In The Lords of Tetzcoco, Bradley Benton provides a much-needed overview of sixteenth-century Tetzcoco and its Native nobility. Perhaps best known as the second most powerful city within the Aztec empire, Tetzcoco was the capital of the larger Acolhua domain, Acolhuacan, and sold itself as the intellectual and cultural hub of central Mexico. Benton’s concern is not so much on the preconquest reputation of the city but instead on how its Indigenous rulers adapted to colonial rule and managed to retain relative power and affluence despite the fact that many other Indigenous nobles suffered a loss of political and economic power during the sixteenth century. Benton associates the relatively better fortunes of Tetzcoco’s leading nobles to their active responses to Spanish colonial rule and astute negotiations of new positions of power under this rule.

Benton’s approach is largely chronological. He first...

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