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Cuauhtémoc facts for kids

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  • 11th Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan
  • Ruler of the Aztec Triple Alliance
Bust of Cuauhtémoc (Zócalo, Mexico City).jpg
Bust of Cuauhtémoc in el Zócalo, Mexico City.
Reign 1520–1521
Born Circa 1497
Died Circa 1525 (aged 27–28)
Predecessor Cuitlahuac
Successor Tlacotzin
Father Ahuitzotl

Cuauhtémoc, also known as Cuauhtemotzín, Guatimozín, or Guatémoc, was the Aztec ruler (tlatoani) of Tenochtitlan from 1520 to 1521, making him the last Aztec Emperor. The name Cuauhtemōc means "one who has descended like an eagle", and is commonly rendered in English as "Descending Eagle", as in the moment when an eagle folds its wings and plummets down to strike its prey. This is a name that implies aggressiveness and determination.

Cuauhtémoc took power in 1520 as successor of Cuitláhuac and was a cousin of the late emperor Moctezuma II. His young wife, who was later known as Isabel Moctezuma, was one of Moctezuma's daughters. He ascended to the throne when he was around 25 years old, while Tenochtitlan was being besieged by the Spanish and devastated by an epidemic of smallpox brought to the New World by Spanish explorers. After the killings in the Great Temple, there were probably few Aztec captains available to take the position.

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