Talk:Moctezuma II

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Former good article nominee Moctezuma II was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
March 30, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed

"Last king"[edit]

On a page entitled just "Moctezuma," (which I have redirected here) someone had written "Moctezuma was the last Aztec king." Please note that that is both incomplete and false -- there were two Moctezumas, neither of which were "last."

If we're not careful, the term "Wikipedia article" will come to be used to mean "authoritive-sounding nonsense."=]

In a way Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin was the last true Mexica king of Tenochtitlan since during his rein, Tenochtitlan was raided by Cortez. Myke 13:04, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The last Mexica tlatoani was Cuauhtémoc. And it's "Cortés" not "Cortez" --Sukozo (talk) 11:57, 3 November 2011 (UTC) <(*_*)>

No source[edit]

I cut the anonamously added "Some historians point out however, that the spaniards, realizing that Moctezuma had lost his influence and rule over his aztec subjects, found him useless and killed him right after the stoning incident." Source? As far as I remember, this isn't how Diaz de Castillo nor Prescott tell it. Wondering simply, Infrogmation 04:49 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

if i remember the original source of this is Gomarra (and confirmed by the florentine codex). This declaration from Gomarra wa the reazon why Castillo wrote "The Real history...".
The florentine codex doesn't mention how motecuzoma died - it says that nahuas found his body on the lakebed early in the morning (i think after the noche triste)·Maunus·ƛ· 21:16, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Warrior, not scholar[edit]

According to the ABC-CLIO world history database, Montezuma was a warrior, not a scholar, which directly contradicts what is said in the article. perhaps this should be changed.

There is no contradiction, all aztec upper classes were warriors. To have the title of Tlatoani, Moctezuma must have been responsible of capturing about a dozen war prissioners. Also as a tlatoani, he continue with the aztec military expansion. But he was more interested in religion. A warrior like his uncle would have not care about the divinity of Cortez. But intead of continue his military acounts he prefered to be the Head of the Calmecac, insted of the Telpochcalli, and live the life of a priest. He did not wanted to be elected tlatoani. . Nanahuatzin

Contact with the Spanish, sources[edit]

You all should really reconsider the portion of the article concerning Spanish contact. The problems with the sources you cite are enormous. Some modern research by those who are not as biased as the authors you've read might do this article some good. It's pretty much been decided in the past 20 years or so that Moctezuma didn't believe Cortés was Quetzalcoatl, and there's no native evidence that Quetzalcoatl was even supposed to return. Report that "the sources say that..." if you want, but don't present what the sources say as if it's fact. That's just lazy.

mmhh decided by whom?... Most of the info here comes from primary sources, like Alva ixtlixochitl, the mexicayotl cronicle, the ramirez codex, Camargo, Sahagun etc. The legend of the return of queztalcoatl, (or more correctly, the return of Ce Acatl Topiltzin Queztalcoatl, great priest of queztalcoatl) is recorded By Sahagun. Is it true that there is a hotly debate on why Moctezuma reacted the way he did, maybe we shoudl expand that... Nanahuatzin 18:04, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Black legend[edit]

The whole paragraph starting from "They gave the Spanish gold flags" and ending with "they crave gold" is clearly an example of black legend. The writer pretend it has been written by an Aztec but in fact it's a fictional extract from Carl Sagan's Cosmos, therefore it's a subjective point of view which should not be included in a serious article.

Sorry , i have never read that book. Original Source Florentine Codex. Book XII, by Bernardino de Sahagun. I used the spanish translation from "The other side of the conquest", by Leon Portilla, the main scholar on nahuatl language. Yes it,s a bit colorful, but I included to show that not al aztecs view spaniards as gods o else... Nanahuatzin 08:02, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Estoy de acuerdo de con tu explicación, se puede decir lo mismo (que no todos los aztecas consideraban a los españoles como dioses) con otras palabras, pero es menester señalar que lo anterioremente citado podía ofender y ofendía la sensibilidad de un español.

(Attempt at English translation of above comment)
I agree with your explanation. We could say the same thing (that not all Aztecs considered the Spaniards to be gods) using other words, but it is (menester) to note that the earlier text could offend and has offended the sensibility of a Spaniard.
(end translation)
Richard 18:53, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Entendido el punto. Procurare ser mas cuidadoso, sin embargo, tambien me gustaria comentar que es por esa razon que recurri a citar una fuente primaria, en lugar de solo referme a ella. EL publico en general esta acostumbrado solo a escuchar los testimonios europeos... Nanahuatzin 16:16, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
(Attempt at English translation of above comment)
I get the point. I will be more careful
(translator's note: the previous sentence is a loose translation, my Spanish is not that strong, please correct the translation if you can).
However, I also prefer to comment that it is for this reason that I went back to cite a primary source instead of just referring to it. The general public is used to only hearing the European testimonies (translator's note: i.e. European point of view)
Richard 18:53, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Please offer English translations for Spanish comments. Piet 09:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok.. Nanahuatzin 20:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Moctezuma's father[edit]

Moctezuma was Axayácatl's son, not Ahuízotl's. Same goes for Cuitláhuac. Ahuízotl was Cuauhtémoc's father.


The article claims that Moctezuma is ostensibly the preferred name. I cannot confirm or deny this. I am however quite certain that Montezuma is the more commonly used name, so I propose a change to that title. Relevant Wikipedia guidelines:

  • Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). Quote: Wikipedia is not a place to advocate a title change in order to reflect recent scholarship. The articles themselves reflect recent scholarship but the titles should represent common usage.
  • Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). Quote: If a native spelling uses different letters than the most common English spelling (eg, Wien vs. Vienna), only use the native spelling as an article title if it is more commonly used in English than the anglicized form. If you are talking about a person, country, town, movie or book, use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works.

