Parution : The death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the life of Mexico City

The death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the life of Mexico City


  • Mundy, Barbara E. Auteur

Barbara E. Mundy is Professor of Art History at Fordham University. She coedited Painting a Map of Sixteenth-Century Mexico City: Land, Writing and Native Rule with Mary Miller, and, with Dana Leibsohn, is the author of a pioneering digital work, Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America, 1520–1820. Her first book, The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geográficas, won the Nebenzahl Prize in the History of Cartography.

Résumé de l’éditeur

The capital of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, was, in its era, one of the largest cities in the world. Built on an island in the middle of a shallow lake, its population numbered perhaps 150,000, with another 350,000 people in the urban network clustered around the lake shores. In 1521, at the height of Tenochtitlan’s power, which extended over much of Central Mexico, Hernando Cortés and his followers conquered the city. Cortés boasted to King Charles V of Spain that Tenochtitlan was “destroyed and razed to the ground.” But was it?

Drawing on period representations of the city in sculptures, texts, and maps, The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City builds a convincing case that this global capital remained, through the sixteenth century, very much an Amerindian city. Barbara E. Mundy foregrounds the role the city’s indigenous peoples, the Nahua, played in shaping Mexico City through the construction of permanent architecture and engagement in ceremonial actions. She demonstrates that the Aztec ruling elites, who retained power even after the conquest, were instrumental in building and then rebuilding the city. Mundy shows how the Nahua entered into mutually advantageous alliances with the Franciscans to maintain the city’s sacred nodes. She also focuses on the practical and symbolic role of the city’s extraordinary waterworks—the product of a massive ecological manipulation begun in the fifteenth century—to reveal how the Nahua struggled to maintain control of water resources in early Mexico City.


  • 2017 Conference on Latin American History Elinor Melville Prize for Latin American Environmental History
  • 2017 Latin American Studies Association Bryce Wood Book Award
  • 2016 Latin American Studies Association Colonial Section Book Prize
  • 2016 Latin American Studies AssociationMexico Humanities Book Award Honorable Mention
  • 2015 Association for Latin American Art Margaret Arvey Foundation Award


  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • A Note on Spelling and Translations
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Water and the Sacred City
  • Chapter 3: The Tlatoani in Tenochtitlan
  • Chapter 4: The City in the Conquest’s Wake
  • Chapter 5: Huanitzin Recenters the City
  • Chapter 6: Forgetting Tenochtitlan
  • Chapter 7: Place-Names in Mexico-Tenochtitlan
  • Chapter 8: Axes in the City
  • Chapter 9: Water and Altepetl in the Late Sixteenth-Century City
  • Chapter 10: Remembering Tenochtitlan
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Informations pratiques

  • Éditeur : Austin : University of Texas press
  • Date de parution : 2015
  • Description matérielle : 1 vol. (IX-246 p.) : ill. en noir et en coul. ; 29 cm
  • Collection : Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long series in Latin American and Latino art and culture
  • Notes : Autre tirage : 2018 comportant l´ISBN 978-1-1773-1713-6
  • Annexes : Notes bibliogr. p.223-226, bibliogr. p.227-234 et index.
  • ISBN 978-0-292-76656-3. – 978-1-4773-1713-6. – 0-292-76656-4
  • EAN 9780292766563


  • MADRID-Casa de Velázquez
  • PARIS-BnF :
    • Cartes et plans – magasin : GE EE-8684
    • Tolbiac – Rez-de-jardin – magasin : 2018-114375 [2018]
  • PARIS-BIS, Fonds général
  • PARIS-Médiathèque MQB

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Olivier Jacquot (29 novembre 2022). Parution : The death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the life of Mexico City. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 24 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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