Tlahuicole or Tlahuicolli (1497–1518) was a leading warrior of the Tlaxcaltec and was noted for his skill and ethical standards.
The Tlaxcala lived adjacent to the Aztec Empire in what is now the present-day Mexican state of Tlaxcala. Tlahuicole was regarded as their most formidable hero, and commanded the Tlaxcaltec forces in the civil war in 1516 between the partisans of Cacamatzin and Ixtlilxochitl II. He was taken prisoner by stratagem and brought to the city of Mexico; but his bravery and character had made such an impression on Moctezuma II that instead of ordering the captive’s execution, he ordered his release; an act that had no precedent in Mexican history. But Tlahuicole refused to profit by the monarch's generosity. He said to Montezuma that it would be infamous for him to return to his country after being conquered, and insisted on undergoing the fate of the other prisoners. Montezuma, wishing, at any cost, to save his life, offered him the command of an army about to be sent to drive back the Purépechas, who had invaded his frontiers.
Tlahuicole accepted Moctezuma's offer, hoping to meet a glorious death in the ensuing battle. He advanced at the head of the Mexican troops to the city Tangimoroa, called by the Mexicans Tlaximaloyan, cut through the Purépecha army, which made a desperate resistance, and defeated them several times. He returned to Mexico, laden with spoils and accompanied by a long train of captives. Moctezuma lavished fresh honors on him, but failed to persuade him to accept the perpetual office of commander-in-chief or to return to his native country. He refused constantly, alleging that to do the first would be treason to his country, and to do the second would be a stain on his glory.
At last Moctezuma consented to satisfy the desire of his general, and ordered him to be tied to the stone of the gladiators. He was armed in the usual fashion, and Moctezuma, with all his court, was present at the spectacle. Eight famous warriors of Anahuac attacked him one after the other, and were all disabled: the ninth, however, stunned him with a blow, and he was then put to death, with the customary ceremonies.
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