The "Brief and Summary Relation of the Lords of New Spain" is one of the major contemporary accounts of the economic, political, and social impact of the conquest of Aztec Mexico. Written by Alonso de Zorita, a Spanish judge of high integrity and many years' experience in colonial administration, it provides a detailed description of Aztec life before and after the Conquest. Based on Zorita's stay in Mexico from 1556 to 1566, it reflects the anguish felt by a devoted and humane servant of the Crown, who observed the misery inflicted upon the Indians by enslavement and Spanish-imposed tribute and labor systems
In his extensive introduction, Benjamin Keen provides a survey of the rise of Aztec society, conditions under post-Conquest colonial administration, and a biographical essay on Zoritas life and the reception of his work. With a new preface on recent scholarship and issues in Zorita's work, this edition remains the standard translation in English of the "Brief Relation."
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