Departure of a Dignitary from Middelburg, by Adriaen van de Venne, 1615. Rijksmuseum, D. Franken bequest, Le Vésinet.


Volume XIV, Number 3 | April / May 2022


According to an Aztec myth, the war god Huitzilopochtli sent a group of Mexica on a journey to establish the new center of the world. After some two hundred years of wandering, they saw an eagle resting on a cactus with its “wings stretched outward like the rays of the sun.” Taking the bird to be a divine sign that they had reached their destination, they “began to weep and dance about with joy and contentment.”

Where shall I, of wandering weary, find my resting place at last?

—Heinrich Heine, 1827