Awaiting reactions of course... Piet 09:13, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Montezuma sounds awfull  !!!!!!! (sorry you ask for my reaction...) I know this is an english enclyclopedia. But in the last years i have seen a trend to try to respect the original names: Sri-lanka, instead of Ceylan, Beijing instead of Pekin. So.. can we try to use Moctezuna, instead of the spaniard version of the name... Specially that even in Spain Montezuma is no longer used, (and not to mention that most mexicans would find montezuma offensive).. Please  :)
Also.. if you look at goggle you will find that most references to "Montezuma" dos not refer the the Aztec Tlatoani, but To Montezuma school, Montezuma county, city of Montezuma, Montezuna Castle, Montezuma Well,Montezuma's Reptiles etc, while Moctezuma would refer specifically to it.... Nanahuatzin 20:49, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I have not heard any other spelling but Moctezuma in Spanish. However, Montezuma ought to be mentioned too in the text as this is commonplace in English language. Regards, Asteriontalk 23:08, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Considering the above cited naming conventions, I don't see any strong argument for "Moctezuma". It may be more accurate, but please observe the adherence to the conventions in articles such as Saladin and Avicenna, even though these names are not actually the correct forms. I somehow doubt strongly that "Moctezuma" is more common in English, and I would need to see a citation to that effect.
The above convention states: use the most commonly used English version of the name for the article, as you would find it in other encyclopedias and reference works. One needs only do a quick search to find that Britannica, Encarta, Columbia, and Oxford, amongst others, all use the form "Montezuma" for the entry. I'm a little confused, because it seems that Nanahuatzin's comment seems to ignore the relevant policies cited directly above, which makes his own suggestions seem invalid. According to Wikipedia's naming conventions, this article should use the form "Montezuma" in the title and the text, as far as I'm concerned.--C.Logan (talk)
I think you have a valid point. Most Americans are used to seeing "Montezuma" as in "the halls of Montezuma". However, as you see above, we were convinced to use "Moctezuma" instead on the baseis that "Montezuma" was a Spanish neologism for the real Nahuatl name.
I'm OK with Moctezuma, I guess. However, I agree with you that the alternate names should be provided and explained.
Here's what MSN Encarta has to say (
Montezuma II (1480?-1520), ruler of the Aztec Empire of Mexico; his name in the Native American Nahuatl language is Montecuhzoma.
Here's what the Britannica has to say (
Montezuma II, or Moctezuma II, or Moteucçoma (Aztec emperor)
Now, where do you think we should go from here?
--Richard (talk) 02:21, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, I support the inclusion of the more correct name-forms, but it seems to me that we should use "Montezuma" as the primary form for the article, as these encyclopedias do. I don't have any doubt that "Montezuma" is not as accurate, but again, the naming conventions seem to suggest that we should go with familiarity over correctness- hence the above examples I'd given. I've tagged the claim that Moctezuma is the "most common" form in English, because this seems very questionable to me. It is certainly a recognized and used form, but none of the history books that I've seen use "Moctezuma", even if those books chose the improper form only, again, because of public familiarity. I would be interested to see a source which supports this claim, because it would satisfy my concerns.--C.Logan (talk) 02:34, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Neither "Montezuma" nor "Moctezuma" are correct. Both are 'corruptions'. Some scholars prefer to use the genuinely accurate spellings Motecuhzoma or Moteuczoma, but they're yet to really catch on. --Ptcamn (talk) 03:52, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreeing with Ptcamn. Reposting what i have recently written at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Aztec/Terminology#Montezuma_vs._Moctezuma:
The prefferred spelling in scholarly articles is Motecuhzoma if using Richard J. Andrews orthography which is becoming the most accepted in aztec studies. Another transliteration that is accpetable is Moteuczoma or Moteczoma but this is not commonly used. This is because unlike the two other forms moctezuma and montezuma it reflects his actual name in Nahuatl. It is composed of the three parts "mo" the reflexvive pronoun , "tecuh/teuc" "lord" and "zōma" "frown" - the other forms introduce spurious letters like "n" or turn "tecu" into "cte" for no good reason. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 10:03, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Cortes leaving to meet Narvaez[edit]

The sentence about Cortes leaving to meet Narvaez does not express the core point that Narvaez had been sent to arrest Cortes. When I have time I will try to fix this. Richard 18:43, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

It's fixed. I fixed it a few weeks ago but forgot to leave a note here. --Richard 06:51, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Date of Moctezuma's death and of La Noche Triste[edit]

It seems to me hard to reconcile the date of M's death as given in this article (July 1) with the date of La Noche Triste (also July 1). Wasn't the latter some days after the former? Alpheus

right, la "noche triste" was 30 of june, 1520 . Cortez delayed to run out of the city, because he still had the hight priest has hostage, and the aztec wanted to make Cuitlahuac a Tlatoani. The aztec ofered peace in excahnge, but the resume atack as soon as cuitlahuac was made TlatoaniNanahuatzin 06:51, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
It's difficult to have accurate dates here. The Europeans were still using the Julian calendar, which by that time had accumulated at least 10 days of error in comparison to the solar date. That is, the summar solstice for 1520 was probably around June 11th according to Cortes' calendar. Madman 22:41, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Clean-up tag[edit]

Fellow editors: I placed a clean-up tag on this article. I believe the following areas should be addressed:

  • The conversational tone of large sections of the article.
  • Unsupported material.
  • Legends and hearsay passed as fact (e.g. Moctezuma looked into a bird's eyes and saw men landing on the coast).
  • Better use of white space.
  • Better placement or definition of Nahuatl words.
  • The date of death of Moctezuma as well as Moctezuma's lineage (as noted elsewhere on this page).
  • The Trivia section is out of place and a mess.

