Hernan Cortes and Monteczuma at Mexican Temple

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Scene from the frieze decorating the United States Capitol. Painted sometime between 1878 and 1880 by Constantino Brumidi.

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EXCERPT AND LINK FROM VIRTUALOLOGY.COM: “CORTES, Hernan, or Hernando, soldier, born in Medellin, Province of Estremadura, Spain, in 1485 died near Seville, 2 Dec., 1547. His parents, Martin Cortes and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano, were both of good family, but in reduced circumstances. He was a sickly child, and at the age of fourteen was sent to the University of Salamanca, but returned home two years later without leave. He then determined upon a life of adventure, and arranged to accompany Nicolas de Ovando, likewise a native of Estremadura, who was about to sail for Santo Domingo to supersede Bobadilla in his command. An accident that happened to him in a love adventure detained him at home, and the expedition sailed without him.”

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