Xicotencatl II
Xicotencatl II Axayacatl, also known as Xicotencatl the Younger (died 1521), was a prince and warleader, probably with the title of Tlacochcalcatl
Tlacochcalcatl was an Aztec military title or rank; roughly equivalent to the modern title of High General. In Aztec warfare the tlacochcalcatl was second in command only to the tlatoani and he usually lead the Aztec army into battle when the ruler was otherwise occupied...

, of the pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 state of Tlaxcallan
Tlaxcala (Nahua state)
Tlaxcala was a pre-Columbian city state of central Mexico.Tlaxcala was a confederation of four altepetl — Ocotelolco, Quiahuiztlan, Tepeticpac and Tizatlan — which each took turns providing a ruler for Tlaxcala as a whole.-History:Tlaxcala was never conquered by the Aztec empire, but was...

 at the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico
Spanish conquest of Mexico
The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The invasion began in February 1519 and was acclaimed victorious on August 13, 1521, by a coalition army of Spanish conquistadors and Tlaxcalan warriors led by Hernán Cortés...

. He was the son of Xicotencatl the Elder
Xicotencatl I
Xicotencatl I or Xicotencatl the Elder was a long-lived tlatoani of Tizatlan, a Nahua altepetl within the pre-Columbian confederacy of Tlaxcala, in what is now Mexico. His Nahuatl name, pronounced , is sometimes spelled Xicohtencatl. In 1519 he was baptized as Lorenzo Xicotencatl...

, the ruler of Tizatlan one of the four confederate altepetl
The altepetl, in Pre-Columbian and Spanish conquest-era Aztec society, was the local, ethnically based political entity. The word is a combination of the Nahuatl words ā-tl, meaning water, and tepē-tl, meaning mountain....

 of the Tlaxcallan state, of which Xicotencatl the Younger was considered to be the de facto ruler because of his father's weakened health. His Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 name, pronounced ʃiːkoʔˈteːŋkatɬ, is sometimes also spelled Xicohtencatl and means "Person from the bumblebee edge place".

He is known primarily as the leader of the force that was dispatched from Tlaxcallan to intercept the forces of Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century...

 and his Totonac
The Totonac people resided in the eastern coastal and mountainous regions of Mexico at the time of the Spanish arrival in 1519. Today they reside in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo. They are one of the possible builders of the Pre-Columbian city of El Tajín, and further maintained...

 allies as they entered Tlaxcallan territory when going inland from the Veracruz
Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave , is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is...

 coast. His actions are described in the letters of Cortés, the "Historia Verdadera" of Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Bernal Díaz del Castillo was a conquistador, who wrote an eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards for Hernán Cortés, himself serving as a rodelero under Cortés.-Early life:...

 and in the histories of Tlaxcala, such as the one by Diego Muñoz Camargo
Diego Muñoz Camargo
Diego Muñoz Camargo was the author of History of Tlaxcala, an illustrated codex that highlights the religious, cultural, and military history of the Tlaxcalan people.-Life:...


When fighting the Spaniards he used an ambush strategy; he first engaged the enemy with a small force that feigned a retreat, and then lured the Spaniards back to a better fortified position where the main force waited. The Spaniards retreated when too many of their men were killed or wounded, and they sought a peace treaty with the Tlaxcaltecs. Maxixcatzin the ruler of Ocotelolco was in favour of allying with the Spaniards, but Xicotencatl II opposed this idea and continued to fight, nearly wiping out the Spanish force. However, in a crucial moment, the soldiers from Ocotelolco retreated from the battlefield following the orders of the Maxixcatzin, and Xicotencatl was forced to accept the proposed peace treaty.

The Spaniards with the Tlaxcaltec forces marched on Tenochtitlan, where they stayed until the Noche Triste, at which time they were forced to flee the city after an Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 uprising. The remnants of the Spanish forces made it to Tlaxcala where they once again asked for the assistance of the Tlaxcaltec, and where Xicotencatl II once again spoke against helping them. However, Maxixcatzin's faction was again successful, and the Spaniards stayed in his palace while they regrouped and received reinforcements.

When the final stage of the siege of Tenochtitlan
Siege of Tenochtitlan
The siege of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, came about in 1521 through the manipulation of local factions and divisions by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés...

 was about to be carried out, Xicotencatl marched on the Aztec capital as the leader of a Tlaxcaltec force, attacking from the north and passing by Texcoco. The night before the final march, he was apprehended and accused of treason by Cortés and by the Ocotelolcan warleader Chichimecateuctli, who said that he had tried to flee back to Tlaxcala. He was summarily executed by hanging.

The description of Xicotencatl the Younger has been subject to changing attitudes in the understanding of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. In the early period he was seen mostly as a traitor who tried to halt the arrival of the Spanish "liberation" of the Indians from Aztec dominance. Later he was romantically construed as an indigenous hero who valiantly opposed the onslaught of the Spanish. Recently, ethnohistorian Ross Hassig
Ross Hassig
Ross Hassig   is an American historical anthropologist specializing in Mesoamerican studies, particularly the Aztec culture. His focus is often on the description of practical infrastructure in Mesoamerican societies...

(2001) has analysed his actions in terms of Tlaxcaltec politics, and he concludes that Xicotencatl was mostly acting to further the political interests of his own polity, that of Tizatlan, over the opposing faction of Ocotelolco. The charge of treason lodged against him and his subsequent execution were, in this view, the logical result of the Ocotelolcans finally achieving the upper hand.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.