Yaoyotl: Aztec Warfare

An almost life-size terracotta Aztec Eagle Warrior, one of the elite warrior groups in the Aztec military. 13-15th century CE, from Tenochtitlan. (National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City) / Photo by Dennis Jarvis, Flickr, Creative Commons The military commander-in-chief was the king himself, the tlatoani. By Mark Cartwright / 03.18.2015 Historian Introduction The Aztecs engaged in warfare (yaoyotl) to acquire territory, resources,[…]

Human and Non-Human Sacrifice in Aztec Religious Practice

 / An Aztec ceremonial knife with a cedarwood handle and flint blade. The figure of the handle is covered in turquoise and shell mosiac and represents an Aztec Eagle knight. 1400-1521 CE. (British Museum, London) / British Museum, Creative Commons This was a strictly ritualized process which gave the highest possible honor to the gods and was regarded[…]

Moctezuma I: Second Aztec Emperor, Fifth King of Tenochtitlan

Moctezuma I in the Codex Mendoza / Wikimedia Commons Moctezuma brought social, economical, and political reform to strengthen Aztec rule, and Tenochititlan benefited from relations with other tribes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.05.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction and Overview Overview Moctezuma I (c. 1398-1469), also known as Motecuhzomatzin Ilhuicamina ( modern Nahuatl pronunciation, Huehuemotecuhzoma or Montezuma I (Classical Nahuatl: Motēcuzōma Ilhuicamīna [moteːkʷˈsoːma ilwikaˈmiːna], Classical[…]

Circulation of Feathers in the Mesoamerican Aztec Realm

The feather merchant, Florentine Codex Book 10, folio 41r / Creative Commons Feathers, especially those from colorful tropical birds, were among the most highly prized materials in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. By Dr. Frances Berdan / 01.21.2006 Professor of Anthropology California State University San Bernardino Abstract Feathers, especially those from colorful tropical birds, were among the most highly[…]

The Aztecs: Dominion in the Valley of Mexico to 1521

Aztec calendar / Anthropology Museum, Photo by Rengarajang, Wikimedia Commons The Aztecs dominated the Valley of Mexico for 100 years, until their downfall at the hands of Hernan Cortez and his conquistadors in 1521. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.08.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief A Kingdom of Blood The capital city of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlán,[…]

Templo Mayor: Sacred Precinct of Aztec Tenochtitlan

A model reconstruction of the Temple Mayor at the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. In use from the 14th to early 16th century CE, the huge pyramid was topped by two temples, one dedicated to Tlaloc, the god of rain (north side), the other to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war (south side). (National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City). / Image by Wolfgang Sauber, Wikimedia Commons It was the scene[…]

Aztec Sacrifice: Repayment to the Gods for Continued Prosperity

An Aztec ceremonial knife with a cedarwood handle and flint blade. The figure of the handle is covered in turquoise and shell mosiac and represents an Aztec Eagle knight. 1400-1521 CE. (British Museum, London) / British Museum The highest possible honor to the gods regarded as a necessity to ensure humanity’s continued prosperity. By Mark Cartwright / 05.03.2018[…]

From Alteptl to Empire: Aztec Civilization

A map indicating the maximum extent of the Aztec civilization which flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE in what is now Mexico. The three major cities which formed the Aztec Triple Alliance were Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan. / Image by El Comandante, Wikimedia Commons Tenochtitlan came to dominate an Alliance of city-states, its ruler became the supreme ruler – the huey tlatoque (‘high king’) –[…]