Parents: Axayacatl, tlatoani of Tenochtitlan
Date of Birth: circa 1466
Royal House: Tenochtitlan
Spouse: (1) Teotlalco, daughter of Matlaccohuatl, tlatoani of Ecatepec, and (2) Tlapalizquizochtzin, tlatoani of Eatepec, daughter of Matlaccohuatl, tlatoani of Ecatepec
Reign: 1502 – 1520
Summary: Absolutely nothing is know of the early life of Moctezuma II before he became the leader of the Aztec people at Tenochtitlan. The sources all begin with his reign, and reports that Europeans were landing on his soil. In 1517, the first sighting of Spaniards in Aztec territory were reported to the king. When Hernan Cortés arrived in 1519, Moctezuma proactively sent ambassadors to attempt to negotiate with these newcomers before they got the upper hand. The legend that Moctezuma perceived Cortés as a god returned from the sky is probably a myth perpetuated by the Spaniards to emphasize the importance of Christianity. Cortés quickly made allies with Tlaxcalteca, a rival city, as he marched on Tenochtitlan. Moctezuma, hoping to pacify the Spanish, invited them into his city and lavished them with gifts for many months. Slowly, Moctezuma became a prisoner in his own home. When Cortés left to fight a rival conquistador, Moctezuma was left under guard, which kept him safe when the Spaniards killed the majority of the Aztec aristocracy at the massacre in the main temple. When Cortés returned, open warfare had broken out in the streets of Tenochtitlan. Moctezuma was forced onto the balcony of his palace to address his people, and was pelted with rocks and darts. He died soon after, either from injuries or by Spaniards who no longer saw the use in keeping the king alive. The Spaniards fled soon after and Moctezuma's brother, Cuauhtémoc, succeeded him in Tenochtitlan.
"Emperor Moctezuma II of the Aztec Empire was a special case in colonial Spanish diplomacy. He was regarded as a nuisance to Hernan Cortes, yet three of his legitimate children were granted “reyes naturales” status within the Spanish Empire. When the Aztec Empire was overthrown 489 years ago, Montezuma’s heirs were able to continue their fight against the conquest of Mexico through lawsuits that awarded them not only compensation but status as well.
"By the 1600s, Moctezuma’s legitimate heirs had found their way into Spain where they married into the noble houses and, for all intent and purposes, became Spanish. Their heirs still retain titles such as duke of Moctezuma & Tultengo, duke of Atrisco, and count of Miravalle today. Most importantly, multiple lines of the family became Grandees of Spain, the highest noble title obtainable in Spain.
"In Mexico, the majority of Moctezuma’s descendants today are from illegitimate lines. Since Spanish law disapproved of such offspring, the descent from these individuals is much harder to trace. However, many thousands of Mexicans still claim royal Aztec ancestry. In fact, from the beginning of the Mexican Republic in the 1810s until 1934, Mexico paid pensions to the descendants of Moctezuma until Interim President Abelardo Rodríguez halted them. A concerted effort to restore back-payments to Moctezuma’s descendants began in 2002 and continues to this day.
"Nearly five hundred years after his fall from power, Emperor Moctezuma II remains one of the most popular and well-known Native American royals to this day. His fame is such that people such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela have attempted to link themselves to the Aztec emperor for political and social benefit. But it is not just celebrity presidents that can claim descent from Aztec royalty. Mexico has long been a melting pot of peoples who have spread and settled across the world. Maybe, just maybe, a little part of Moctezuma’s blood runs in your veins as well." (Portion in quotes published under the title "Moctezuma II" in XOXOR: La Gran Revisita...!!! in September 2010.)
Date of Death: 29 June 1520
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