My thoughts, Madman 22:55, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Very much in agreement with you I have begun the clean up. I would suggest cutting the "contact with the spansih part" entirely since this is all treated under Spanish conquest of Mexico.--Maunus 13:47, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Agree for the most part but please preserve the "legends and hearsay", attributing them as such. I'm not sure how much of that may have come from Nanahuatzin but the point is that the legends are useful information if presented as such. Part of this comes from the importance of myth and legend in cultures such as the Aztec. And part of it comes from the fact that history is not just about fact but also about interpretation. Knowing what legends are passed on about a person gives us some understanding of how his contemporaries and subsequent generations viewed the person. A person is not just what he does but what others think about what he does.
Also, I have mixed feelings about Maunus's recommendation to cut out the "contact with the spanish" part entirely. I did something similar with the Hernan Cortes article (i.e. I cut out the "conquest of Mexico" part and put it in the Spanish Conquest of Mexico article. Another editor objected saying that I had removed the most important part of Cortes' life. As a compromise, I put a short summary of the Spanish conquest of Mexico article back into the Hernan Cortes article.
On the one hand, we should not replicate too much material between articles. On the other hand, we must not eviscerate the Montezuma II article by taking out the single episode of his life that makes him famous. I trust User:Madman2001 to do the righ thing.
--Richard 23:36, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
It is very dificult so separate the facts and the legend, but most history books in Mexico, include the omens that it is said, happened before the conquest as part of the biography of Moctezuma. They reflect the feelings and fears of the population of Tenochtitlan, and are part of the contradictions of his caracter. Proud to his people, and humble to the spanish. Brave in battle, and fearfull to the gods. All this has result in a hotly debate on his motives. Maybe all this has to moved to a section and leave the known facts apart.... Nanahuatzin
I dont see the Omens relevance for the personality or history of Moteczuma. As argued by James Lockhart in "we people here" the omens are most likely an aztec hindsight addition and has snothing to do with actual history. And everything that is known about the personality of Moteczoma whether being "brave" or "humble" and to whom we have from biased sources that should not be mistaken for real biographic information. Of course it can be included but crtitically please, and stating which sources say what and what might be their reasons to do so. But yes I think there could be a section on the persona of Motecuzoma as he has been depicted in legends and hearsay. --Maunus 12:09, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the article is taking shape and I move that the cleanup tag be removed. If someone helps me giving a few finishsing touches I think we can get it to GA status within the month.Maunus 14:29, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks to the editors, particularly Maunus, for cleaning up the article. It has moved from awful to good, and I have removed the clean-up tag.

Could I also ask the editors, particularly Maunus, to please check your spelling and links in your articles? As just one example, there were numerous spellings of "Moctezuma" scattered throughout the article (all from one editor). There were also numerous redlinks in the article, red only because of apelling errors (e.g. "Fransican" instead of "Franciscan" and many others). Please check your work before saving. Thanks, Madman 15:24, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Right you are. Sorry, I will do better checking. Maunus 15:39, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Azcapotzalco or Tlacopan?[edit]

The Aztec Triple Alliance is being described with Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Azcapotzalco, shouldn't it be Tlacopan instead? Even once being subordinated to Azcapotzalco, Tlacopan sided with the other two cities in their conquest over Azcapotzalco. Then, Totoquihuaztli, Tlacopan's ruler, claimed the title of Tepaneca tecuhtli, "Lord of the Tepanecs".
Do you agree on changing it? 01:42, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I hadn't checked Aztec Triple Alliance article. Info there matches what I said above. I've already fixed it. 04:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Pulled Trivia section from article[edit]

Pulled this Trivia section from article per Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles. If you feel any line below belongs in the article, please insert it in the proper place.

