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López Luján, Leonardo

Moctezuma. Aztec Ruler

Produced to accompany a major exhibition at the British Museum, on view 24 September 2009 - 24 January 2010, this catalogue will explore the dramatic events surrounding the Spanish assault on the Aztec Empire, focusing on the Emperor Moctezuma II who ruled from AD 1502 from his capital Tenochtitlan (the site of modern-day Mexico City). Key works of art will be shown together for the first time, including iconic objects such as the British Museums turquoise snake and masks, and intriguing but less well-known material such as sculptures, codices, intricate featherwork, gold and treasures from Mexico and other major international museums. The book will open with an examination of the origin of Mexico and the role of the king as a military, political and religious leader. At the heart of the story unfolding around the arrival of the Spanish stands the enigmatic and semi-mythical figure of Moctezuma himself. Attention will be drawn to the fascinating but often very different accounts of key events given by Mexican and Spanish sources. Moctezuma´s own contribution to his eventual downfall and death at the hands of his own people will be examined afresh, drawing upon the latest international research and the ongoing archaeological discoveries in Mexico City. The book will finally reassess the legacy of these momentous events, including the role they played in shaping modern Mexican identity. With chapters by international authorities and stunning photography, this book will be an outstanding contribution to the understanding of Mexico and its last Aztec ruler.

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