Chapter VI 
CITY OF CHOLULA- GREAT TEMPLE- MARCH TO CHOLULA-
RECEPTION ACCORDED THE SPANIARDS- CONSPIRACY DETECTED
THE ancient city of Cholula, capital of the republic of that name,
lay nearly six leagues south of Tlascala, and about twenty east, or
rather south-east of Mexico. It was said by Cortes to contain twenty
thousand houses within the walls, and as many more in the environs.
Whatever was its real number of inhabitants, it was unquestionably, at
the time of the Conquest, one of the most populous and flourishing
cities in New Spain.
It was of great antiquity, and was founded by the primitive
races who overspread the land before the Aztecs. We have few
particulars of its form of government, which seems to have been cast
on a republican model similar to that of Tlascala. This answered so
well, that the state maintained its independence down to a very late
period, when, if not reduced to vassalage by the Aztecs, it was so far
under their control as to enjoy few of the benefits of a separate
political existence. Their connection with Mexico brought the
Cholulans into frequent collision with their neighbours and kindred,
the Tlascalans. But, although far superior to them in refinement and
the various arts of civilisation, they were no match in war for the
bold mountaineers, the Swiss of Anahuac. The Cholulan capital was
the great commercial emporium of the plateau. The inhabitants excelled
in various mechanical arts, especially that of working in metals,
the manufacture of cotton and agave cloths, and of a delicate kind
of pottery, rivalling, it was said, that of Florence in beauty. But
such attention to the arts of a polished and peaceful community
naturally indisposed them to war, and disqualified them for coping
with those who made war the great business of life. The Cholulans were
accused of effeminacy, and were less distinguished- it is the charge
of their rivals- by their courage than their cunning.
But the capital, so conspicuous for its refinement and its great
antiquity, was even more venerable for the religious traditions
which invested it. It was here that the god Quetzalcoatl paused in his
passage to the coast, and passed twenty years in teaching the Toltec
inhabitants the arts of civilisation. He made them acquainted with
better forms of government, and a more spiritualised religion, in
which the only sacrifices were the fruits and flowers of the season.
It is not easy to determine what he taught, since, his lessons have
been so mingled with the licentious dogmas of his own priests, and the
mystic commentaries of the Christian missionary. It is probable that
he was one of those rare and gifted beings, who dissipating the
darkness of the age by the illumination of their own genius, are
deified by a grateful posterity, and placed among the lights of
It was in honour of this benevolent deity, that the stupendous
mound was erected on which the traveller still gazes with admiration
as the most colossal fabric in New Spain, rivalling in dimensions, and
somewhat resembling in form, the pyramidal structures of ancient
Egypt. The date of its erection is unknown, for it was found there
when the Aztecs entered on the plateau. It had the form common to
the Mexican teocallis, that of a truncated pyramid, facing with its
four sides the cardinal points, and divided into the same number of
terraces. Its original outlines, however, have been effaced by the
action of time and of the elements, while the exuberant growth of
shrubs and wild flowers, which have mantled over its surface, give
it the appearance of one of those symmetrical elevations thrown up
by the caprice of nature, rather than by the industry of man. It is
doubtful, indeed, whether the interior be not a natural hill, though
it seems not improbable that it is an artificial composition of
stone and earth, deeply incrusted, as is certain, in every part,
with alternate strata of brick and clay.
The perpendicular height of the pyramid is one hundred and
seventy-seven feet. Its base is one thousand four hundred and
twenty-three feet long, twice as long as that of the great pyramid
of Cheops. It may give some idea of its dimensions to state, that
its base, which is square, covers about forty-four acres, and the
platform on its truncated summit, embraces more than one. It reminds
us of those colossal monuments of brickwork, which are still seen in
ruins on the banks of the Euphrates, and, in much higher preservation,
on those of the Nile.
