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* Section 2 *

What the Old World
discovered in the "New World":

  Sections of the "American Holocaust" :
Intro ~ 1 ~ [ 2 ] ~ 3 ~
4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8

This is what the"saviors" from Europe
discovered in "the new world":

"It's gone now, drained and desiccated in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest, but once there was an interconnected complex of lakes high up in the Valley of Mexico that was as long and as wide as the city of London is today.  Surrounding these waters, known collectively as the Lake of the Moon, were scores of towns and cities whose population, combined with that of the outlying communities of central Mexico, totaled about 25,000,000 men, women, and children.  On any given day as many as 200,000 small boats moved back and forth on the Lake of the Moon, pursuing the interests of commerce, political intrigue, and simple pleasure. . .
        In the middle of this fresh--water part of the lake there were two reed covered mud banks that the residents of the area over time had built up and developed into a single huge island as large as Manhattan, and upon that island the people built a metropolis that became one of the largest cities in the world.  With a conventionally estimated population of about 350,000 residents by the end of the fifteenth century, this teeming Aztec capital already had at least five times the population of either London or Seville and was vastly larger than any other European city.  Moreover, according to Hernando Cortés, one of the first Europeans to set eyes upon it, it was far and away the most beautiful city on earth.
        The name of this magnificent metropolis was Tenochtitlán.  It stood, majestic and radiant, in the crisp, clean air, 7200 feet above sea level, connected to the surrounding mainland by three wide causeways that had been built across miles of open water.  To view Tenochtitlán from a distance, all who had the opportunity to do so agreed, was breathtaking.  Before arriving at the great central city, travelers from afar had to pass through the densely populated, seemingly infinite, surrounding lands -- and already, invariably, they were overwhelmed.  Wrote Cortés's famous companion and chronicler Bernal Díaz del Castillo of their visit to one of the provincial cities at the confluence of Lake Chalco and Lake Xochimilco:
        When we entered the city of Iztapalapa, the appearance of the palaces in which they housed us! How spacious and well built they were, of beautiful stone work and cedar wood, and the wood of other sweet scented trees, with great rooms and courts, wonderful to behold, covered with awnings of cotton cloth.  When we had looked well at all of this, we went to the orchard and garden, which was such a wonderful thing to see and walk in, that I was never tired of looking at the diversity of the trees, and noting the scent which each one had, and the paths full of roses and flowers, and the native fruit trees and native roses, and the pond of fresh water.  There was another thing to observe, that great canoes were able to pass into the garden from the lake through an opening that had been made so that there was no need for their occupants to land.  And all was cemented and very splendid with many kinds of stone [monuments] with pictures on them, which gave much to think about.  Then the birds of many kinds and breeds which came into the pond.  I say again that I stood looking at it and thought that never in the world would there be discovered lands such as these. . .
        Bernal Díaz wrote: "When we saw so many cities and villages built in the water and other great towns built on dry land and that straight and level causeway going towards [Tenochtitlán], we were amazed and said that it was like the enchantments they tell of in the legend of Amadis, on account of the great towers and [temples] and buildings rising from the water, and all built of masonry.  And some of our soldiers even asked whether the things that we saw were not a dream." . . .
        About 60,000 pale stucco houses filled the island metropolis, some of them single--story structures, some of them multi--storied, and "all these houses," wrote Cortés, "have very large and very good rooms and also very pleasant gardens of various sorts of flowers both on the upper and lower floors."  The many streets and boulevards of the city were so neat and well--swept, despite its multitude of inhabitants, that the first Europeans to visit never tired of remarking on the city's cleanliness and order: "There were even officials in charge of sweeping," recalled one awed observer.  In fact, at least 1000 public workers were employed to maintain the city's streets and keep them clean and watered.'
        Criss--crossed with a complex network of canals, Tenochtitlán in this respect reminded the Spanish of an enormous Venice; but it also had remarkable floating gardens that reminded them of nowhere else on earth.  And while European cities then, and for centuries thereafter, took their drinking water from the fetid and polluted rivers nearby, Tenochtitlán's drinking water came from springs deep within the mainland and was piped into the city by a huge aqueduct system that amazed Cortés and his men -- just as they were astonished also by the personal cleanliness and hygiene of the colorfully dressed populace, and by their extravagant (to the Spanish) use of soaps, deodorants, and breath sweeteners.
        In the distance, across the expanse of shimmering blue water that extended out in every direction, and beyond the pastel--colored suburban towns and cities, both within the lake and encircling its periphery, the horizon was ringed with forest--covered hills, except to the southeast where there dramatically rose up the slopes of two enormous snow--peaked and smoldering volcanoes, the largest of them, Popocatepetl, reaching 16,000 feet into the sky.  At the Center of the city, facing the volcanoes, stood two huge and exquisitely ornate ceremonial pyramids, man--made mountains of uniquely Aztec construction and design.  But what seems to have impressed the Spanish visitors most about the view of Tenochtitlán from within its precincts were not the temples or the other magnificent public buildings, but rather the marketplaces that dotted the residential neighborhoods and the enormous so--called Great Market that sprawled across the city's northern end.  This area, "with arcades all around," according to Cortés, was the central gathering place where "more than sixty thousand people come each day to buy and sell, and where every kind of merchandise produced in these lands is found; provisions, as well as ornaments of gold and silver, lead, brass, copper, tin, stones, shells, bones, and feathers." Cortés also describes special merchant areas where timber and tiles and other building supplies were bought and sold, along with "much firewood and charcoal, earthenware braziers and mats of various kinds like mattresses for beds, and other, finer ones, for seats and for covering rooms and hallways."

