The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Axayacatl
AXAYACATL, a Mexican emperor, died about 1477. He was the father of Montezuma II., and reigned 14 years. He was already famous as a warrior when he became emperor of the Aztecs, and inaugurated his reign by a successful expedition against Tehuantepec, and in 1467 conquered anew the cities of Cotasta and Tochtepec. A little later he repelled the tribes who strove to get possession of the Mexican capital, and maintained a vigorous warfare against his neighbors. He was defeated by the natives of Michoacan, whom he attacked with inferior forces, and on his return to Mexico celebrated funeral solemnities. He was preparing another expedition when he died suddenly and prematurely. The palace of Axayacatl, a gigantic pile of stone buildings, became 50 years later the barracks of the Spaniards. His treasures were discovered by Cortes within a concealed door, and the chronicler of the conquest exclaims that “it seemed as if all the riches in the world were in that room.” They consisted of gold and silver in bars and in the ore, many jewels of value, and numerous rich and beautiful articles of curious workmanship, as imitations of birds, insects, or flowers.