On the summit stood a sumptuous temple, in which was the image
of the mystic deity, "god of the air," with ebon features, unlike
the fair complexion which he bore upon earth, wearing a mitre on his
head waving with plumes of fire, with a resplendent collar of gold
round his neck, pendants of mosaic turquoise in his ears, a jewelled
sceptre in one hand, and a shield curiously painted, the emblem of his
rule over the winds, in the other. The sanctity of the place, hallowed
by hoary tradition, and the magnificence of the temple and its
services, made it an object of veneration throughout the land, and
pilgrims from the furthest corners of Anahuac came to offer up their
devotions at the shrine of Quetzalcoatl. The number of these was so
great, as to give an air of mendicity to the motley population of
the city; and Cortes, struck with the novelty, tells us that he saw
multitudes of beggars such as are to be found in the enlightened
capitals of Europe;- a whimsical criterion of civilisation which
must place our own prosperous land somewhat low in the scale.
Cholula was not the resort only of the indigent devotee. Many of
the kindred races had temples of their own in the city, in the same
manner as some Christian nations have in Rome, and each temple was
provided with its own peculiar ministers for the service of the
deity to whom it was consecrated. In no city was there seen such a
concourse of priests, so many processions, such pomp of ceremonial
sacrifice, and religious festivals. Cholula was, in short, what
Mecca is among Mahometans, or Jerusalem among Christians; it was the
Holy City of Anahuac.
The religious rites were not performed, however, in the pure
spirit originally prescribed by its tutelary deity. His altars, as
well as those of the numerous Aztec gods, were stained with human
blood; and six thousand victims are said to have been annually offered
up at their sanguinary shrines. The great number of these may be
estimated from the declaration of Cortes, that he counted four hundred
towers in the city; yet no temple had more than two, many only one.
High above the rest rose the great "Pyramid of Cholula," with its
undying fires flinging their radiance over the capital, and
proclaiming to the nations that there was the mystic worship- alas!
how corrupted by cruelty and superstition- of the good deity who was
one day to return and resume his empire over the land.
But it is time to return to Tlascala. On the appointed morning the
Spanish army took up its march to Mexico by the way of Cholula. It was
followed by crowds of the citizens, filled with admiration at the
intrepidity of men who, so few in number, would venture to brave the
great Montezuma in his capital. Yet an immense body of warriors
offered to share the dangers of the expedition; but Cortes, while he
showed his gratitude for their good will, selected only six thousand
of the volunteers to bear him company. He was unwilling to encumber
himself with an unwieldy force that might impede his movements; and
probably did not care to put himself so far in the power of allies
whose attachment was too recent to afford sufficient guaranty for
After crossing some rough and hilly ground, the army entered on
the wide plain which spreads out for miles around Cholula. At the
elevation of more than six thousand feet above the sea they beheld the
rich products of various climes growing side by side, fields of
towering maize, the juicy aloe, the chilli or Aztec pepper, and
large plantations of the cactus, on which the brilliant cochineal is
nourished. Not a rood of land but was under cultivation; and the soil-
an uncommon thing on the tableland- was irrigated by numerous
streams and canals, and well shaded by woods, that have disappeared
before the rude axe of the Spaniards. Towards evening they reached a
small stream, on the banks of which Cortes determined to take up his
quarters for the night, being unwilling to disturb the tranquillity of
the city by introducing so large a force into it at an unseasonable
Here he was soon joined by a number of Cholulan caciques and their
attendants, who came to view and welcome the strangers. When they
saw their Tlascalan enemies in the camp, however, they exhibited signs
of displeasure, and intimated an apprehension that their presence in
the town might occasion disorder. The remonstrance seemed reasonable
to Cortes, and he accordingly commanded his allies to remain in
their present quarters, and to join him as he left the city on the
way to Mexico.