  • Montezuma's Revenge is the colloquial term for any episodes of travelers' diarrhea or other sicknesses contracted by tourists visiting Mexico.
  • The Mexico City metro system has a station named Metro Moctezuma in honour of the tlatoani.
  • Antonio Vivaldi also wrote an opera called "Motezuma"; it has little to do with the historical character.
  • Moctezuma was not allowed to be looked at unless it was a festival. A person that looked at him would receive the death penalty.
  • He was so holy that he was carried around everywhere so that his feet would not touch common ground.
  • This Emperor Moctezuma may possibly have influenced the semi-divine figure of Montezuma common to the 19th century folklore of native tribes living in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • There is a reference to Montezuma in the song Cortez The Killer by Neil Young and Crazy Horse off of the Album Zuma(1975). The verse is as follows: "On the shore lay Montezuma, With his coca leaves and pearls, In his halls he often wandered with the secrets of the world."
This is a perfect illustration of why that guideline should not exist, and the guideline was apparently railroaded in by a select few without the knowledge of most editors... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:45, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the guideline, and have long had a mind to remove the trivia section myself. It is wholly non-encyclopedic and of little to no relevance.Maunus 15:57, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
The trivia section has bothered me for some time so I am glad to see it go. I was not aware of the guideline and am glad to have a solid basis for getting rid of trivia sections in other articles.
However, I do think there is value in acknowledging historical legacy and modern perceptions. Montezuma's Revenge deserves some mention since that phrase and the "From the shores of Tripoli to the halls of Montezuma" from the Marine Corps hymn were the two most well known mentions of Montezuma in my generation although admittedly this has probably changed in the younger generation of today.
Similarly, the influence of Moctezuma on the semi-divine figure in folkore of native tribes deserves mention IF it can be sourced to a reliable source.
The rest can probably go.
--Richard 16:14, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Richard, I would agree with you on mentioning Montezuma's Revenge and the Marine Corps hymn. Typically they are in a section entitled Modern legacy or some such. As mentioned above, editors are welcome to incorporate them into the article, just not in a section entitled Trivia which becomes a trash-magnet.
User:Codex Sinaiticus, what parts of this are relevant to an encyclopedia article on Moctezuma? Certainly the Neil Young song and Montezuma's revenga are just plain silly. The Vivaldi sentence is almost self-defeating ("it has little to do with the historical character"). The two tidbits about how special he was sound like legends more than facts. If they belong in the article, they need to be referenced and put into the article itself. Interested in your thoughts, User:Codex Sinaiticus. Thanks, Madman 16:20, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
This new "no trivia" rule that seems to have come out of nowhere, if applied site wide, will radically transform the entire face of wikipedia as it currently exists, into something quite different, and far less enjoyable. I guess there is a minority of editors who decided behinbd closed doors that they wanted a carbon copy of Encyclopedia Britannica, and are now presenting this as a 'fait accomplis' "guideline" because no one knew about it. It feels like a hijacking. If this had been proposed in the open, it would NEVER have received a support from Wikipedia's editors.
If you seriously need "reliable sources" that Montezuma has ever been connected with Motecuzoma, try taking a look at the Montezuma article. The other items are mostly relevant links to other related articles, why are they being suppressed and whom does this benefit??? ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 17:15, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Hot issue for you, eh? Madman 17:24, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes. What is going on here with deleting links to related information from the article onder the pretense of a misguided guideline is just plain wrong. I will resist this on any article where I see this being done. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 17:38, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

This article needs some reorganization[edit]

I haven't ever looked at this article closely. There's a lot of information but, based on just a quick look, the section/subsection organization needs work. I don't have time to work on it today but I figured I'd drop the cleanup tag on it and try to get back to it later.

--Richard 17:34, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Expert tag?[edit]

An anonymous editor added the expert tag to the article without stating a reason. If no reason is introduced here on the talk page within the next days I will remove it.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Moctezuma before 1519[edit]

What about Moctezuma's life and reign before the arrival of the Spaniards? A description of the last two years of an about fifty to sixty year-old person is a pretty unfinished biography, isn't it? -- 17:15, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


I removed:

"he who angers himself."<ref>{{cite book |last=Thomas |first=Hugh |year=1995 |title=Conquest: Montezuma, Cortés, and the Fall of Old Mexico}}</ref>

Despite being sourced, Hugh Thomas is a historian, not a nahuatlato. This translation both ignores the "lord" morpheme, treating it as though the name was simply Mozoma, and fails to recognize that Nahuatl often uses reflexives with a passive meaning — it's like translating Spanish no se sabe as "it doesn't know itself" when the correct translation is "it is unknown". --Ptcamn (talk) 03:39, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Agreeing.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 10:05, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

NPOV in the sources section[edit]

The paucity of indigenous written records and as well as the sometimes biased descriptions of the man by chroniclers can easily lead to no small amount of friction about how Moctezuma really was. Interpretations of the biographical accounts that we do possess vary widely. Therefore, I think it best to present actual quotations from them, with brief summaries of the general descrription BY THE WRITER, in the article, rather than fill the sources section with conjecture.Wuapinmon (talk) 16:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the section needs less conjecture. However I am not sure that the right way about it is to insert large chunks of primary sources. Primary sources needs to be interpreted in order to be correctly understood - some sources are more reliable than others, some have one kind of bias others have the opposite good scholars have studied the sources and written about how to best understand them. Therefore the section in my opinion should build on what good scholars have said about how to best understand the soruces. I think that the right way to do this is by having the "conjecture" and interpretations of historians be fully sourced to the works of the which historians who have written about it. For example James Lockhart and Matthew Restall - the article as it is anow is not well sourced and only briefly mentions those scholars, while not pointing to any specific texts by them: this should be change. Some statements are completely unsourced and seems to be lose conjecture by previous editors - these should be removed. I think it is ok to include smaller pieces of quoted primary sources to illustrate salient point and to show the style of the sources - but they should not be made to look like being the "truth". The truth is not in the sources, but can only be approximated through their interpretation.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 17:07, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

In the case of Bernal Diaz, I think the quotes offered are reliable. I agree that the opinions of good, peer-reviewed, publications to support different interpretations are needed (e.g. Restall and Lockhart). I have made some edits, and I do believe that the Wikipedia reader can evaluate the actual quotation on their own. Nothing is lost by maintaining the description quote I've entered, though I will agree that the second quote about their reaction to his death could be superfluous and maybe belongs on the True History of the Conquest of New Spain page. Wuapinmon (talk) 17:53, 19 January 2008 (UTC)


Until we can get some sources to support the arguments in the tagged section, I think we need to POV check. Once we get that, then the article will be much stronger. Also, since it is unsourced, without even mentioning a potential source, I have removed this section:

