Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born 1568; died 1648. The most illustrious of the native Mexican historians and the great-grandson of Don Fernando Ixtlilxochitl, fifth son of Netzahualpilli, King of Texcoco, and of his wife Doña Beatriz Panantzin, daughter of Cuitlahuac, last but one of the Aztec emperors. He was educated in the college of Santa Cruz de Tlaltelolco, but, notwithstanding his illustrious birth, education, and ability, he lived for a long time in dire poverty, and the greater part of his works were written to relieve his wants. He gives a detailed account of the important part played by his great-grandfather Don Fernando in the conquest of Mexico and the pacification of the Indians of New Spain, praising him in every possible way, and blaming the ingratitude of the conquerors. "His descendants", says the writer, "were left poor and neglected, with scarcely a roof to shelter them, and even this is gradually being taken from them." In "La Entreaty de los Españoles en Texcoco" he again remarks: "The sons, daughters, grandchildren, and relations of Netzahualcoyotl and Netzahualpilli are ploughing and digging to earn their daily bread and to pay ten reales and half a measure of corn to his Majesty. And we, the descendants of a royal race, are being taxed beyond every lawful right." Partly owing to the appeal made in his works, and partly to the favour of Fray Garcia Guerra, who afterwards became Archbishop and Viceroy of New Spain, some land concessions were granted Don Fernando, and he was appointed interpreter in the Indian judiciary court. The "Historia de la Nación Chichemeca" was his last work, but this he left unfinished, having reached only the period of the siege of Mexico. This is the best of his works. The facts are fairly well defined, the chronology is more exact, the editing much better, and more care is taken in the orthography of Texcocan names. His other works contain very important data for the history of Mexico, but they are written without order or method, the chronology is very faulty, and there is much repetition. For his writings he availed himself of the ancient Indian hieroglyphic paintings, and the traditions and songs of the Indians; he indicates those which he has consulted--all of them more than eighty years old. His works recently published to commemorate the fourth centenary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, are:

  • A summary of all the events that occurred in New Spain and of many things known and accomplished by the Tultecas from the creation of the world to their destruction, and from the coming of the third Chichemeca settlers up to the invasion of the Spaniards, taken from the original history "La Nueva España";
  • History of the Chichemecas to the time of the coming of the Spaniards. (To this is added: (a) Part of the history of Netzahualcoyotl; (b) List of 154 names of the cities subject to the three kings of Mexico, Tlacopan, and Texcoco; (c) Another section of the history of Netzahualcoyotl; (d) The Ordinances or Laws of Netzahualcoyotl; (e) Account of Netzahualpilli, son of Netzahualcoyotl.)
  • Order and ceremonial for the creation of a Lord, established by Topiltz, Lord of Tula.
  • The coming of the Spaniards to New Spain.
  • Entrance of the Spaniards into Texcoco.
  • Accounts of the country and settlers of this part of America known as New Spain.
  • Brief account, in the form of a memorial, of the history of New Spain and its dependencies up to the time of the coming of the Spaniards. (To this are added (a) Account of the other Lords of New Spain; (b) Accounts of the origin of the Xochimilcas.)
  • Summary of the History of New Spain from the beginning of the world to the present era, collected and taken from the histories, paintings, written memorials, and folk songs of the natives.
  • History of the Chichemeca nation (95 chapters).
  • Songs of Netzahualcoyotl and historic fragments of the life of the same. There seems, however, to be but little reason for attributing this last to Ixtlilxochitl.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it contains, the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud looming up in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2016 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, ... Read More