Quotes Tagged "flames"
The entire pre-Columbian literature of Mexico, a vast library of tens of thousands of codices, was carefully and systematically destroyed by the priests and friars who followed in the wake of the conquistadors. In November 1530, for example, Bishop Juan de Zumárraga, who had shortly before been apointed 'Protector of the Indians' by the Spanish crown, proceeded to 'protect' his flock by burning at the stake a Mexican aristocrat, the lord of the city of Texcoco, whom he accused of having worshipped the rain god. In the city's marketplace Zumárraga 'had a pyramid formed of the documents of Aztec history, knowledge and literature, their paintings, manuscripts, and hieroglyphic writings, all of which he committed to the flames while the natives cried and prayed.' More than 30 years later, the holocaust of documents was still under way. In July 1562, in the main square of Mani (just south of modern Merida in the Yucatan), Bishop Diego de Landa burned thousands of Maya codices, story paintings, and hieroglyphs inscribed on rolled-up deer skins. He boasted of destroying countless 'idols' and 'altars,' all of which he described as 'works of the devil, designed by the evil one to delude the Indians and to prevent them from accepting Christianity.' Noting that the Maya 'used certain characters or letters, which they wrote in their books about the antiquities and their sciences' he informs us: 'We found a great number of books in these letters, and since they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the devil we burned them all, which they took most grievously and which gave them great pain.