Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HUITZILIHUITZIN (weet-see-lee-weet-seen'), Texcocan priest, born in Texcoco about the end of the 14th century; died in 1448. He was a nobleman and priest, and his advice was highly appreciated by the king, Ixtlilxochitl I., who nominated him councellor of the kingdom, and afterward tutor of his son, Netzahualcoyotl. In this office Huitzilihuitzin not only gave his pupil the physical and intellectual training customary in his time and nation, but initiated him in the knowledge of one true God, whose existence he claimed to have discovered by meditation. It being impossible to have in the capital of Texcoco all the plants and animals of the kingdom, the learned Huitzilihuitzin asked the king to employ painters to represent them on the walls of the palace, and the work was accomplished under his supervision. He was also one of the chroniclers of the nation. When, by the treason of Tezozomoc, the king, Ixtlilxochitl I., was slain, Huitzilihuitzin made strenuous efforts to raise an army to defend the rights of Prince Netzahualcoyotl. His labors were highly esteemed by the Texcocans, and many wonderful stories are related of him. He distinguished himself in many battles when Netzahualcoyotl was reconquering his kingdom. Once he had just left Netzahualcoyotl sleeping in a wood when he was surprised by the enemy, and, though they tortured him to compel him to declare the place where the prince was concealed, he remained silent. Finally he was doomed to be sacrificed to the gods" but, when he had ascended to the summit of the temple, a furious storm frightened the priests, who left him alone for a moment, and two of his sons rescued him. When King Netzahualcoyotl had finally triumphed over his enemies, he offered a reward to his tutor, who declined it, and devoted the rest of his life to study and to the organization of the academies of the royal city, where he died at an advanced age.
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