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De Bry - "How the Mexicans treated their captives" 1601 - Acosta - Mexico

De Bry - "How the Mexicans treated their captives" 1601 - Acosta - Mexico

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"How the Mexicans treated their captives"

-Original Copperplate Engraving

-Theodore De Bry

-Page 9.5 x 13 inches (23 x 33cm)

-Image 8.5 x 6 inches (22 x 15cm)

-1602 (This image is from the Latin 1st Edition)

-Good condition - some mild toning and marks to page. Some creasing to the page.

-Verso blank

-More recent colour

This is an original plate from Part 9 of De Bry's famous set of "Grands Voyages". This part contained an early translation of Acosta's famous "Historia natural y moral de las Indias", first published in Salamanca in 1589. The work was divided into seven parts, the parts I-IV of which described the flora, fauna and geography of the area. Books V-VII contained information on the religion, politics and history of Mexico.

This is plate 14 from the series, depicting How the Mexicans treated their captives

The text for the plate reads:

"During Montezuma’s reign, many Mexicans were captured after a fierce battle with the Chalco Indians. When the Chalco found out that one of their prisoners was the brother of the great Montezuma, they asked him to become their leader. He said he would answer their request from a platform, on the top of a tall tree-trunk, erected in their central square. Thinking the prisoner was going to announce this answer in the affirmative, they erected the platform for him. After its completion, he climbed to the top and declared that he would rather die than betray his own people. As proof of his intention he jumped to his death when his speech was over."
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