Nearly five hundred years ago, the undertaking of a series of events would change the very fabric of Mexico's history. The encounter of Cortes and Montezuma so very long ago was one that would forever alter how people would live their lives in years to come. Because of this event happening so long ago, and not many accounts of the incident being documented firsthand other than by those who were actually there to witness them, little is known of the events other than the jaded views from Cortes and Montezuma themselves. What parts of our knowledge of this event are based on myth alone, and what facts are, indeed, true? This encounter, as well as the myths associated with this historic event will have forever changed the history of Mexico. This paper will investigate these events that took place many years ago between the years of 1519 and 1521 and evaluate the fact-or-myth status quo of the nations of Mexico and the Spanish conquistadors that were involved in the Cortes-Montezuma encounter. .
Portilla expresses that this encounter, as described by the Spanish as well as the Aztecs, was something believed to be an event that was considered more than the colliding and merging of two different expanding nations; this was the integration of two wholly different cultures that seemed to have two entirely different worlds that involved different ways of living (7). Both nations were prominent throughout the world and were considered powers to be reckoned with. Through years of conquest, Spain was considered to be the most powerful nation in Europe at the point in history. The Aztecs were well on their way to becoming one of the most powerful states in the Americas, and the eventual collision of these two powers was going to be an encounter that the world would not soon forget (15). .
The Aztec territory began after a series of wars and the immersion of a diplomatic way of life, taking less than a century to fully develop into a developed nation.