Tenochtitlan, 1519-1521

Tenochtitlan, 1519-1521

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Author: Rios, Eduardo Enrique etal

Year: 1970

Publisher: Banco Nacional de Mexico

Place: Mexico City


145 pages with six tipped in colored plates. Quarto (10 3/4" x 8") bound in original publisher's wrappers. Published to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the Conquest of Tenochtitlan. In English and Spanish. First edition limited to 1000 copies.

At the time of Spanish conquests, Mexico City comprised Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco at the same time. Since then, the city extended from north to south from the north border of Tlatelolco to the swamps, which by that time were gradually disappearing to the west, the city ended more or less at the present location of Bucareli Street. It was connected to the mainland by causeways leading north, south, and west of the city. These causeways were interrupted by bridges that allowed canoes and other traffic to pass freely. The bridges could be pulled away, if necessary, to defend the city. The city was interlaced with a series of canals, so that all sections of the city could be visited either on foot or via canoe. Lake Texcoco was the largest of the five interconnected lakes. Since it formed in an endorheic basin lake, Lake Texcoco was brackish. During the reign of Moctezuma I, the "levee of Nezahualcoyotl" was constructed, reputedly designed by Nezahualcoyotl. Estimated to be 7.5 to 9.9 miles in length, the levee was completed circa 1453; the levee kept the spring-fed fresh water in the waters around Tenochtitlan and kept the brackish waters beyond the dike, to the east. Two double aqueducts, each more than 2.5 miles long and made of terracotta, provided the city with fresh water from the springs at Chapultepec. This was intended mainly for cleaning and washing. For drinking, water from mountain springs was preferred. Most of the population liked to bathe twice a day; Moctezuma was said to take four baths a day. As soap they used the root of a plant called copalxocotl (Saponaria americana); [to clean their clothes they used the root of metl (Agave americana). Also, the upper classes and pregnant women enjoyed the temazcalli. Similar to a sauna bath, it is still used in the south of Mexico. This was also popular in other Mesoamerican cultures.


Some light tone to extremities, previous owner's stamp to front end paper, some small marks on back wrapper, an unread copy with page folds still in tact else a very good to fine copy.

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