QUETZALCOATL - Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent, was one of the major deities in the ancient Mexican pantheon. In Aztec times (14th through 16th centuries) Quetzalcóatl was revered as the patron of priests, the inventor of the calendar and of books, and the protector of goldsmiths and other craftsmen; he was also identified with the planet Venus. As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcóatl was the symbol of death and resurrection.
Quetzalcóatl's calendar name was Ce Acatl (One Reed). The belief that he would return from the east (where he had traveled after being expelled by the God of the night sky) in a One Reed year led the Aztec sovereign Montezuma II to regard the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés and his comrades as divine envoys, because 1519, the year in which they landed on the Mexican Gulf coast, was a One Reed year.
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