Nezahualcoyotl : The Emperor PoetFebruary 27, 2016 • By Alfonso Olvera
"Yo soy Nezahualcóyotl, Soy el cantor" Spanish
“I am Nezahualcoyotl, I am the songster”
Leader, poet, warrior, architect; Nezahaualcoyotl was a great thinker, wise and versatile. Nezahualcóyotl was born in Texcoco in 1402.
He was son of the princess Matlalcihuatzin, daughter of Huitzilíhuitl, king of the Aztecs and the second master of Tenochtitlán and of Ixtlilxóchitl sixth master of the Chichimec and master of Texcoco.
At birth he was named Acolmiztli, or Strong Puma, but the tragic circumstances that he lived in his adolescence made him change names to Nezahualcóyotl, or Hungry Coyote.
The bank of the lake of Texcoco in the 15th century was densely inhabited since the lake allowed for facilitated communications, but on the other hand, this highly dense population was provoking the depletion of suitable grounds for harvest and cultivation.
Due to this problem some tribes started to expand their grounds to areas with major agricultural potential. These actions created hostility and wars between tribes of the lake, being specially notable the one carried out against the people of Azcapotzalco.
Their city had exhausted its agricultural grounds and on not having been able to feed its people, then occupied the Texcoco territory.
Nezahualcóyotl, only sixteen years old, faced the Tepanec invasion led by the master of Azcapotzalco, Tezozómoc, whose intention was to murder his father and all his family to be able to take possession of the throne.
Nezahualcóyotl wanted to repel and face the attack, but his father preferred to flee and to remain hidden until they found support from neighboring tribes.
The Texcocan king and prince found shelter in the caves of Tzinacanoztoc and Cualhyacac, while the Tezozómoc invaders searched the city and it’s surroundings to find them.
They could not hide there for very long, and so Ixtlilxóchitl ordered his son to go into the forest, while he and some loyal men tried, with little success, to detain the city’s captors.
Nezahualcóyotl returned and went to Tlaxcala, ordered its supporters to leave the resistance while he found a way of liberating them of the tyranny.
Tezozómoc offered a big reward for his apprehension, but Nezahualcóyotl with his astuteness managed to deceive his pursuers, until the wives of the masters of Tlatelolco and Mexico in 1420, convinced Tezozómoc of pardoning him.
After Tezozómoc’s death in 1427, he was succeeded by Maxtla. He attempted several ambushes to Nezahualcóyotl, none of which were successful.
Nezahualcóyotl organized a common front with great diplomatic skills and abilities, attracting other cities that were discontent with the Tepanec tyranny, mainly the Huejotzincas and Tlaxcaltecas.
His army, made up of more than a thousand men, achieved the conquest of Acolman and Otumba, and managed to take Texcoco.
This liberated the cities of Tlatelolco and Tenochtitlan after a huge battle, and after 114 days, Nezahualcóyotl destroyed Azcapotzalco.
Nezahualcóyotl killed Maxtla in battle. Determined to create an epoch of splendor in Mexico, he drafted the agreement of the Triple Alliance with Totoquihuatzin, master of Tacuba, and Itzcóatl, master of Tenochtitlán. (continues...)