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49

First of all, as the definition you cited states, The term empire does not have a precise definition. The Aztec Empire was large by the standards of their time in their part of the world. It dominated the Valley of Mexico and was a major power in Mesoamerica generally. Land size is not really a indicator of imperial status per se, but in context, the ...


9

Your question is framed oddly. Human Sacrifice, and lots of it, were common in pre-columbian Mesoamerican cultures: not just the Aztecs, but the Mayans and a bunch of others, too. No apocalyptic justifications apply, they just killed a bunch of people for their religious rites. It got so bad, the client states of the Three Part Alliance, who had to supply ...


9

Aztec weaponry comprised wooden clubs and spears tipped with flint, obsidian and occasionally copper. These weapons could inflict blunt trauma damage to Cortez's troops, and could penetrate the gaps in the Spanish armour with a lucky blow, but had little chance of actually inflicting significant damage to the armour itself. Combined with the natural ...


5

Though interpretation is always imperfect, many would use folios from the Florentine Codex as direct evidence for mushroom use among Aztecs, and probably Mesoamericans broadly. Here is the prime piece of evidence: A mushroom is depicted, and given the name "Teonanacatl" An Aztec man sits on a mat that is known to be a ceremonial object. The man is ...


4

First of all, there is an attempt by some current historians to use cultural/moral relativism when it comes to Europeans and Mesoamerican cultures in this time period. They'll attempt to equate things like the Spanish Inquisition (if they're on the anti-religious political left) or modern day abortion (if they're on the religious political right) with the ...


4

I wrote a paper related this topic, for peer review. Basically, the general story (maybe "propaganda") of state ritual sacrifice was that those sacrificed were becoming god-like, and so were elevated to the holiest status achievable - perhaps (in a distant way) like suicide bombers today. The Aztecs saw that representing yourself as one of these Divine ...


4

As "empires" go, the Aztec "empire" is pretty small. It ranks 212th among large empires, with 220,000 square miles. That's about the size of two large European countries, say Germany and France, or Germany and Poland. It was also larger than any other civilization in the Americas (pre Columbus), except for the Incas. An Emperor may be considered a "king of ...


3

There is a nice short summary of pre-Columbian trade in the Amreicas by David Carballo. It looks like Cahokian trade was focused on the North American landmass and did not extend to Mesoamerica in a significant way. From the text: Following the adoption of Mexican maize as a primary domesticate, a Mississippian trading system began to flourish within ...


3

I think it is called an empire by the following criterion: it is a multi-ethnic state where one ethnic group (or nation) rules over the other, usually conquered, ethnic groups. (This applies to the Russian, British, Osman, Austro-Hungarian, Roman, Persian, Mongol, Carolingian and many other empires. The size is secondary. This definition fits the Aztec ...


2

I find the claim dubious, or at least incomplete. Google reveals multiple citations to Aztec use of cocoa beans (I think the Bank of Belgium is among the best) as commodity currency, and none to feathers in the same role. I would have expected at least one mention of the alternative commodity currencies.


2

The closest literary source I have encountered that involves a perspective of these Native Americans is the journals of Bernal Diaz. In the book Victors and Vanquished you can find several of his eye witness accounts that seem to be somewhat unbiased. From what I have read, these three tribes were indeed "bloodthirsty" but not in the sense of a serial ...


1

All these words refer to the hierarchical organization of the society. "Tlatoani" was the title of the ruler. The word derives from the local "nahuatl" language and denotes a spokesman. Huey tlatoani was the really highest one. "Altepetl" was the city state, a local ethnically based province. The word is a combination of words for "water" and "mountain". ...


1

Marina was an interpretor for Cortes. She translated from Nahul to Mayan so that a Spanish priest who had learnt some Mayan could translate to Spanish. Cortes conquered the Aztec empire because the native peoples in Mexico revolted against the Aztecs. So it was far more than 350 Spanish versus the Aztecs by themselves. Also, he brought with him European ...


1

Injecting subjective, modern-day judgements on ancient civilizations like calling them "bloodthirsty" is just bad-mouthing ancient civilizations and not objective historically. If your goal is to look at ancient civilizations and just insult them or consider them inferior because their customs are denounced by your own civilization, you will have a hard time ...


1

Most of what we know about human sacrifices among the Aztecs is known from post-conquest codexes such as Ramirez Codex, Codex Tudela, or Codex Magliabechiano, written by baptized Christian Aztecs. There is no comprehensive and even quantitative data from any non-Christian source. It is known that Franciscan bishop Juan de Zumárraga burned all pre-Christian ...



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