consider the following excerpt from a document i am reading for ap us history, called "A Mexican Description of the Conquest of Mexico" (from the Florentine Codex):

It seemed that everything became confused; people went this way and that, scattering and darting about. It was as though everyone's tongue were out, everyone were preoccupied, everyone had been taking mushrooms, as though who knows what had been shown to everyone.

the text in bold kind of confused me, considering how this would be perceived in modern day (as in taking psychedelic mushrooms). however, i feel like the text is meaning something else and i have a few definitions from wiktionary to consider:

"one of the mushroom-shaped pegs in bar billiards"
"one who rises suddenly from a low condition in life; an upstart"
"something that grows very quickly or seems to appear suddenly"

all of these seem like they may work, but i'd like to know what you guys think. thanks in advance!

  • Why is your initial impulse that it is "as in taking psychedelic mushrooms" wrong? That seems the most likely interpretation.
    – KWinker
    Aug 13, 2016 at 0:49
  • because it's an older document, i didn't think that the Spaniards used mushrooms at this time. the Mexica (Aztec) did, though.
    – Shortninja
    Aug 13, 2016 at 1:03
  • I downvoted this question because the OP has rollbacked an edit fixing several spelling and capitalisation issues with this post. That is disrespectful, in my opinion.
    – wythagoras
    Aug 14, 2016 at 19:36
  • @wythagoras maybe you should have read the rollback notes. there were no actual changes to make the article easier to read, only capitalization was changed and i don't see a need to fix such trivial things like that. i have a hard time understanding these stack sites i suppose, go ahead and downvote if you want. i still give thanks to the person who answered my inquiry with no disrespect towards the editors that choose to spend their time rewriting capitalization (despite the various other articles with actual errors).
    – Shortninja
    Aug 16, 2016 at 4:08

1 Answer 1


I imagine this is in fact a reference to the psychoactive power of certain mushrooms. The content of the Florentine Codex is an ethnographic study of New Spain drawn from interviews with native informants, and the Aztecs are known to have employed psilocybin mushrooms (and other entheogens) in their religious festivals.

  • whoops, i accidentally forgot that the document was not from the Spaniards point of view. thanks a lot
    – Shortninja
    Aug 13, 2016 at 1:04

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