story of the meeting that Changed History by Matthew Restall. This offers some of the radical rethinking of the fall of the Aztec Empire – and is thus controversial in the eyes of some.
Letters of Cortes, Vol. 1 by Hernan Cortes.
Letters of Cortes, Vol. 2 by Hernan Cortes.
Florentine Codex by Bernardino de Sahagún.
The Memoirs of Conquistador Bernal Diaz Del Castillo by Bernal Diaz.
- Hernan Cortes
- La Malinche
- Aztec Empire
- Fall of Tenochtitlan
- Pedro de Alvarado
- Gonzalo de Sandoval
- Cristóbal de Olid
Images and maps courtesy of Wikipedia.