About Bernal Diaz

Bernal Diaz

Bernal Diaz del Castillo (1492-1585)

Bernal Diaz del Castillo was born in 1492 in Medina del Campo, Spain; he came from a poor family and received little education. Diaz participated in the campaigns against the Aztec Empire and later was appointed Governor of Santiago de los Caballeros, today Antigua, Guatemala.

He is best known for the eyewitness account he wrote about the Spanish conquest. The book's title, The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, suggest he considered other writings, mainly Hernan Cortes' accounts, to be inaccurate. He describes the conquest of the Aztecs, the battles in which he participated and many aspects of the native cultures.

Bernal's chronicle is considered the most trustful of its kind and has a great historical value. Díaz died in 1585, without seeing his book published. A manuscript was found in a Madrid library in 1632 and was published for the first time the same year.

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