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Foundation myth of Tenochtitlan
According to the myth of the foundation of Tenochtitlan, the god Huitzilopochtli told his people to settle at the spot where they found an eagle holding a serpent in its beak and perched on a stone. This image, taken from a 16th century Hispanic codex (Codex Durán) , shows this event, although probable historical data indicate that when the Mexicas arrived at Lake Texcoco, there were already settled cultures here. One of them was the Tepanecs of the domain of Azcapotzalco. As foreigners, the Mexicas were forced to live on an islet where they would come to found their city, and they were forced to pay tribute to this empire, until they won their independence around the year 1428 A.D. under the leadership of Itzcoatl. After this event, the Mexicas joined with the cities of Tlacopan and Texcoco to form the "Triple Alliance," with which the territorial expansion of the Mexicas gained force.
Last Modified: January 14, 1998.
Museo del Templo Mayor, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e História, México.
Seminario #8, Centro Histórico. Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F. 06060
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