Marketplace2

"Each kind of merchandise is sold in its own street without any mixture whatever," Cortés wrote, "they are very particular in this."  (Even entertainers had a residential district of their own, says Bernal Díaz, a place where there lived a great many "people who had no other occupation" than to be "dancers . . .  and others who used stilts on their feet, and others who flew when they danced up in the air, and others like MerryAndrews [clowns].") There were streets where herbalists plied their trade, areas for apothecary shops, and "shops like barbers' where they have their hair washed and shaved, and shops where they sell food and drink," wrote Cortés, as well as green grocer streets where one could buy "every sort of vegetable, especially onions, leeks, garlic, common cress and watercress, borage, sorrel, teasels and artichokes; and there are many sorts of fruit, among which are cherries and plums like those in Spain."  There were stores in streets that specialized in "game and birds of every species found in this land: chickens, partridges and quails, wild ducks, fly--catchers, widgeons, turtledoves, pigeons, cane birds, parrots, eagles and eagle owls, falcons, sparrow hawks and kestrels [as well as] rabbits and hares, and stags and small gelded dogs which they breed for eating."
        There was so much more in this mercantile Center, overseen by officials who enforced laws of fairness regarding weights and measures and the quality of goods purveyed, that Bernal Díaz said "we were astounded at the number of people and the quantity of merchandise that it contained, and at the good order and control that it contained, for we had never seen such a thing before."  There were honeys "and honey paste, and other dainties like nut paste," waxes, syrups, chocolate, sugar, wine.  In addition, said Cortés:
        There are many sorts of spun cotton, in hanks of every color, and it seems like the silk market at Granada, except here there is much greater quantity.  They sell as many colors for painters as may be found in Spain and all of excellent hues.  They sell deerskins, with and without the hair, and some are dyed white or in various colors.  They sell much earthenware, which for the most part is very good; there are both large and small pitchers, jugs, pots, tiles and many other sorts of vessel, all of good clay and most of them glazed and painted.  They sell maize both as grain and as bread and it is better both in appearance and in taste than any found in the islands or on the mainland.  They sell chicken and fish pies, and much fresh and salted fish, as well as raw and cooked fish.  They sell hen and goose eggs, and eggs of all the other birds I have mentioned, in great number, and they sell tortillas made from eggs.
        At last Cortés surrendered the task of trying to describe it all: "Beside those things which I have already mentioned, they sell in the market everything else to be found in this land, but they are so many and so varied that because of their great number and because I cannot remember many of them, nor do I know what they are called, I shall not mention them.'  Added Bernal Díaz: "But why do I waste so many words in recounting what they sell in that great market?"  For I shall never finish if I tell it in detail. . .  .  Some of the soldiers among us who had been in many parts of the world, in Constantinople, and all over Italy, and in Rome, said that so large a marketplace and so full of people, and so well regulated and arranged, they had never beheld before."
        And this was only the market.  The rest of Tenochtitlán overflows with gorgeous gardens, arboretums, and aviaries.  Artwork was everywhere, artwork so dazzling in conception and execution that when the German master Albrecht Dürer saw some pieces that Cortés brought back to Europe he exclaimed that he had "never seen in all my days what so rejoiced my heart, as these things.  For I saw among them amazing artististic objects, and I marveled over the subtle ingenuity of the men in these distant lands.  Indeed, I cannot say enough about the things that were brought before me."