As Aztec ruler, he expanded the Aztec Empire the most; warfare expanded the territory as far south as Xoconosco in Chiapas and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. He elaborated the Templo Mayor and revolutionized the tribute system. He also increased Tenochtitlán's power over its allied cities to a dominant position in the Aztec Triple Alliance. He created a special temple, dedicated to the gods of the conquered towns, inside the temple of Huitzilopochtli. He also built a monument dedicated to the Tlatoani Tízoc.

until someone can provide sources. Wuapinmon (talk) 18:08, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll source that right away.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 10:55, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Perfect! I like the new positioning too; it fits better where you've put it.Wuapinmon (talk) 19:04, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

A section o his life and times?[edit]

I think in focusing on the sources we have neglected making a section about the actual life of Moctezuma - I think we should make a section before the source section describing what is known about his lifes main events, and it should probably inforporate the "contact with spanish" section.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 10:49, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Why is everyone focused on Moctezuma's life after the Spaniards' arrival? At that time he was more than 60 years old and he had already reigned for seventeen years! -- (talk) 21:22, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

Year of birth[edit]

Given that secondary sources commonly differ wrt M's approx year of birth (c.1466 vs c.1480), it would be good to track down and identify in the article the primary sources by which each of these alternatives are calculated. Anyone know offhand what might be the original basis for either? --cjllw ʘ TALK 03:33, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The Feather Crown of Montezuma[edit]

I have looked just about everywhere for an article on Moctezuma's 'penacho', or feather crown. Frankly, I'm very surprised it doesn't exist (If this is the case). There is a Spanish article named 'Penacho de Moctezuma', and I would love to start an English article on this very important historical artifact. However, I have little knowledge of the Spanish langauge, and therefore can't translate effectively. Would someone mind creating an artical on this very interesting topic? Or help to find someone who can? I find little info in English on the subject anywhere, accept that it is kept in Austria and the Mexican government has asked for it back. Just an idea! Send a message. Thank You! C.Kent87 (talk) 07:23, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

You're right, that artefact would make an interesting and valid basis for an article, which we don't have here on yet (actually we may not even mention it in passing on related articles, AFAIK). Even tho' the headdress almost certainly is not Moctezuma's, I believe it's regarded as plausibly coming from the court at the time. It's subsequent provenance would also make for some interesting research & reading.
I or others could help on the spanish translations, tho I'd prefer not to just translate the article as-is. Can't say when or if will be able to start something up, but as first step at least will put it on the WP Mesoamerica's new requests lists as a reminder to be done, when time & inclination suits. Cheers, --cjllw ʘ TALK 04:47, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
In the spansih article we have commented, Posibly it was one of the gifts that moctezuma gave to Cortes. Posibly not a headress.. but a part of the Quezcalcoatl drees (maybe a cape, since no tlatonai had worn anything like that), that was put by the emisaries of Moctesuma on Cortes. It was the "treasure of Questalcoatl" [[1]]. Nanahuatzin (talk) 23:41, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

"The name of Montezuma in Aztec"[edit]


Moctezuma's usual name glyph can be seen here and here (top right). These represent Moquauhzoma, claimed by Brinton to be the correct form Montezuma's name (but not the form that occurs in actual texts). --Ptcamn (talk) 06:53, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Hmm could you mention in which sources this glyph occurs? I think Gillespie gives a number of different glyphs doesn't she?·Maunus·ƛ· 15:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
ahh now I got it - you removed it you didn't add it. I thought you'd gone mad there.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:32, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

"Another girl?"[edit]

I'm not about to change this myself and upset everybody, but isn't there a better way to describe his offspring than "another girl?" Singthenightsky (talk) 21:18, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

No. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. I was uncomfortable with the suggestions that scholarly usage trumps common usage, which is about as strong a rejection of WP:COMMONNAME as you'll ever see. Nevertheless, there's no consensus to move at this time. --BDD (talk) 17:22, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Moctezuma IIMontezuma II – Common name for this ruler in English is Montezuma. There's a legitimate question as to whether or not he would be primary topic at the plain Montezuma, so I propose this WP:NATURALLY unambiguous title. Montezuma is commonly used for the ruler in English. See this ngram, [2]. Moctezuma is his Spanish name, not his native one; I see little reason to use a foreign spelling that isn't even his own native one. Red Slash 06:18, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

