Hernán Cortés

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Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro
BirthplaceMedellín, Castile
Known for Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire

Cortés, Hernán


Bora in 1485; died Dec. 2, 1547. Spanish conquistador; the conqueror of Mexico.

The son of a nobleman of modest means, Cortes was educated at the University of Salamanca. From 1504 to 1519, he was an official and owned encomiendas in the West Indies (Santo Domingo, Cuba). From 1519 to 1521 he led an expedition of conquest to Mexico, during which Spanish rule was established in the central part of the country. In conquering Mexico, Cortes displayed considerable military and political ability along with extreme cruelty and perfidy in dealing with the Indians. From 1522 to 1528 he was governor and captain general of New Spain (Mexico); from 1529 he was captain general. In 1540 he returned to Spain, where he died.


Relaciones de H. Cortes a Carlos V, vols. 1–2. Mexico City, 1958.


Ocherki novoi i noveishei istorii Meksiki. Moscow, 1960.
Madariaga, S. de. Hernán Cortés, 6th ed. Mexico City-Buenos Aires, 1955.
Valle, R. H. Bibliografía de Herndn Cortés. Mexico City, 1953.