La Imagen Azteca en el Pensamiento Occidental

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Author: Keen, Benjamin (1913-2002) inscribed

Year: 1984

Publisher: Fondo de Cultura Economica

Place: Mexico City


609 pages with frontispiece, plates, maps and index. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6 1/2") issued in brown with black lettering to cover and spine. translated by Juan Jose Utrilla. inscribed by Dr Keen. First published by Rutgers University Press. 1st Mexican edition.

The great inquiry into the nature of Aztec Civilization began at the very moment of its destruction in the name of Spanish Crown and Church. From the conquistadors and the early missionaries and colonizers Europe received the first, classic descriptions of the Valley of Mexico. "I Know very well," Cortes informed the Emperor Charles V, "that what I shall say, although imperfectly told, will appear so wonderful that it will hardly seem credible, for even we, who see with our own eyes the things I describe, are unable to comprehend their reality." So, in the year 1519, Cortes reported his impressions of the magnificent ceremonial city of Mexico-Tenochitlan to his royal master. In this work Dr Keen explores the shifting attitudes and focus of the scores of historians, philosophers, scientists, and men of letters and the arts who dealt with the Aztec theme in the four and half centuries after the conquest of Mexico. From that time to the present, the world of the ancient Aztecs has been a subject of compelling interest and controversy in the West. the reports from New Spain supplied ammunition for critics of the philosophic premises of which the European Old Order rested. From the very first, observers and statesmen and churchmen at home had drawn divergent conclusions about the character of the Aztecs and the quality of their institutions and monuments. As the Indian culture vanished in the collision of the two worlds, the vision of the Aztec past blurred. Spanish commentators, in particular, were swayed at once by individual political, moral and intellectual premises. Keen explains how each new synthesis, however extravagant, continuously correct and developed the Western conception of Aztec civilization. He relates prevailing ideas about the Aztecs to the broad socioeconomic, political and ideological patters of the age, as well as to the contemporary state of knowledge about ancient Mexico.


Inscribed on front end paper. Jacket with light edge wear. A better than very good copy in like jacket.

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