On the following morning he made his entrance at the head of his
army into Cholula, attended by no other Indians than those from
Cempoalla, and a handful of Tlascalans to take charge of the
baggage. His allies, at parting, gave him many cautions respecting the
people he was to visit, who, while they affected to despise them as
a nation of traders, employed the dangerous arms of perfidy and
cunning. As the troops drew near the city, the road was lined with
swarms of people of both sexes and every age,- old men tottering
with infirmity, women with children in their arms, all eager to
catch a glimpse of the strangers, whose persons, weapons, and horses
were objects of intense curiosity to eyes which had not hitherto
ever encountered them in battle. The Spaniards, in turn, were filled
with admiration at the aspect of the Cholulans, much superior in dress
and general appearance to the nations they had hitherto seen. They
were particularly struck with the costume of the higher classes, who
wore fine embroidered mantles, resembling the graceful albornoz, or
Moorish cloak, in their texture and fashion. They showed the same
delicate taste for flowers as the other tribes of the plateau,
decorating their persons with them, and tossing garlands and bunches
among the soldiers. An immense number of priests mingled. with the
crowd, swinging their aromatic censers, while music from various kinds
of instruments gave a lively welcome to the visitors, and made the
whole scene one of gay, bewildering enchantment. If it did not have
the air of a triumphal procession so much as at Tlascala, where the
melody of instruments was drowned by the shouts of the multitude, it
gave a quiet assurance of hospitality and friendly feeling not less
The Spaniards were also struck with the cleanliness of the city,
the width and great regularity of the streets, which seemed to have
been laid out on a settled plan, with the solidity of the houses,
and the number and size of the pyramidal temples. In the court of
one of these, and its surrounding buildings, they were quartered.
They were soon visited by the principal lords of the place, who
seemed solicitous to provide them with accommodations. Their table was
plentifully supplied, and, in short, they experienced such
attentions as were calculated to dissipate their suspicions, and
made them impute those of their Tlascalan friends to prejudice and old
In a few days the scene changed. Messengers arrived from
Montezuma, who, after a short and unpleasant intimation to Cortes that
his approach occasioned much disquietude to their master, conferred
separately with the Mexican ambassadors still in the Castilian camp,
and then departed, taking one of the latter along with them. From this
time, the deportment of their Cholulan hosts underwent a visible
alteration. They did not visit the quarters as before, and, when
invited to do so, excused themselves on pretence of illness. The
supply of provisions was stinted, on the ground that they were short
of maize. These symptoms of alienation, independently of temporary
embarrassment, caused serious alarm in the breast of Cortes, for the
future. His apprehensions were not allayed by the reports of the
Cempoallans, who told him, that in wandering round the city they had
seen several streets barricaded; the azoteas, or flat roofs of the
houses, loaded with huge stones and other missiles, as if
preparatory to an assault; and in some places they had found holes
covered over with branches, and upright stakes planted within, as if
to embarrass the movements of the cavalry. Some Tlascalans coming in
also from their camp, informed the general that a great sacrifice,
mostly of children, had been offered up in a distant quarter of the
town, to propitiate the favour of the gods, apparently for some
intended enterprise. They added, that they had seen numbers of the
citizens leaving the city with their women and children, as if to
remove them to a place of safety. These tidings confirmed the worst
suspicions of Cortes, who had no doubt that some hostile scheme was in
agitation. If he had felt any, a discovery by Marina, the good angel
of the expedition, would have turned these doubts into certainty.
The amiable manners of the Indian girl had won her the regard of
the wife of one of the caciques, who repeatedly urged Marina to
visit her house, darkly intimating that in this way she would escape
the fate that awaited the Spaniards. The interpreter, seeing the
importance of obtaining further intelligence at once, pretended to
be pleased with the proposal, and affected, at the same time, great
discontent with the white men, by whom she was detained in
captivity. Thus throwing the credulous Cholulan off her guard,
Marina gradually insinuated herself into her confidence, so far as
to draw from her a full account of the conspiracy.
It originated, she said, with the Aztec emperor, who had sent rich
bribes to the great caciques, and to her husband among others, to
secure them in his views. The Spaniards were to be assaulted as they
marched out of the capital, when entangled in its streets, in which
numerous impediments had been placed to throw the cavalry into
disorder. A force of twenty thousand Mexicans was already quartered at
no great distance from the city, to support the Cholulans in the
assault. It was confidently expected that the Spaniards, thus
embarrassed in their movements, would fall an easy prey to the
superior strength of their enemy. A sufficient number of prisoners was
to be reserved to grace the sacrifices of Cholula; the rest were to be
led in fetters to the capital of Montezuma.
