Sunday, April 03, 2011

Bernal Díaz (1492-1585): The Conquest of New Spain

"The boats were then launched, and Juan de Grijalva with many of us soldiers landed to inspect this island, for we saw smoke rising from it. We found two stone buildings of good workmanship, each with a flight of steps leading up to a kind of altar, and on those altars were evil-looking idols, which were thteir gods. Here we found five Indians who had been sacrificed to them on that very night. Their chests had been struck open and their arms and thighs cut off, and the walls of these buildings were covered with blood. All this amazed us greatly, and we called this island the Isla de Sacrificios, as it is now named on the charts." - The Conquest of New Spain, The Expedition of Juan de Grijalva, 1518.

This is another book I fetched with the closing of Borders. Reading a few pages into the book, I encountered a few such passages as the one above. There doesn't seem to be any romantic noble savage concepts so far, but I have much to read. This looks to be quite a contrast to the book I read earlier by Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566).

1 comment:

Dee Ice Hole said...

I don't think there was any romance with the conquerors anywhere.