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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


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

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 only ...


7

Maya society was organized in city states and clans and possibly other entities. Each of these naturally provides its own narratives and mythology from which names would often be chosen. It is therefore common that multiple individuals from similar contexts, e.g. multiple rulers of the same polity, would have similar or identical names. For instance, several ...


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

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 ...


6

Bernal Díaz del Castillo obliquely compared spears of the Chinantec people to pikes (at least in translation -- I didn't check the Spanish original) and remarked that they were longer than the Castilian equivalent. Several Mesoamerican groups used spears. Here are Aztec warriors wielding tepoztopilli:


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

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 ...


5

The following passage from Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan would lend some credence to the first two explanations of remarkable discoveries of a fallen civilization: The sight of this unexpected monument put at rest at once and forever, in our minds, all uncertainty in regard to the character of American antiquities, and ...


4

Most ink used was black (just like with everyone else's writing). According to archeologist Michael Coe, this was most likely derived from soot "scraped off the bottom of their cooking pots". In the four surviving complete codices we have, they also used a lot of red, which appeared to be hematite(rust)-based. There supposedly aren't a lot of known good ...


4

According to oral tradition passed from Aztecs to Spanish/early mestizo(Mexican) historians; the Aztecs where from a mythical land called "Aztlan" no one knows exactly where these "mythical" kingdom existed but historians speculate it could be southwestern region of the U.S. (Utah). I say mythical because no one can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt; but ...


4

The term Teuctli is mentioned several times in this book: The name of the office held by Montezuma according to the best accessible information was simply Teuctli which signifies a war chief. As a member of the council of chiefs he was sometimes called Tlatoani which signifies speaker. This office of a general military commander was the highest ...


3

In point of fact, corn/maize (from now on I'll just use the US term "corn") is the world's largest grain crop¹, well ahead of wheat (which is not that far ahead of rice): The European domination over the Mesoamerican cultures had little or nothing to do with food crops. Instead, it was the result of technology and disease resistance. Diseases should be ...


3

No. That is impossible. Continental drift is a geological phenomena millions, if not billions of years, in progress. You probably wonder why those constructions look fairly similar. Mesoamericans and Egyptians both discovered independent of each other that stacking stones that way is very durable.


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". ...


2

Romanticism combined with the need of the Mexicans to have some sort of moral superiority to claim over their northern neighbours. Wouldn't do to give the Americans in the Mexican-American war (and the Texas war of indepence from Mexico, and the other conflicts between them) a ready made image of hordes of bloodthirsty savages intent on cutting the hearts ...


1

Your thesis is borne out by some "American" history, but a better source of instruction is post colonial, rather than "Native American" history. South America is divided east and west, roughly 50-50 in terms of land area and population, between Spanish and Portuguese speaking areas. The Treaty of Tordesilles awarded "Brazil" to Portugal and the rest of ...


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

The Aztecs and the Mayas did know about each other. After all, they were right next to each other. But I don't think there is any evidence that one of those two civilizations met the Incas. Probably since the Incas were pretty far away. Although I think that if there had been contact, the Mayas would've had the biggest chance since they traded more.


1

From what I have read, several bands of Chichimecs came into the Valley of Mexico and took over various city states. Each tribe and city state was ruled by a Tlatoani. The Acolhua tribe took over the city of Texcoco. Xolotl of the Acolhua tribe was the commander of the invading Chichimecs and used the title of Chichimeca Teuctli or "Lord of (all the) ...


1

While, as the other answer says Mesoamerican civilizations did not shed much more blood than European ones, they did it in a different way. Aztecs sacrificed random people, Europeans executed scoundrels. E.g., if you are a random law-abiding yeoman in England, chances are the Law will not come after you. However, a random guy in an Aztec-subjugated ...


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