Marketplace1

"If architectural splendor and floral redolence were among the sights and smells that most commonly greeted a stroller in the city, the most ever--present sounds (apart from "the murmur and hum of voices" from the mercantile district, which Bernal Díaz said "could be heard more than a league off") were the songs of the many multi--colored birds -- parrots, hummingbirds, falcons, jays, herons, owls, condors, and dozens and dozens of other exotic species -- who lived in public aviaries that the government maintained.  As Cortés wrote to his king:
        Most Powerful Lord, in order to give an account to Your Royal Excellency of the magnificence, the strange and marvelous things of this great city and of the dominion and wealth of this Mutezuma, its ruler, and of the rites and customs of the people, and of the order there is in the government of the capital as well as in the other cities of Montezuma's dominions, I would need much time and many expert narrators.  I cannot describe one hundredth part of all the things which could be mentioned, but, as best I can I will describe some of those I have seen which, although badly described, will I well know, be so remarkable as not to be believed, for 'we who saw them with our own eyes could not grasp them with our understanding.  In attempting to recount for his king the sights of the country surrounding Tenochtitlán, the "many provinces and lands containing very many and very great cities, towns and fortresses," including the vast agricultural lands that Cortés soon would raze and the incredibly rich gold mines that he soon would plunder, the conquistador again was rendered nearly speechless: "They are so many and so wonderful," he simply said, "that they seem almost unbelievable."  Prior to Cortés's entry into this part of the world no one who lived in Europe, Asia, Africa, or anywhere else beyond the Indies and the North and South American continents, had ever heard of this exotic place of such dazzling magnificence.  Who were these people?  Where had they come from?  When had they come?  How did they get where they were?  Were there others like them elsewhere in this recently stumbled-upon New World?  These questions sprang to mind immediately, and many of the puzzlements of the conquistadors are with us still today, more than four and a half centuries later.  But while scholarly debates on these questions continue, clear answers regarding some of them at last are finally coming into view.  And these answers are essential to an understanding of the magnitude of the holocaust that was visited upon the Western Hemisphere-beginning at Hispaniola, spreading to Tenochtitlán, and then radiating out over millions of square miles in every direction-in the wake of 1492.
        { Pp. 1 -- 8 }

the magnificence of what Columbus found:

"As Juana, so all the other [islands] are very fertile to an excessive degree, this one especially.  In it there are many harbors on the sea coast, beyond comparison with others which I know in Christendom, and numerous rivers, good and large, which is marvelous.  Its lands are lofty and in it there are many sierras and very high mountains, to which the island Tenerife is not comparable.  All are most beautiful, of a thousand shapes, and all accessible, and filled with trees of a thousand kinds and tall, and they seem to touch the sky; and I am told that they never lose their foliage, which I can believe, I saw them as green and beautiful as they are in Spain in May, and some of them were flowering, some with fruit . . .  And there were singing the nightingale and other little birds of a thousand kinds in the month of November, there where I went.  There are palm trees of six or eight kinds, which are a wonder to behold because of their beautiful variety, and so are the other trees and fruits and plants; therein are marvelous pine groves, and extensive meadow country; and there is honey, and there are many kinds of birds and a great variety of fruits.  Upcountry there are many mines of metals and the population is innumerable.  La Spanola is marvelous, the sierras and the mountains and the plains and the meadows and the lands are so beautiful and rich for planting and sowing, and for livestock of every sort, and for building towns and villages.  The harbors of the sea here are such as you could not believe it without seeing them; and so the rivers, many and great, and good streams, the most of which bear gold." 

        If it sounded like Paradise, that was no accident.  Paradise filled with gold.  { p.63}

 

  Sections of the "American Holocaust" :
Intro ~ 1 ~ [ 2 ] ~ 3 ~
4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8 ~
For contact info, etc.,   go to
the bottom of  Section 8