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(born 1466died c. June 30, 1520, Tenochtitlán, near modern Mexico City) Ninth emperor of the Aztecs. In 1502 he inherited from his uncle an empire of five to six million people that stretched from present-day Mexico to Nicaragua. Aztec belief in the prophesied return of the god Quetzalc, whose description the conquistador Hern resembled, contributed to his downfall. Cortés, who had made alliances with tribes eager to be rid of Aztec domination, held Montezuma prisoner in Tenochtitl, and he died in custody.
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