Alternate History

Cuaht Alixcatzin (The Kalmar Union)

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Cuaht Atlixcatzin
Timeline: The Kalmar Union

Cuaht Atlixcatzin (The Kalmar Union)
Portrait of Cuaht Atlixcatzin

Born: c. 1543
Tochpan, Mexica
Died: 6th May 1613
possibly Xochimilco, Mexica
Profession: Merchant, Ambassador

Cuaht Atlixcatzin was the Mexic ambassador to Europe during the late 16th century. He travelled extensively throughout Europe, visiting many of the major courts and many claim he met more heads of state than anyone else of his era. He was certainly one of the most well travelled of his Mexic contemporaries.

Cuaht Atlixcatzin was born in Tochpan, Mexica in around 1543 (even he did not know exactly when) into a minor trading family or Pochtecah. He came to prominence as Mexic trade boomed thanks to increased cross-Atlantic travel and the seizure of several Taino & Carib Islands by European powers. He was barely out of his teens when he took a monopoly share of the gold trade out of Tochpan owning several mines and a small trading fleet. Gold itself was not highly prized by the Mexic; they did however appreciate what effect it had on the Europeans and more Northerly Leifians. Merchants like Atlixcatzin were quite happy to feed Europe's 'Gold Disease' in return for cloth, iron and amber.

Mexica had copied Chinese designs in general when building their own navy. These 'Htunxc's, began to appear in the Mediterranean from the 1560s onwards. Several Leifian nations had petitioned the Pope in 1555 demanding equal treatment for their merchants in Europe. This was granted, but how much this applied to the non-Christian Leifian states however was very much up for debate. It was in this respect that Mexica sent Atlixcatzin to Europe in 1582 to negotiate.

Although surrounded by an impressively large trade delegation including translators he preferred to speak directly to those he met; impressing many who spoke to the 'learned gentleman of the West'. He already had a smattering of Vinlandic which was good enough to converse with the Scandanavians, as well as 'excellent' Arabic thanks to links with Granadan traders operating out of Coabana, but quickly learned Latin and Greek as well. A long and repetitious history of Mexica, which became the standard text of Meso-Leifian history for centuries, is attributed to him but was probably written by a member of his entourage.

He was interested in religion and engaged in long talks, when given the chance, with Italian cardinals, Byzantine metropolitans, and Granadan imams. On several occasions he was asked to convert. He is known to have written back to his handlers that "...although the children of Europa talk of the existence of one God they all worship Him in different ways and will go to war with not only their neighbours but also their own priests and kings for the best way to practice their common faith. It is a ludicrous situation and one which can only lead to endless war with each other." Despite his general dismissiveness of Abrahamic religion he did appear to like the Byzantine faith, likening its decadently ornate churchs and rituals to some minor sects in his homeland. There were long negotiations with the Byzantines regarding securing a Greek island or two as a base for Mexic trade in Europe. The Mexic position was that if Europe could seize the Taino and Carib Islands for trade why shouldn't Mexica have the right to use a Mediterranean island for the same purpose. The repeated requests were successively turned down however.

He would cross the Atlantic on five occasions. On his third trip to Europe in 1604, having apparently been reprimanded by the Imperial court for not securing a Greek island for the Mexic crown, he found that he was no longer welcome in Italy. Many of the positions of the European courts were hardening against Mexica, and Leifia in general. Merchants complained that too much trade was ebbing away to non-Christians. The bankers propping up Iberian, Italian and German princes were urging them to revoke the rights given to foreign parties. Meanwhile the continued raids on Leifian states, and on much friendlier Tawantinsuyu, could not be ignored and after Vinland complained to Copenhagen Atlixcatzin was barred from doing business with Kalmar or the Schmalkaldic Empire. Increasingly the Mexic were regarded as a barbaric irrelevance doomed to lose power like the Golden Horde had done before them. The First Mexic-Leifian War would show how wrong that opinion was but for the time being Atlixcatzin found his standing and worth diminished.

He would return to Mexica for the final time in 1610 and took up the reins of his trading house once more. Many European dignitaries would continue to write to him asking for advice on Leifian matters, even after his death in 1613, Mexic spies eagerly pouring over his correspondence to gain insights into various European states.

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