Human Sacrifice By Bernal Diaz Del Castillo 's The Conquest Of New Spain

762 Words Aug 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Human sacrifice is perhaps one of the most significant themes in the primary source of Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s The History of the Conquest of New Spain. In his volume of Castillo’s eyewitness account, Davíd Carrasco writes two interpretive essays entitled “The Exaggerations of Human Sacrifice” and “Human Sacrifice/Debt Payments from the Aztec Point of View.” As the name suggests, “The Exaggerations of Human Sacrifice” aims to dispute the misrepresentations in Díaz del Castillo’s reports and the bona fide extent in which human violence in the Aztec society was executed. “Human Sacrifice/Debt Payments from the Aztec Point of View” details the Aztecs’ perspective on the ritual killings. Carrasco reasonably argues that the ritual killings of the Aztecs were not carried out daily and that the Spanish accounts were patently exaggerated. Although he makes valid points, I disagree with his interpretation that the Spanish intensified the chronicles of the killings in order to appear purely judicious.
In “The Exaggerations of Human Sacrifice,” Carrasco presents controversial questions about the “human sacrifices” and furnishes the readers with his own ideas and interpretations. Díaz del Castillo mentions twice that there were more than a hundred thousand skulls in Cempoala. To this, Carrasco vehemently dismisses the idea and says “These overstatements and gross depictions of ritual violence were also used to inflame further Spanish aggression toward the natives” (442). He also…

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