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A Hero for the Americas: The Legend of Gonzalo Guerrero
A group of shipwrecked Spaniards washed onto the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in 1512, leading to first contact between the Spanish and the Maya. Two men survived the ordeal: Jerónimo de Aguilar, who became a translator for Hernán Cortés in his conquest of the Aztecs, and Gonzalo Guerrero, who, as legend has it, embraced the Mayan way of life and skillfully led the oppos ...more
Published November 4th 2017 by U of R Press
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It's not easy writing the biography of someone for whom virtually no historical evidence exists - I should know, because I've just done it with Warrior: A Life of War in Anglo-Saxon Britain. But at least with the warrior, we had a body. In trying to tell the life of Gonzalo Guerrero, Spanish conquistador turned Mayan guerilla, Calder doesn't even have that: the body that, possibly, ends the story was never kept by the Spaniards who found it, a European in Mayan undress, killed by an arquebus bal ...more
A little known, but fascinating part of Mexican history. Years before Cortes' arrival, a group of Spaniards are shipwrecked on the Yucatan shores. Between exposure & Mayan human sacrifice, only two survive becoming slaves. One, Aguilar, rejoices when Cortes arrives seven years later, telling him that the other survivor, Gonzalo Guerrero, was sold to another Mayan group. Since these two are both Cortes' fellow compatriots and the fact that they speak Mayan, leads to his great desire that they joi ...more