Newspaper About the Country that the Spaniards Found in 1521, Called Yucatan


This small tract contains one of the first European descriptions of the Aztec civilization of Mexico and the earliest known European attempt to picture the city of Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City). Most likely published in Augsburg in 1522, the work is a translation into German of an earlier Spanish account of Hernando Cortes’s expedition to Tenochtitlán in 1519-20. The city is pictured rather fancifully as having five towers and five bridges. Another woodcut shows an Aztec religious ceremony involving human sacrifice. Cortés first reached Tenochtitlán in November 1519. He withdrew in July 1520 after suffering a defeat at the hands of the Aztecs, but returned with a large army to destroy the city in May-August 1521. This account does not mention the withdrawal from the city, suggesting that it is based on information from before July 1520.

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Title in Original Language

Newe Zeittung. Von dem Lande. Das die Sponier funden haben ym 1521. Iare genant Jucatan

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12 pages: illustrated; 20 centimeters

Last updated: September 29, 2014