And if you actually look at the results for the ngram you will see that the vast majority of the "montezuma"[5] results are to children's literature and to books (including new editions of old books like Haggard's "Montezuma's daughter") describing some of the many places and things named after the earlier spelling - not the actual person. WHereas the grantedly fewer results for motecuhzoma[6] are predominantly to scholarly publications about the person. As usually ngrams are misleading.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:41, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I have advertised this proposed rename at WP:MESOAMERICA and WP:MEXICO both of which are likely to have an interest in the article.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:19, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. We use English on the English Wikipedia, and this person's common English name is "Montezuma". Moreover, any objection to the correctness of the non-native approximate rendering "Montezuma" applies equally to the non-native approximate rendering "Moctezuma" as well; it is not in any sense superior merely for being foreign to the English language. (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose The antiquated spelling "montezuma" spelling is not used in English scholarly sources. Moctezuma and Motecuzoma are used near exclusively by experts writing in English language academic contexts. If we move the article we will be in the annoying situation that all the reliable sources that we will use forr writing the article will use another spelling and explicitly reject the spelling we use as incorrect and antiquated.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:29, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is one of these issues where there is an awkward trade-off between various factors. However "common name" is not invariably followed where this name is clearly incorrect, or otherwise problematic, and there is a movement in favour of the more scholarly name, see e.g. Boudica, Mary Celeste and Katherine O'Shea. Moctezuma is both current scholarly usage in English and the normal name in the country where he lived and there is some degree of social continuity, it is also his name on the Spanish, French and German Wikipedias. The Italian has Montezuma, the Nahuatl has a version of his native name. PatGallacher (talk) 21:56, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. In English, is clearly the common name in daily life. It may not be the most common name in academics, but we must be careful to avoid an academic bias. A search of the New York Times archive, which I think is as reliable a source to establish common usage as any academic journal is (if not more so), gives 3250 results for "Montezuma"[7] but only 662 results for "Moctezuma"[8]. Many of the results are for things named Montezuma, after the ruler, which further shows that this is a very common spelling. Knight of Truth (talk) 23:38, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
We should not be careful to avoid academic bias. We should actively strive to get an academic bias. That is what makes an encyclopedia different from an indiscriminate collection of information. The fact that most of the hits are for things named after the ruler and not actually for the ruler is an argument against moving it, not an argument for moving it - the ngrams are clearly biased by things named after the antiquated spelling which obviously is not going to be changed even though the common usage for the ruler has changed.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:13, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure this needs more of a refutation than "no, you are wrong", so: no, you are wrong. (talk) 18:28, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Amazon's top-selling books are not the standard to go by. IF you search for "Motecuhzoma"[9] what comes up are actual scholarly works, not historical fiction. and if you search for "moctezuma"[10] you get the latest biographies of him such as the one by Ewan and Lopez Lujan. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:26, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Maunus. Top-selling Amazon books will be written by popular authors, not subject specialists. Simon Burchell (talk) 15:05, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Is this some kind of joke? All three books I cited are well-reviewed histories. Conquest was a New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice" of the year. "Motecuhzoma" is neither the current nor the proposed title, so that's not even relevant. As for McEwan's Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler, the Amazon listing gives no editorial reviews, no customer reviews, no sales rank, nothing. Barnes and Noble doesn't even have a listing for it. Kauffner (talk) 19:04, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes you do appear to be joking if you think we should parrot the usage of uninformed laymen, just because they are the NYT book choice of the year. Lujan and Ewan are among the world's most Mesoamericanist scholars who curated world renowned exhibition "Aztecs" and they are the only authors to have written an actual scholarly bipgraphy of the subject of this article. To suggest that a NYT bestseller is a better source for usage is ridiculous.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:23, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Sales rank is irrelevant. ‘’Chariots of the Gods’’ has a sales rank of 5,026 on while The ‘’Nazca Lines: A New Perspective on their Origin and Meaning’’ is unrated, but I wouldn’t use Von Daniken to write about the Nazca lines. Simon Burchell (talk) 19:34, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Sales rank is irrelevant as to whether a source is reliable, but it can be helpful in establishing which usage is more common when comparing two reliable sources. Knight of Truth (talk) 19:47, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course it can't. The fact that a book using a stupid way to spell it is well sold has absolutely nothing to do with how commonly used that spelling is or should be.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:49, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. The vast majority of readers will be looking for it under the familiar spelling. It takes time for new academic views to suffuse into general consciousness; in the interim, we should not be causing undue confusion. Powers T 15:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
There is no confusion. There is a redirect. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:11, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Then why not name every article with a serial numeric identifier? There's redirects, after all, so no one can be confused! No, that doesn't work, because our article titles do more than provide a way for users to search for our articles; they also serve as a signifier of the topic. That's why we require our article titles to be "recognizable". Powers T 15:44, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
But the proposed title is not the best signifier - which is why people who know what they are talking about have stopped using it.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:20, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Well that's exactly what's up for debate, isn't it? Which title is the better signifier? I understand that expert usage has shifted, but we do not write just for experts. The experts will not be confused by finding this article at the vernacular title, while laymen likely will be confused by the opposite. Powers T 19:27, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
They point of an ecncyclopedia is to educate laymern by giving them acces to recent scholarship. Not to provide them with outdated knowledge they already think they know.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:24, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
If we're going to bring the goal of Wikipedia into this, WP:NOT is an excellent policy outlining what Wikipedia is and is not. One thing it is not is a scientific journal, and as WP:NOT says: "Texts should be written for everyday readers, not for academics. Article titles should reflect common usage, not academic terminology, whenever possible." (Emphasis added.) Knight of Truth (talk) 21:40, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
