Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/133

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101
MEXICANS.

cuhzoma Ilhuicamina had greatly gained in strength and extent.

Three sovereigns followed Motecuhzoma, in due course, and in practice of the same methods of government. They extended their depredations all over the country, sometimes meeting with resistance, as in the case of Michoacan, in 1479, when the Mexicans were utterly routed by the Tarascos in a bloody battle which lasted two days. The king at that time was Axayacatl, who died soon after his disastrous defeat. He left two sons destined to play a part in the last scene of the history of Mexican monarchy—Motecuhzoma the Second and Cuitlahuac.

The immediate successor of Axayacatl was his brother, Tizoc, who, as was the custom, left the position of general-in-chief to become king. He was a brave warrior, stern and uncompromising in character, zealous in gathering victims to sacrifice to his gods.

In the museum of Mexico is a monument which preserves the name and deeds of this great warrior king. It is a large carved stone, which was found in the course of excavation for a sewer, almost a hundred years ago in the principal plaza of the city of Mexico. It is called the Cuauhxicalli of Tizoc, which means the Drinking-cup of the Eagle. On its upper face is carved an image of the sun. On the carved sides are fifteen groups, each group of two persons, the conquering warrior grasping by the hair a prisoner. The warrior is in each the same figure repeated. The fifteen prisoners represent fifteen conquered tribes. The conqueror is Tizoc, seventh king of Mexico, who