Arguably the line “Broken Spears” is the most famous in Nahuatl. Any undergraduate student who has taken a course in Latin American history, literature, or anthropology has in all likelihood come across the line. It, of course, comes from the title of Miguel Leon-Portilla's book of the same name. The line appears in a description of Tlatelolco following the destruction of the city by the Spanish in the conquest of Mexico:
Broken spears lie in the roads
We have torn our hair in our grief
The houses are roofless now, and their walls
This evocative image has dominated much of the imagination of two generations of college students.