October 27th, 2011
Episode 156 of 533 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Siege of Tenochtitlan. In 1521 the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes led an army of Spanish and native forces against the city of Tenochtitlan, the spectacular island capital of the Aztec civilisation. At first Cortes had been welcomed by the Aztec leader, Moctezuma, and he and his men were treated like kings. But their friendship proved short-lived, and soon celebrations turned into vicious fighting. After a prolonged siege and fierce battle, in which many thousands died, the city finally fell. This major confrontation between Old and New Worlds precipitated the downfall of the Aztec Empire, and marked a new phase in European colonisation of the Americas.With:Alan Knight Professor of the History of Latin America at the University of OxfordElizabeth GrahamProfessor of Mesoamerican Archaeology at University College, LondonCaroline Dodds Pennock Lecturer in International History at the University of Sheffield Producer: Natalia Fernandez.