While this conversation was going on, Marina occupied herself with
putting up such articles of value and wearing apparel as she
proposed to take with her in the evening, when she could escape
unnoticed from the Spanish quarters to the house of her Cholulan
friend, who assisted her in the operation. Leaving her visitor thus
employed, Marina found an opportunity to steal away for a few moments,
and, going to the general's apartment, disclosed to him her
discoveries. He immediately caused the cacique's wife to be seized,
and on examination she fully confirmed the statement of his Indian
The intelligence thus gathered by Cortes filled him with the
deepest alarm. He was fairly taken in the snare. To fight or to fly
seemed equally difficult. He was in a city of enemies, where every
house might be converted into a fortress, and where such
embarrassments were thrown in the way, as might render the
manoeuvres of his artillery and horse nearly impracticable. In
addition to the wily Cholulans, he must cope, under all these
disadvantages, with the redoubtable warriors of Mexico. He was like
a traveller who has lost his way in the darkness among precipices,
where any step may dash him to pieces, and where to retreat or to
advance is equally perilous.
He was desirous to obtain still further confirmation and
particulars of the conspiracy. He accordingly induced two of the
priests in the neighbourhood, one of them a person of much influence
in the place, to visit his quarters. By courteous treatment, and
liberal largesses of the rich presents he had received from
Montezuma,- thus turning his own gifts against the giver,- he drew
from them a full confirmation of the previous report. The emperor
had been in a state of pitiable vacillation since the arrival of the
Spaniards. His first orders to the Cholulans were, to receive the
strangers kindly. He had recently consulted his oracles anew, and
obtained for answer, that Cholula would be the grave of his enemies;
for the gods would be sure to support him in avenging the sacrilege
offered to the Holy City. So confident were the Aztecs of success,
that numerous manacles, or poles with thongs which served as such,
were already in the place to secure the prisoners.
Cortes, now feeling himself fully possessed of the facts,
dismissed the priests, with injunctions of secrecy, scarcely
necessary. He told them it was his purpose to leave the city on the
following morning, and requested that they would induce some of the
principal caciques to grant him an interview in his quarters. He
then summoned a council of his officers, though, as it seems,
already determined as to the course he was to take.
The members of the council were differently affected by the
startling intelligence, according to their different characters. The
more timid, disheartened by the prospect of obstacles which seemed
to multiply as they drew nearer the Mexican capital, were for
retracing their steps, and seeking shelter in the friendly city of
Tlascala. Others, more persevering, but prudent, were for taking the
more northerly route originally recommended by their allies. The
greater part supported the general, who was ever of opinion that
they had no alternative but to advance. Retreat would be ruin.
Half-way measures were scarcely better; and would infer a timidity
which must discredit them with both friend and foe. Their true
policy was to rely on themselves; to strike such a blow as should
intimidate their enemies, and show them that the Spaniards were as
incapable of being circumvented by artifice, as of being crushed by
weight of numbers and courage in the open field.
When the caciques, persuaded by the priests, appeared before
Cortes, he contented himself with gently rebuking their want of
hospitality, and assured them the Spaniards would be no longer a
burden to their city, as he proposed to leave it early on the
following morning. He requested, moreover, that they would furnish a
reinforcement of two thousand men to transport his artillery and
baggage. The chiefs, after some consultation, acquiesced in a demand
which might in some measure favour their own designs.
On their departure, the general summoned the Aztec ambassadors
before him. He briefly acquainted them with his detection of the
treacherous plot to destroy his army, the contrivance of which, he
said, was imputed to their master, Montezuma. It grieved him much,
he added, to find the emperor implicated in so nefarious a scheme, and
that the Spaniards must now march as enemies against the prince,
whom they had hoped to visit as a friend.
The ambassadors, with earnest protestations, asserted their entire
ignorance of the conspiracy; and their belief that Montezuma was
equally innocent of a crime, which they charged wholly on the
Cholulans. It was clearly the policy of Cortes to keep on good terms
with the Indian monarch; to profit as long as possible by his good
offices; and to avail himself of his fancied security- such feelings
of security as the general could inspire him with- to cover his own
future operations. He affected to give credit, therefore, to the
assertion of the envoys, and declared his unwillingness to believe
that a monarch, who had rendered the Spaniards so many friendly
offices, would now consummate the whole by a deed of such unparalleled
baseness. The discovery of their twofold duplicity, he added,
sharpened his resentment against the Cholulans, on whom he would
take such vengeance as should amply requite the injuries done both
to Montezuma and the Spaniards. He then dismissed the ambassadors,
taking care, notwithstanding this show of confidence, to place a
strong guard over them, to prevent communication with the citizens.
