Montezuma : Twilight God of the Aztecs

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  • As the last great Aztec ruler, Montezuma II inherited a sprawling yet fragile empire. This program studies his governance, its abrupt end at the hands of the conquistadors, and its historical meanings. Paralleling a major exhibition at the British Museum, the film features artifacts, architecture, and images that speak to Montezuma's humanity, his self-proclaimed divinity, and the cultural context in which he ruled. These include depictions from the Florentine Codex, the Templo Mayor disk depicting Coyolxauhqui, and the public works of Malinalco, Teotihuacan, and other locations. Analysis of Montezuma's face-off with Hernan Cortes reveals an agile strategist whose brutality was eclipsed only by that of the invaders.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on May 04, 2010.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.
  • Closed-captioned.


  • Mexico: Now and Then (1:59) -- Montezuma's Aztec Empire (2:05) -- Aztec Capital City (2:00) -- Temple Gods (1:44) -- Aztec Culture and Education (2:13) -- Aztec Battle Strategies (2:21) -- Waterways and Fertility (2:01) -- Importance of Public Market (1:43) -- Aztec Administration and Religious Norms (2:06) -- Teotihuacan (3:03) -- Corts: Gold, God, Glory, and Greed (2:48) -- Communication System in Aztec Empire (2:35) -- Montezuma's Receives Corts (2:12) -- Corts: Alliance with Kings (2:12) -- Montezuma's Attempt to Trap Corts (1:15) -- Cortes Slaughters the Innocents (2:25) -- Corts: March on Cholula (2:00) -- Cholula: Two Days of Slaughter (1:51) -- Harsh Terrain of Aztec Empire (2:01) -- Corts Nears Tenochtitlan (2:11) -- Meeting Between Corts and Montezuma (2:12) -- Victorious Cortes (2:13) -- Montezuma: Sacrificial Victim (2:22) -- Clash of Civilizations (1:28)
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