Aztec history deconstructed
Gillespies study of the ethnohistorical sources describing the royal lineage of the Aztec kings is an eyeopener. Through a careful assessment of the sources she shows as that most of what we thought we knew about the aztec kings is in fact closer to myth than to what we call history. She shows that what we thought was a factual rendering of history is often better interpreted as post factum rationalizations by the aztec history tellers who mixed myth with their cyclical understanding of time in order to let the history repeat it self. In this way for example it seems that Motecuzoma I was named after his descendent Motecuzoma II and not vice versa! Her skillful analyses manages to cast oubt on several very important points of aztec history which have previously been taken as well established fact.
The book is a must-read for any one who is interested in aztec and mesoamerican history - it teaches the often forgot lesson that most of the sources were written by people who had a very different understanding of historywriting than we have and that this is of course shows in the works.