What does the Aztec word "calpuleque" mean? Who does it refer to? What is its relationship with the words "calpulli", "alteptl" and "tlaotani"?
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".
These city states were divided to "calpulli" ("suburbs") whose top executives were known as "calpuleque". There were also additional pipiltin (noblemen).