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Coins

Review
Well worth its weight in gold—or silver seeing as most of the coins in the collection were made out of it—Coins is perhaps the pre-eminent example of digitisation and visualisation done right. It synthesises academic rigour, curatorial thoroughness, and a spirit of playfulness to bring cold, hard cash to life.
Building Cortes's  fleet of brigantines by Duran Codex, 1521 image showing Indigenous people building boats for Hernan Cortes

Colonial Latin America

Review
This site provides a number of opportunities for students to analyze visual and written texts, and to think about the way historians interpret documents to write history.

Cortés Greets Xicotencatl in Mexican Manuscript

Source

A detail from a larger manuscript page in the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, this scene was created by an indigenous painter in central Mexico. Scenes from the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, now just fragments from a larger set of images, draw upon preconquest painting techniques and conventions. Like Malintzin herself, the Lienzo straddles a world of indigenous, preconquest practice and... Read More »

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Crash Course World History

Review
Crash Course World History is a perfect supplementary video overview for AP students, but it is too fast and jumpy to be the main source of learning for a class.

Discontent Spreads from An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti

Source

Rainsford wrote one of the first favorable accounts of the Haitian Revolution. He blamed the colonists for refusing to alter the slave system. Our excerpts begin with reactions to the revolution in mainland France in 1789 and continue through the death in prison in France of Toussaint L’Ouverture in 1803.

Dona Marina, Cortes' Translator: Letter, Hernán Cortés

Source

This excerpt from Cortés’s Second Letter, written to Charles V in 1519 and first published in 1522, is one of only two instances in Cortés’s letters to the King that explicitly mentions his indigenous translator. The letters represent eyewitness accounts of the conquistadors’ deeds and experiences. In spite of the close relationship between Cortés and doña Marina, his comments are terse and... Read More »

Dona Marina, Cortes’ Translator: Nonfiction, Florentine Codex (Nahuatl)

Source

This chapter from the Florentine Codex, a bilingual encyclopedia of central Mexican life and history, was created by the Franciscan friar, Bernardino de Sahagún and indigenous advisors, painters and scribes. Nahuatl and Spanish texts appear side by side, and are accompanied by an image of Malintzin translating. The Nahuatl version of this text describes indigenous objects, words, and emotions... Read More »

Dona Marina, Cortes’ Translator: Nonfiction, Florentine Codex (Spanish)

Source

This chapter from the Florentine Codex, a bilingual encyclopedia of central Mexican life and history was created by the Franciscan friar, Bernardino de Sahagún and indigenous advisors, painters and scribes. Nahuatl and Spanish texts appear side by side, and are accompanied by the image of Malintzin translating (described above). The Spanish text represents Sahagún’s translation of the Nahuatl... Read More »

Dona Marina, Cortes’ Translator: Personal Account, Bernal Díaz del Castillo

Source

Perhaps the most famous 16th-century portrayal of doña Marina, this description is also the most extensive from the period. Díaz del Castillo claims she was beautiful and intelligent, she could speak Nahuatl and Maya. Without doña Marina, he says, the Spaniards could not have understood the language of Mexico. These words, while evocative, were written decades after Díaz del Castillo marched... Read More »

Dona Marina, Cortes’ Translator: Poem, Como Duele, 1993, Women in World History

Source

One of the earliest meditations on Malinche and her meaning published by a Chicana in the United States. This narrative explores Malinche’s fate and her abilities to negotiate difficult and competing cultural demands. It also grapples with the violence of colonization—in history, in Mexico and in the United States. The history it evokes is the intertwined history of indigenous and Chicana... Read More »

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