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February 1, 2022 36 mins

Episode Three – Along the Coast
Cortes departs Maya country and heads north, to Triple Alliance (Aztec) territory. A messenger spots the ships, and this begins a year long political dance between Moctezuma and Cortes. Despite Moctezuma's attempts to curtail the Spanish push inland, Cortes discovers divides among the people.

Part 1 – Closing out Business in Potonchan

Following his victory at the Battle of Cintla, Cortes spent two weeks in the regional capital Potonchan, which he had named Santa Maria de la Victoria. In that time he prepared to sail north to San Juan de Ulua, where Captain Grijalva had met with Aztec representatives the year before.

Part 2 – Aztec Territory

Cortes sails north from Maya country to San Juan de Ulua where the Aztec sentries are on guard for another Spanish expedition. The Aztec representatives Tentlil and Cuitlalpitoc are sent to greet the new arrivals and the beginning of a months-long negotiation between the Mexica and the Spanish begins.

Part 3 – Marina Reveals Herself

A slave girl given to Cortes by the Maya chief Tabscoob, reveals a hidden skill: her ability to speak both Nahuatl and Maya. Her given name, Malintzin, is changed to the Christianized Marina and she takes her place at the side of Cortes for the next two years as his chief translator, advisor and eventually the mother of his child.

Part 4 – Report to Moctezuma

Tentlil meets with Cortes in the dunes and offers the Spanish supplies. An Aztec messenger is sent to Tenochtitlan with the report of the meeting.

Part 5 – The Great Treasure

Commissioned the year before for Grijalva, the legendary Great Treasure of Moctezuma is sent to Cortes on the coast. This treasure would be sent on to Spain as property of Charles V. Included in this original shipment it is believed, was the now famous green feathered headdress now housed in Vienna.

Part 6 – Discontent and Political Maneuvering

Hunger, mosquitoes and boredom had eaten at morale and Cortes soon found a group of men in revolt. He would emerge from the political strife as the Chief Justice and Commanding General of the new town of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.

Episode 3 Breakdown – The Great Treasure of Moctezuma

One of the most famous parts of the “Conquest of Mexico” is the treasure sent by Moctezuma to Cortes while he was on the coast. Most of the European accounts, and some of the codices, mention the treasure and the golden sun disc and the silver moon disc.  Visit the Episode webpage to read more.

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