Aztec king Cuauhtémoc was executed today in 1525 by Hernán Cortés’s Spanish forces in what is now southern Campeche, Mexico. Now WE know em

This is a reblog from Now We Know Em, a blog I’ve just discovered. Cuauhtémoc is regarded as the last ruler of the Aztec, though this depends on who you ask. His reign was short and followed Montezuma II’s. You’ll learn more if you read on!

I’ve been looking for some good material to reblog regarding the Age of Exploration / Discovery. If you know of any, send it my way, either in an e-mail or to my Facebook page.

Statue of Cuauhtémoc in Mexico City. Statue of Cuauhtémoc in Mexico City.

Cuauhtémoc was the Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan from 1520 to 1521.

The name Cuāuhtemōc means “One That Has Descended Like an Eagle”, commonly rendered in English as “Descending Eagle” as in the moment when an eagle folds its wings and plummets down to strike its prey, so this is a name that implies aggressiveness and determination.

Cuauhtémoc took power in 1520 as successor of Cuitláhuac and was a cousin of the former emperor Moctezuma II.

His young wife, who would later be known as Isabel Moctezuma, was one of Moctezuma’s daughters.

He ascended to the throne when he was 25 years of age, as his city was being besieged by the Spanish and devastated by an epidemic of smallpox brought to the New World by Spanish invaders.

Once upon the throne, Cuauhtémoc unsuccessfully called for reinforcements from the countryside to aid the defense of…

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Lope de Aguirre: You Have to Earn the Nickname “El Loco”

Etching of Lope de Aguirre, date and artist unknown.

Etching of Lope de Aguirre, date and artist unknown.

This is the first post in the Age of Discovery Series lasting throughout March.

Lope de Aguirre is one of the more infamous conquistadors of the many thousands of men from all over Europe who set out in service of the Spanish Crown in search of adventure, fame and, most importantly, wealth. His biography ticks all the boxes for adventure and exploits. He went down in a blaze of glory after failing to achieve every conquistador’s dream of getting wealthy. His unstable nature, paranoia and numerous murders earned him the nickname “El Loco”, Spanish for the madman.

Aguirre was born in the early 1500’s in the Basque region of Oñati. Born of a minor noble family, but not being the firstborn son and, thus, not expecting much of an inheritance, Aguirre did what many men of that age did, he agreed to go to the New World. He would spend the rest of his life there.

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March’s Theme: Age of Discovery

Detail of the map Americae 1562 (the Americas), Diego Gutiérrez, Hieronymus Cock (engraver), Antwerp workshop, showing a badge with a monster-fish and some ships, 1562.

Detail of the map Americae 1562 (the Americas), Diego Gutiérrez, Hieronymus Cock (engraver), Antwerp workshop, showing a badge with a monster-fish and some ships, 1562.

Hello all. I’m writing to announce a new wrinkle for Yesterday Unhinged. The weekend long posts are going to be done in month-long themes. The themes will be based on a certain country, region, era or topic. This will not change the scheduling of posts nor their frequency. I’ve been planning to reblog more and this will give me a topic to focus on. I plan on doing two reblogs per week, one that pertains to the 1014 series and one that pertains to the monthly topic.

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War Paint (Part 3): Battle of Nagashino

Part 3 in a 10 part series on war in art.

The Battle of Nagashino is one of the seminal battles in Japanese history. It took place on June 28, 1575 near Nagashino Castle and was one of the key engagements toward to conclusion of the Sengoku period.. The battle was fought as the forces of Takeda Katsuyori besieged the castle. Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu sent relief forces. The two sides squared off in what is considered the first ‘modern’ battle in Japanese history. The Takeda clan had introduced the cavalry charge in recent times, to devastating effect. To counter this, Oda implemented a revolutionary use of firearms, volley fire, never before seen in Japan. As wave after wave of Takeda’s mounted troops rushed Oda’s position, they were mowed down by the revolving fire of the matchlock rifle-toting, samurai-led riflemen.

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War Paint (Part 2): The Battle of Alexander at Issus

Part 2 in a 10 part series on war in art.

The Battle of Alexander at Issus is one of the most epic pieces of art you may ever lay eyes on. It was painted by Albrecht Altdorfer in 1529 after being commissioned by Duke William IV of Bavaria. It shows Alexander the Great’s resounding victory over Darius III of Persia at the Battle of Issus which took place in 333 BC. It was the decisive battle of the Macedonian king’s subjegation of the Persian Empire. The battle was a rout and King Darius fled, leaving behind his wife and children, who were taken into captivity. Darius himself would be captured a few short years later, never having been able to amount a response to his crushing defeat at Issus. Alexander would go on to form the largest empire in the Ancient World.

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Túpac Amaru: A Legacy of Rap and Revolution

Image of the last emperor of the Inca, Tupac Amaru. Author and date unknown.

Image of the last emperor of the Inca, Tupac Amaru. Author and date unknown.

The name Tupac is known around the world. One of the most charismatic rappers of the 90’s has seen his image posthumously plastered on shirts and posters around the globe. Few in the Western World would not have heard of him. But the name Tupac was not an original. It’s an Inca name, one steeped in history, with origins going back to the emperors of the Andes.

I admit that my first encounter with the name was due to the rapper. Having grown up near San Francisco and graduating from high school in 1995, I was well and truly familiar with the poster boy of West Coast hip hop. But shortly after the rapper’s death, a Marxist revolutionary group in Peru took over the Japanese embassy, holding hostages for over 100 days before a commando raid by government forces ended the standoff. I became more interested in the name behind the deceased emcee.

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Miguel de Cervantes: International Man of Action

Portrait of Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra from a copper engraving from Johann Heinrich Lips.

Portrait of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra from a copper engraving by Johann Heinrich Lips.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is one of the most famous authors ever to grace our fair orb. His masterpiece, Don Quixote, should place in any respectable list of the greatest novels written, is the first modern European novel (if you believe Wikipedia) and is to the Spanish language what Shakespeare is to English. The image of the title character waging war on windmills is an enduring one and the word quixotic has entered our lexicon, though I challenge you to use in in everyday life. The book has inspired artwork, a ballet, musicals, numerous films and the Donkey Hodie puppet character from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Cervantes’ work is renowned, but the exploits of his life have gone mostly untold outside of Spain. This post is about his life, not his life’s work.

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