That night was one of deep anxiety to the army. The ground they
stood on seemed loosening beneath their feet, and any moment might
be the one marked for their destruction. Their vigilant general took
all possible precautions for their safety, increasing the number of
the sentinels, and posting his guns in such a manner as to protect the
approaches to the camp. His eyes, it may well be believed, did not
close during the night. Indeed every Spaniard lay down in his arms,
and every horse stood saddled and bridled, ready for instant
service. But no assault was meditated by the Indians, and the
stillness of the hour was undisturbed except by the occasional
sounds heard in a populous city, even when buried in slumber, and by
the hoarse cries of the priests from the turrets of the teocallis,
proclaiming through their trumpets the watches of the night.
1. Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.
According to Las Casas, the place contained 30,000 vecinos, or about 150,000 inhabitants. (Brevissima Relatione della Distrutione dell' Indie Occidentale (Venetia, 1643).) This latter, being the smaller estimate, is a priori the most credible; especially--a rare occurrence--when in the pages of the good bishop of Chiapa.
2. Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. III. p. 159.
3. Veytia carries back the foundation of the city to the UImecs, a people who preceded the Toltecs. (Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 13, 20.) As the latter, after occupying the land several centuries, have left not a single written record, probably, of their existence, it will be hard to disprove the licentiate's assertion,--still harder to prove it.
4. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 2.
5. Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 58.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 19.
6. Veytia, Hist. Antig., tom. I. cap. 15, et seq.--Sahagun, Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 1, cap. 5; lib. 3.
7. Later divines have found in these teachings of the Toltec god, or high-priest, the germs of some of the great mysteries of the Christian faith, as those of the Incarnation, and the Trinity, for example. In the teacher himself, they recognize no less a person than St. Thomas, the Apostle! See the Dissertation of the irrefragable Dr. Mier, with an edifying commentary by Señor Bustamante, ap. Sahagun. (Hist. de Nueva España, tom. I. Suplemento.) The reader will find further particulars of this matter in Appendix, Part 1, of this History.
8. Such, on the whole, seems to be the judgment of M. de Humboldt, who has examined this interesting monument with his usual care. (Vues des Cordillères, p. 27, et seq. Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 150, et seq.) The opinion derives strong confirmation from the fact, that a road, cut
some years since across the tumulus, laid open a large section of it, in which the alternate layers of brick and clay are distinctly visible. (Ibid., loc. cit.) The present appearance of this monument, covered over with the verdure and vegetable mould of centuries, excuses the skepticism of the more superficial traveller.
9. Several of the pyramids of Egypt, and the ruins of Babylon, are, as is well known, of brick. An inscription on one of the former, indeed, celebrates this material as superior to stone. (Herodotus, Euterpe, sec. 136.)--Humboldt furnishes an apt illustration of the size of the Mexican teocalli, by comparing it to a mass of bricks covering a square four times as large as the place Vendôme, and of twice the height of the Louvre. Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 152.
10. A minute account of the costume and insignia of Quetzalcoatl is given by father Sahagun, who saw the Aztec gods before the arm of the Christian convert had tumbled them from "their pride of place." See Hist. de Nueva España, lib. 1, cap. 3.
11. They came from the distance of two hundred leagues, says Torquemada. Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 19.
12. "Hay mucha gente pobre, y que piden entre los Ricos por las Calles, y por las Casas y Mercados, como hacen los Pobres en España, y en otras partes que hay Gente de razon." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, pp. 67, 68.
13. Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 3, cap. 19.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 61.--Camargo, Hist. de Tlascala, MS.
14. Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 2.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., ubi supra.
15. "È certifico á Vuestra Alteza, que yo conté desde una Mezquita quatrocientas, y tantas Torres en la dicha Ciudad, y todas son de Mezquitas." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.