A guy's name is not academic terminology and using it does not mean that wikipeia becomes an academic journal. That is a HUIGE red herring as most of the arguments for renaming.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
How do you figure that a particular spelling is used in academia but not in daily life, it is "not academic terminology?" You seem to be under the impression that it's about trying to find the "correct" name, but the reason we have policies like WP:COMMONNAME and WP:VERIFY is so that us editors don't have to argue about what is "correct"; we provide a showcase of reliable sources' ideas of what is correct. In the case of names, it has been long-standing policy that we favor the usage of the common man (as shown by reliable sources) over that used in specific contexts like academia. Knight of Truth (talk) 22:42, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Both spellings are used in daily life - but Americans who dont know anything about Aztec history but do know the Marine Corpse' hymn and a song by Neil Young happen to be more familiar with the other spelling. But that does not mean that it is the most common way to refer to the actual person. No sources have conclusively shown that "the common" man prefers one over the other in reference to the person. The spurious Ngrams do not even support that conclusion because it depends in how you search and some Ngrams show a clear and drastic decline in the use of "montezuma" and an similarly drastic increase in the use of "moctezuma" to the degree that the curves meet in 2009. These ngrams still contain spurious references that are not to the person but to the song and the many places named after the person.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:00, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I must strongly object to your insulting nationalist caricature, and indeed your general demeanor during this discussion. Please be respectful to people who don't share your point of view. As for common usage, I would contend that the many, many things named Montezuma are evidence of the common usage of this spelling, and the fact that the Ngrams show decline of the usage of Montezuma does not detract from the fact that it is, overall, still the most commonly-used. Keep in mind WP:CRYSTAL; we should not speculate on what may happen to common usage in the future (and we shouldn't attempt to steer common usage, either.) Note also that the 2009 corpuses are significantly less accurate than the latest ones, so their Ngram results (the ones which tend to show decline in usage of Montezuma) are less reliable. Knight of Truth (talk) 01:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
It was not a nationalist caricature - it was a description not of all Americans but of those "americans who" otherwise I would have separated the parenthetical relative clause with a comma before who. Most of the scholars who use the actually correct Nahuatl spelling Motecuhzoma are Americans.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:28, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
And as for my demeanor I am reacting like this because I am fairly taken aback by the fact that while the editors of WP:MESOAMERICA, several of the professionals, have worked on these articles for the past six years trying to make the articles reflect valid scholarship instead of popular myths and layman's misunderstandings, and suddenly out of the blue appears a group of editors hell-bent on moving the article waving WP:COMMONNAME as if it were a sacred gospel against all rational arguments to the contrary. Even going so far as to lecture me that the encyclopedia is not supposed to be based on actual scholarship but on pseudoreaearch through google and on commonly held misunderstandins. This does not make me happy. It makes be deeply angry. And sad on behalf of wikipedia.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I certainly don't want to detract from the work any editors on this article. I simply feel that it is most expedient to put articles under the name people will most easily be able to find them, a view many editors share and which is the basis of WP:COMMONNAME. You can quite reasonably say that Montezuma is "incorrect", at least if we treat it as a native name, but what I'm saying is that that isn't the point. Article titles are descriptive, not prescriptive--this aids navigation. Having found the article, readers may find more accurate transliterations within it. May I offer you a compromise? How about we move the article to the common title, while keeping the lead as-is? This should satisfy both needs; that for navigational ease and natural reading through use of the common name, and that of correct usage. It's not a novel approach; many articles start with a "correct" name but have a common name as their title. Knight of Truth (talk) 01:58, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't think I need to accept any compromise or that you are in a position to offer one. I am confident that the closer will be able to see the difference in the quality of arguments, even if it should end with numerical advantage to the "move" camp.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:05, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
When someone makes a move proposal you don't like, you're not supposed to try and filibuster the proponents until someone looking to eliminate the backlog closes the proposal. I think a more constructive attitude would be to try and convince me it actually is a bad idea. (And some of your points are quite reasonable, you know.) Would you mind responding to the content of my earlier post? Knight of Truth (talk) 02:26, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Filibustering would imply that I am not relying on the strength of my arguments. In the six years the article has been at this title we have not had a single reader post on the talkpage that we should move the article, or suggesting this through the feedback tool. We also do not have Sean Coombs located at Puff Daddy or P. Diddy even that is probably what most people search for. Commonname is a guideline - it is not a law to be enforced through ngrams. If there were any demonstrable risk of lots of readers getting lost on-wiki because we don't have the article where they expect to find them then I would accept the compromise you offer as a reasonable tradeoff between navigation and academic usage. But since there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any readers are seeing this title as a problem I don't see a valid reason to move.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:41, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
There is evidence that users see this title as a problem: this very move request. You can't use a lack of earlier move requests to make a problem out of this one; you could use that to shoot down almost any move request! Why do we need to establish the expedience of using the common name for this specific article, when this is not usually required under policy? Why does your position deserve special attention? If you want to get rid of the common-name policy entirely, I don't think this is really the forum to do it. (As for Puff Daddy, that actually seems like a fine candidate for a move request, at first glance.) Knight of Truth (talk) 14:23, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The Guardian describes "Montezuma" as "more familiar" than "Moctezuma." In Conquest, Thomas writes that "Montezuma" is the name that is "to us familiar." (p. xx) So there is actual RS as to what the common name of this subject is. Kauffner (talk) 04:34, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Thomas was writing in 1995, and more recent scholarship prefers the Moctezuma version. Even the Guardian article uses the Moctezuma spelling throughout, and comments that it is closer to the original name. A 2009 Telegraph article uses the Moctezuma spelling. There are, of course, many more examples. Simon Burchell (talk) 16:22, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Indigenous names should be used on indigenous articles. What the most common usage in the US for a person well-known in Mexican history, also, is irrelevant; imposing English names on indigenous persons in the US is bad enough (e.g. Chief Seattle should properly by title Sealh) but doing so beyond US territories is very presumptuous. I agree with all the observations above about how "Moctezuma" is the accepted modern usage, and is also the indigenously-correct version of the name; "Montezuma" is outdated and discredited; and is not used in Mexico.Skookum1 (talk) 06:01, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually the most indigenously correct spelling that is currently used widely is Motecuhzoma which is used by Nahuatl scholars and many North American Aztecanists and which I also personally favor. Montezuma is the most in correct and least attractive, and Moctezuma is slightly less offensive.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 12:04, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose The British Museum uses Moctezuma.[11] As does the Denver Museum of Natural History.[12] Plenty of other sources to show that it's a name commonly used. Dougweller (talk) 13:16, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Your links do not correspond to your descriptions of them, but no matter. Conquest by Thomas was dissed for being published in 1995. Aztec: The World of Moctezuma (second link above) was published in 1992. Kauffner (talk) 03:33, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, I've changed the links. Using the name Moctezuma in 1992 shows? Dougweller (talk) 11:42, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
