What is the most significant theme of Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest by Matthew Restall?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The significant theme in the book Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest by Restall is that the conquest is rooted in myth--not in the sense of the supernatural but in the sense that ideas and concepts related to the Spanish conquest were seeped in the culture and political agenda of the time. For example, in the first chapter, the author discusses the myth that the Spanish conquest was possible only through the actions of a few "great men." Instead, the author writes that the conquest was made possible through the actions of many Spaniards who were schooled in the ways of Spanish settlement and conquest. By contrasting myths of conquest with evidence from more modern sources, the author is not suggesting that history written a long time ago is myth while today's history is "true." Instead, the author writes that "a supposed reality built by researching archival sources can also generate its own myths" (page xvi). Therefore, even a modern search for sources and evidence can result in myths that arise from cultural conceptions rather than resulting in pure objectivity. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial