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A Map of Tlaxcala:
The top-right hand sector is Tizatlan, the bottom-right hand sector Quiahuiztlan, the top-left hand sector Ocotelolco, and the bottom-left hand sector Tepeticpac. The river, Atzompa, crosses the city from North to South (left to right, the map being oriented along an East-West axis). From Alfredo Chavero, Pintures Jeroglificas, Mexico 1901.
Tlaxcaltecâ allies accompany Hernan Cortés during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, 1519, from the History of Tlaxcala.
Picture from the History of Tlaxcala showing Cortés meeting with the Tlaxcallan messengers. Their conversation is translated by Doña Malinche.

Tlaxcala (Nahuatl Tlaxcallān "place of maize tortillas") was a pre-Columbian city state of central Mexico.

Tlaxcala was a confederation of four altepetlOcotelolco, Quiahuiztlan, Tepeticpac and Tizatlan — which each took turns providing a ruler for Tlaxcala as a whole.



Tlaxcala was never conquered by the Aztec empire, but was engaged in a state of perpetual war, or so-called flower wars. During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Tlaxcala allied with the Spaniards against the Aztecs, supplying a large contingent for – and at times the majority of – the Spanish-led army that eventually destroyed the Aztec empire.

As a result of their alliance with the Spaniards, Tlaxcala had a somewhat privileged status within Spanish colonial Mexico.

Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo describes the first battle between the Spanish force and the Tlaxcalteca as surprisingly difficult. He writes that they probably would not have survived, had not Xicotencatl the Elder, ruler of Tizatlan, persuaded the Tlaxcallan warleader his son, Xicotencatl the Younger, that it would be better to ally with the newcomers than to kill them. Xicohtencatl the Younger was later hanged by Cortes for desertion in April 1521 during the siege of Tenochtitlan.

Due to protracted warfare between the Aztecs and the Tlaxcala, the Tlaxcala were eager to exact revenge, and soon became loyal allies of the Spanish. Even after the Spanish were chased out of Tenochtitlan, the Tlaxcala continued to support their conquest.


Diego Muñoz Camargo's History of Tlaxcala (Lienzo de Tlaxcala), written in or before 1585, is an illustrated codex describing the conquest of Mexico. It was painted by Tlaxcalteca artists under Spanish supervision.

Crónica Mexicayotl was written by Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc, in Nahuatl and Spanish, in the last decades of the sixteenth century.


  • Alvarado Tezozomoc, Fernando (1944). Crónica Mexicana. Mexico: Manuel Orozco y Berra, Leyenda.
  • Gibson, Charles (1952). Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Hassig, Ross (2001). "Xicotencatl: rethinking an indigenous Mexican hero", Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl, UNAM.
  • Hicks, Frederic (2009). Land and Succession in the Indigenous Noble Houses of Sixteenth-Century Tlaxcala. Ethnohistory, 56:4, 569–588.
  • Muñoz Camargo, Diego (1982) [1892]. Historia de Tlaxcala. Alfredo Chavero. México.

See also

External links



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