Bernal Diaz del Castillo

Spanish Soldier & Historian

Born: c. 1492

Died: c. 1581

Prior to Cortes’ campaign in Mexico, Diaz had visited Panama and made two trips of Discovery to the Yucatan, one with Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba in 1517, and one with Juan de Grijalva in 1518. The following year he sailed with Hernando Cortes to Mexico, where the battles were fierce and common. Historical records place Diaz del Castillo in over a hundred battles.

Diaz also fought for Pedro de Alvarado in the conquest of El Salvador and Guatemala and was made Governor a Guatemalan town. His colorful, eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico, the three volume ‘True History of the Conquest of New Spain’, has been published in several editions and translations around the world. It has been proposed that next to Cervantes, Bernal Diaz is likely the most widely read Spanish author in history.

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