16. The city of Puebla de los Angeles was founded by the Spaniards soon after the Conquest, on the site of an insignificant village in the territory of Cholula, a few miles to the east of that capital. It is, perhaps, the most considerable city in New Spain, after Mexico itself, which it
rivals in beauty. It seems to have inherited the religious preeminence of the ancient Cholula, being distinguished, like her, for the number and splendor of its churches, the multitude of its clergy, and the magnificence of its ceremonies and festivals. These are fully displayed in the pages of travellers, who have passed through the place on the usual route from Vera Cruz to the capital. (See in particular, Bullock's Mexico, vol. I. chap. 6.) The environs of Cholula, still irrigated as in the days of the Aztecs, are equally remarkable for the fruitfulness of the soil. The best wheat lands, according to a very respectable authority, yield in the proportion of eighty for one. Ward's Mexico, vol. II. p. 270.--See, also, Humboldt, Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 158; tom. IV. p. 330.
17. According to Cortés, a hundred thousand men offered their services on this occasion! "È puesto que yo ge lo defendiesse, y rogué que no fuessen, porque no habia necesidad, todavía me siguiéron hasta cien mil Hombres muy bien aderezados de Guerra, y llegáron con migo hasta dos leguas de la Ciudad: y desde allí, por mucha importunidad mia se bolviéron, aunque todavía quedáron en mi compañía hasta cinco ó seis mil de ellos." (Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 64.) This, which must have been nearly the whole fighting force of the republic, does not startle Oviedo, (Hist. de las Ind., MS., cap. 4,) nor Gomara, Crónica, cap. 58.
18. The words of the Conquistador are yet stronger. "Ni un palmo de tierra hay, que no esté labrada." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.
19. "Los honrados ciudadanos de ella todos trahen albornoces, encima de la otra ropa, aunque son diferenciados de los de África, porque tienen maneras; pero en la hechura y tela y Ins rapacejos son muy semejables." Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 67.
20. Ibid., p. 67.--Ixtlilxochitl, Hist. Chich., MS., cap. 84.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 33, cap. 4.--Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 82.
The Spaniards compared Cholula to the beautiful Valladolid, according to Herrera, whose description of the entry is very animated. "Saliéronle otro dia á recibir mas de diez mil ciudadanos en diversas tropas, con rosas, flores, pan, aves, i frutas, i mucha música. Llegaba vn esquadron á dar la bien llegada á Hernando Cortés, i con buena órden se iba apartando, dando lugar á que otro llegase........ En llegando á la ciudad, que pareció mucho á los Castellanos, en el asiento, i perspectiva, á Valladolid, salió la demas gente, quedando mui espantada de ver las figuras, talles, i armas de los Castellanos. Saliéron los sacerdotes con vestiduras blancas, como sobrepellices, i algunas cerradas por delante, los braços defuera, confluecos de algodon en las orillas. Unos llevaban figuras de ídolos en las manos, otros sahumerios; otros tocaban cornetas, atabalejos, i diversas músicas, i todos iban cantando, i llegaban á encensar á los Castellanos. Con esta pompa entráron en Chulula." Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 1.
21. Cortés, indeed, noticed these same alarming appearances on his entering the city, thus suggesting the idea of a premeditated treachery. "Y en el camino topámos muchas señales, de las que los Naturales de esta Provincia nos habian dicho: por que hallámos el camino real cerrado, y hecho otro, y algunos hoyos aunque no muchos, y algunas calles de la ciudad tapiadas, y muchas piedras en todas las Azoteas. Y con esto nos hiciéron estar mas sobre aviso, y á mayor recaudo." Rel. Seg., ap. Lorenzana, p. 64.
22. Bernal Diaz, Hist. de la Conquista, cap. 83.--Gomara, Crónica, cap. 59.--Rel. Seg. de Cortés, ap. Lorenzana, p. 65.--Torquemada, Monarch. Ind., lib. 4, cap. 39.--Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., MS., lib. 83, cap. 4.--Martyr, De Orbe Novo, dec. 5, cap. 2.--Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 7, cap. 1.--Argensola, Anales, lib. 1, cap. 85.
23. "Las horas de la noche las regulaban por las estrellas, y tocaban los ministros del templo que estaban destinados para este fin, ciertos instrumentos como vocinas, con que hacian conocer al pueblo el tiempo." Gama, Descripcion, Parte 1, p. 14.