It would suggest that there have always been a few writers who have used the Spanish name, as opposed to there being a recent trend in favor of "Moctezuma." Kauffner (talk) 12:09, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. For one thing, we use the form that's most common in the "reliable English-language sources" for the topic, not just usage in general. As others have said, "Moctezuma" appears to be more common in such sources, and increasingly so. For another, "Montezuma" returns a lot of irrelevant hits on Google such as Montezuma's Daughter, Montezuma Castle, and "Halls of Montezuma". Finally, the ostensibly common name is just "Montezuma", not "Montezuma II". According to this ngram, "Moctezuma II" is actually more common than "Montezuma II".--Cúchullain t/c 13:57, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
"Moctezuma" returns quite a few irrelevant hits as well. It's apparently the name of various people and places in Mexico. The first book that came up for me is written by "Eduardo Matos Moctezuma". Kauffner (talk) 23:46, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Cool story, but it doesn't return up nearly as many as "Montezuma". Several books by the archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma discuss Moctezuma II.[13][14] And of course, "Moctezuma II" turns up even fewer irrelevant hits and is more common than the proposed title.--Cúchullain t/c 02:32, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I get 654 (~250 deghosted) post-2000 English-language GBook hits for Moctezuma Aztec -llc, 703 (~300 deghosted) for Montezuma Aztec -llc. From the Amazon rankings I gave above, I'd say the books that use "Montezuma" are ones people are actually reading. Kauffner (talk) 03:01, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I already linked the ngram for "Moctezuma II" (the actual current title) and "Montezuma II" (the actual proposed title) showing the former to be more common.--Cúchullain t/c 03:12, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Montezuma is the old way to name this ruler in English language sources (see Ngram for 1800 to 1950 VS Ngram for 1950 to 2013). El Comandante (talk) 22:31, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose for reasons already argued by others: Wikipedia exists, at its best, to communicate authoritative and up-to-date scholarship to a wider lay public, not to perpetuate out of date information and approaches. In this case, Montezuma isn't exactly "wrong", but nor is it the preferred choice of the current experts in the field. Although I'm an active Wikipedian, I came to this page as a lay and uninformed user, precisely because I needed to refer to this Aztec ruler (in a non-Wikipedia context), and wanted to check his name, dates, and basic facts. I searched under "Montezuma", the name I've always known him by, and was surprised to find myself redirected here. Having looked into the question a little more deeply (and having discovered this debate) I now feel myself better informed, and will in future be referring to him as "Moctezuma". Surely that's how Wikipedia's supposed to work? I would, however, suggest that once the dust's settled on this debate (whichever way it goes) somebody should add a sentence or two to the "Name" section clarifying the pros and cons of the two main renditions. GrindtXX (talk) 11:43, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Montezuma was in use before Castillo wrote his account from memory 40 years after the events and is known for mangling indigenous language words. He never mastered any indigenous language in his time in Mexico. The Moctezuma spelling is also older than 1924 since it has been used by his descendants since the early post conquest time.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:27, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • The answer GrindtXX's question above: No, that is definitely not how Wikipedia is supposed to work. The title is supposed to be the common name of the subject. It should reassure the reader that he is at the right article, not surprise him as in the account above. Information concerning name variants can be given inside the article. I note that the lemma Montezuma does even direct to this page. Kauffner (talk) 20:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
And let me contradict your answer. That is exactly how wikipedia is supposed to work, it is supposed to give the readers knowledge they didnøt have before reading. Not to cater to their ignorance.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:03, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could read WP:NAMINGCRITERIA? "Recogizability" is the No. 1 criteria in choosing an article title. Kauffner (talk) 21:31, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The criteria are not prioritized. It is one of the criteria yes, but it doesnt trump the other criteria - and Moctezuma is recognizable. In this case moving conflicts with precision and consistency since the proposed name is imprecise and not consistent with reliable sources about the topic.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with the current name, and to change it to Montezuma, a name no longer used in scholarly publications, is (as Maunus says) promoting ignorance. Moctezuma is recongnisable, and Montezuma redirects anyway. Where is the confusion? Simon Burchell (talk) 21:33, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I already gave a list of current scholarly histories that use "Montezuma" above. I suspect that many readers will assume from the title that "Moctezuma" is the subject's name in his native language. Who would guess that is it actually his modern Spanish-language name, and comes from an otherwise obscure 16th century account? I typed Moctezuma Cortez into Google Scholar. The results are all in Spanish. Kauffner (talk) 22:38, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah that's because you spelled Cortes' name wrong. See here:[15] User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
You typed in "Motecuhzoma." "Moctezuma Cortes" also yields Spanish-language results. Kauffner (talk) 00:47, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I did. Thats because thats the actually correct name (without the h its even more correct). Note the high quality English language scholarly sources.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:07, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per usage in the better sources. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:22, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I have just attempted to revert a piece of vandalism (the deletion of the infobox), but now find that if the infobox is present, the lede opens with some nonsense about "Ethan is so weird ...", which I cannot delete. This is beyond my technical skills: can somebody please fix. GrindtXX (talk) 15:07, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Took it to the Village Pump (technical) where someone found it to be a vandalized {{Aztecbox}}. I've put the infobox back. Dougweller (talk) 17:55, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Male-line descendants?[edit]

Are there male-line descendants of Montezuma? If yes, could someone add the information into the article? --Lecen (talk) 00:00, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

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