Was Hernán Cortés a psychopath?

Jan 2019
194
Montreal, QC
#22
To begin, it's impossible - and daresay pointless - to try and retroactively diagnose historical figures with mental illnesses. Cortes was brutal, yes, but he was also a coloniser and a man of his time. Of course, there was savagery. Of course, there was brutality. But let's contextualise it within his own time, shall we? These were trademarks of success and virility, as VLV mentions in the quote below. When we get into the business of assigning mental illness to men long since dead, then we lose sight of history itself. We're removing him from his own context, and situating it within a 21st century one, which we can't do.

There's one forum member on here who quite dislikes King James VII/II, and goes around calling him a psychopath. As soon as someone tries to play psychologist with an historical figure, then, to me, they lose all credence.

I’m studying the life of Gilles de Rais and savagery and cruelty were honored. You are right. De Rais was praised by the court for his activities in battle. We have to see these men in light of what traits were valued in the 15th century. Being a killer was seen as a virile trait.
I've heard that the paedophilia, rape, and child abuse in Gilles de Rais' life may have been added later on to slander him. As you are studying him, you'd know more than I. What's your take on it?

This is due to ignorance or bad faith. For them, if you are Spanish, it must be South America .... The FACT is Cortes never was in South America but North America... the fact it is Spaniards were in North America from Costa Rica to Alaska (I hope when a post about the Spanish cities in Alaska the thread were posted in "South America")... Cortes is in wrong subforum because Anglo-saxons pretends to write history and say only Britain-France-Nethlerland had dominions in North America.... it is named Manipulation or historical fake or falsehood.
Emphasis mine.

Are you serious? Absolutely no schools teach that. Most people in the Anglosphere know, for a fact, that the Spaniards had holdings in the New World. It's common knowledge.

Edit: Oh, never mind, OP. You've posted this same thread four times to promote your YouTube channel.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#23
"Are you serious? Absolutely no schools teach that. Most people in the Anglosphere know, for a fact, that the Spaniards had holdings in the New World. It's common knowledge."

"Edit: Oh, never mind, OP. You've posted this same thread four times to promote your YouTube channel."

Ah, thanks Duchess. Another reason not to bother with a detailed response.

To answer the original question: Ruthless? Sure. Nuts? Not from anything I've read, but at this remove I think any claims will be based on speculation. A Dead end. Not willing to spend anymore time on it.

I think there may be forum rules about promoting one's own Youtube Channel
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
5,953
Spain
#27
To begin, it's impossible - and daresay pointless - to try and retroactively diagnose historical figures with mental illnesses. Cortes was brutal, yes, but he was also a coloniser and a man of his time. Of course, there was savagery. Of course, there was brutality. But let's contextualise it within his own time, shall we? These were trademarks of success and virility, as VLV mentions in the quote below. When we get into the business of assigning mental illness to men long since dead, then we lose sight of history itself. We're removing him from his own context, and situating it within a 21st century one, which we can't do..
I agree. In fact, it is my opinion too. As I wrote.

Are you serious? Absolutely no schools teach that. Most people in the Anglosphere know, for a fact, that the Spaniards had holdings in the New World. It's common knowledge.
Yes very serious. Can you explain why this guy wrote this thread in the wrong place? Cortes was never in South America but in North America? Ignorance?
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
5,953
Spain
#28
Don't forget Alvarado's role in this this affair. To me he seems to fit all the requirements for a bloodthirsty psychopathic nutcase - for the record both in North and South America!
I am afraid for you every Conquistador was a "psycho".... but none of them was...and not Alvarado.
Pánfilo de Narváez was a really violent and though man... Psycho? Maybe yes or not...not more Psycho than the natives he fought!

Alvarado was not a psycho... only a soldier.... doing possible something it was impossible to do. His attack to the temple was justified.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#29
People tend to become very confused about the meaning of the terms 'psychosis' and psychotic', often attempting to use complex professional diagnostics, without the training necessary to dos o..

I am not a psychiatrist, and have no training in abnormal conditions.

So, to me a psychopath is a person who is unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality. THAT is the internal state of the person. As far as I can see, a diagnosis of psychopathy cannot be made {al least by a layman] on the basis of historical reports about a person's behaviour.

A current example; MANY people have rushed into print with alleged psychological explanations for the behaviour of president Trump. Professional psychologists and psychiatrists are conspicuous by their absence. The reason is that it is considered unprofessional to give a diagnosis without actually having met the subject.

My perception is that in practical terms it is IMPOSSIBLE to obtain an an accurate diagnosis of anyone at a remove of centuries.


From reading this thread ,it seems there have been attempts to assess some conquistadores on the basis of twenty first century values.. A wasted exercise, surely?
 
Jan 2019
19
US
#30
Diagnosing historical figures using modern manuals and labels is a bad idea. If Thomas Jefferson lived today, he might've been labeled OCD for his obsessive measuring and list-making. In reality, that was just the spirit of the time. Same with Cortes. If he were dropped into today's society, he'd be more than a psychopath. He'd be a religious fanatic, too, probably delusional (did you see the odds he was up against?!) - but so would many people with his cultural and historical background. Psychopathy and other psychological conditions are characterized as disorders because they defy the norm, so it's senseless to judge a historical figure unless their behavior is unusual when compared to their peers. Cortes was just your run-of-the-mill conquistador.
 

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