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55

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 ...


17

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 ...


16

You need to distinguish their opinion of the Spanish prior to the defeat of the Aztecs and after. When the Spanish first arrived, they had guns and horses but were small in number. The native americans had yet to suffer the full depravities of not only the Spanish but also the deadly diseases to come, and they were strong both in population numbers and in ...


14

The implication of the question is that Meso-American cultures didn't employ any architectural defenses ("walls"). I don't think that's true at all. Below is a pictoral recreation of Cahokia. That city was probably far too large and spread out to totally wall up, but you can clearly see there was a wall around the central districts. The text with the ...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

It's cuitlatl, a symbol of excrement, sin, perhaps fire. We see plate 57 from the Codex Borgia. It depicts Tlazolteotl goddess of earth and filth, here as a moon goddess and goddess of pulque, together with her consort Patecatl god of healing, fertility, peyote and pulque again, as a moon god. He represents a monkey, she movement. Both are the lords of the ...


12

Did it, after all, arrive in Spain and deliver its treasure to King Charles? Yes, but... It wasn't exactly a treasure ship. Not like the treasure ships that would come later. It was more of a down-payment-on-a-bribe ship. The story the OP and their video tells got a little smashed together and mixed up sending a ship back to Spain with scuttling his ships....


7

I believe many did. Hopewell (mound builders) : This Hopewell mound in Newark Ohio looks an awe-full lot like a circular wall with a gate in the upper left hand corner. regarding the Inca, these look like defensive walls to me.


7

It won't tell you much about short-term politics, but one useful angle with which to look at this question is the linguistic division into language families: The languages of Mesoamerica belong to 6 major families – Mayan, Oto-Mangue, Mixe–Zoque, Totonacan, Uto-Aztecan and Chibchan languages ....


7

Since we are comparing two civilizations, note that the Spaniards came from a world where money was long used in order to buy all manner of goods. When you had more money, you could buy whatever you wanted -- including lands, titles, and power. Even if you already had all of these, more money is always needed. None of the civilizations of the New World had ...


6

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 ...


6

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 eating....


6

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 ...


6

Two words: "Human Sacrifice": Because the objective of Aztec warfare was to capture victims alive for human sacrifice, battle tactics were designed primarily to injure the enemy rather than kill him. After towns were conquered their inhabitants were no longer candidates for human sacrifice, only liable to regular tribute. Slaves also could be used for ...


6

Tlaxcala was strong enough to be independent of Tenochtitlan and the Triple Alliance, while combating them in the regular "flower wars" which provided sacrificial victims and opportunities for valor. However, unlike the Mexica state, Tlaxcala was not attempting to expand. As Cortés moved inland, he chose to go through Tlaxcala instead of Cholula at least ...


5

The Mexica The epicenter of Mesoamerica was the "The Triple Alliance", this was dominated by the ruling tribe, the Mexica (the people from Aztlan- Aztec). Note: They weren't actually the Aztecs. Also, the peak of Mayan civilization, pre-Classical Maya (2000 BCE - 250 CE) didn't exist during the same time as the "Aztecs", they were politically fragmented ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


4

I think a bit of context might help. The natives Cortes is talking about had been subject tribes of the Aztecs who took the opprotunity to rise against them and to ally themselves with the Spanish. What Cortes was doing, then, was browbeating his allies into submission by the threat of turning them over to their erstwhile masters. A somewhat underhanded ...


3

This article on Pre-Columbian Trade by Chester S. Chard would suggest they did. For instance: There is no evidence that Maya traders themselves reached the highlands of Mexico; they traded their goods in the great commercial center of Xicalango, whence others carried them on. It is reported that the merchants of Xicalango furnished Cortez with fairly ...


3

Aztecs did know about Mayas but the Mayan civilization was already dead. But of course, they did traded with its descendants - even prehistoric men traded with their neighbours. And no direct contacts for the contemporary Incas civilization. https://www.quora.com/Did-the-Aztecs-Mayas-and-Incas-know-about-each-other-Did-they-communicate-between-them The ...


3

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". ...


3

There was one group of Native Americans in Mexico, the Tlaxcala, who allied with the Spanish against the "Aztec" cities of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. The Tlaxcala formed the backbone (other than the Spanish) of the anti-Aztec coalition. When Cortes was in retreat, the Aztecs asked the Tlaxcalans to "turn over" Cortes to them. One of the younger ...


3

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 ...


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

It appears that the real demise of the Mayan Empire was a number of factors, including drought, warfare, and disease. NASA archaeologist Tom Sever used satellite images combined with archeological findings to piece together the most likely scenario. Using pollen trapped in layers of lake sediment, scientists learned that around 1,200 years ago, just before ...


1

When Cortez was fighting the Aztecs, there was a rough, three way balance of power, between the Aztecs, the Tlaxcalans, and the Spaniards. The Aztecs lost because they were on the wrong "side" of a three-way fight, and were pretty much destroyed. That left the Spaniards and the Tlaxcalans as "equals" for the time being. But afterward, the Spanish sent ...


1

As a one time interpretive guide at the Gila national monument in New Mex, a puebloan, Mimbres cliff community, I was able to pick up a few 'trade secrets', as it were. Its pretty much confirmed that a good amount of trade existed between meso-america and the S.W. US, namely with the puebloan ancestors like the Anasazi, Mimbres, and Hohokam. The god Tlaloc ...


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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