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Aztec warriors of the Jaguar Order

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A beatiful artwork of Aztec warriors of the Jaguar Order preparing an ambush for the Spanish invaders. Artist unknown. The Spaniards paid a heavy toll till the final subjection of the native peoples of Mexico.
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Maya more warlike than previously thought

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Republication from  news.berkeley.edu (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY)

 

David Wahl (right) and Lysanna Anderson taking a sample from Lake Ek’Naab using a hand-operated piston core on an inflatable platform. (Photo courtesy of Francisco Estrada-Belli, Tulane University)

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The Maya of Central America are thought to have been a kinder, gentler civilization, especially compared to the Aztecs of Mexico. At the peak of Mayan culture some 1,500 years ago, warfare seemed ritualistic, designed to extort ransom for captive royalty or to subjugate rival dynasties, with limited impact on the surrounding population.

Only later, archeologists thought, did increasing drought and climate change lead to total warfare — cities and dynasties were wiped off the map in so-called termination events — and the collapse of the lowland Maya civilization around 1,000 A.D. (or C.E., current era).

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Urban and Fortification plan of Merida, Yucatan 1788

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Urban and Fortification plan of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in 1788 (Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar, Madrid). Also a location map of Merida in Mexico.

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Fortification plans of Fort San Diego, Acapulco

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Plan of Fort San Diego, Acapulco, Mexico in 1776, designed by Spanish engineers a few years after 1600 (Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar, Madrid).

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Never surrender: Native tribes of Colonial Spanish America never subdued by the Spaniards

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mapuche

“El joven Lautaro”, an already classic painting by P.Subercaseaux depicts the Mapuche warlord Lautaro (who confronted the Conquistadores in the mid-16th century) along with his army and people. Note the horses and the European weapons and helmets on the right, captured from the Spaniards (credit: Wikimedia commons).

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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The Spanish Conquistadores and mostly the European microbes and diseases that they brought to the New World (smallpox, measles, ‘influenza’ and others) – which often were decimating the native tribes even before the physical appearance of the Spaniards themselves – managed between 1492 and 1600 to conquer huge areas of the North, Central and South America starting with the Caribbean world. Due to the spread of the European diseases, the thrashing superiority of the arms, armour and tactics of the Spaniards, their superior socio-political and financial system and other factors, just 11,000 Conquistadores more or less were proved to be enough for the subjugation of many millions of Amerindians in those years.

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