Aztec Myth
Aztec Myth
The people chosen to save the world from destruction through human sacrifice.
At the heart of Aztec religion lay the belief that in the past the world had been created and demolished by the gods four times. At the end of each era the sun was destroyed and the earth depopulated.  Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god, and his twin Xolotl journeyed in the Fifth Sun, to the underworld land of Mictlan, the lowest of the nine underworlds, ruled by the god of death; in order to restore humankind to life, from the bones of those who had lived in the previous four eras. By dripping his blood onto the bones, human resurrection began. Men therefore, are the children of Quetzalcoatl. 
Aztecs believed that it was their sacred duty to provide the gods with 'chalchiuhuatl', a precious form of nectar found in human blood.  To the Aztecs the human heart was the symbol of life itself, and Huitzilopochtli, the sun god needed to be fed both blood and human hearts so he would not wreak his anger on the Aztec people. Feeding the sun was the warriors' business for the offerings were prisoners of war. Quetzalcoatl, the compassionate god was rarely offered human sacrifice.
Humankind was thus born from the sacrifice of the gods themselves.  And this gift had to be repaid in the blood of sacrifice.  The Aztecs believed they were the "chosen people" and that the end of the world could only be avoided by "feeding" the sun human blood and flesh. The cycle of life on earth; birth, death, and regeneration was recreated with a level of human sacrifice never before approached by other civilizations which at its height sacrificed as many as 20,000 victims at a time.
Sacrificial victims were believed to have become sacred. Eating their flesh was the act of eating the god itself. This communion with superior beings was an important aspect of Aztec religion. Exactly how common its practice remains an area of dispute among academics. 
The fate of a man after death depended not on how he lived but on how he died. Sacrificial victims and battle casualties could go to a heaven associated with the sun and later be reborn as hummingbirds and butterflies.
Who were the Aztecs?
The TOLTECS: parent culture to the Aztecs
The Aztecs were most influenced by the Toltecs who were dominant in Mexico between the 950 AD and 1200 AD. They inherited most of their knowledge and culture from the Mayans whose city states went into decline a generation earlier. In fact the last renaissance of the Mayan at Chichen Icha  is credited to Toltec influence. Their capital city of Tula in the state of Hidalgo, north of the Valley of Mexico had over 40,000 inhabitants . War and trade spread their influence and they had sects of professional soldiers and a warrior aristocracy. Their were renowned for their art throughout mesamerica and their tribal name is actually mean "craftsman" in the Nahua languages.
Aztec nobility is based upon Toltec nobility although they spent many years as Toltec outsiders before becoming dominant
google.comSEARCH/=toltecs ||
"In the origin myths of the Aztecs, they emerged originally from the bowels of the earth through seven caves (Chicomostoc) and settled in Aztlan, from which they subsequently undertook a migration southward in search of a sign that would indicate that they should settle once more. This myth roughly coincides with the known history of the Aztecs as a barbarous horde that migrated from present-day northwestern Mexico into the central plateau sometime toward the end of the first millennium AD, when high civilizations of great antiquity were already well established in the region. It is known that the Aztecs had a sector ("barrio") in the Toltec city of Tollan, and the cultural influence of the Toltecs on the rough-edged Aztecs was subsequently to be very marked. On the view of some scholars (e.g., Nigel Davies), all of Aztec cultural development was an effort to recreate the grandeur that they knew at Tollan."   The Aztec page
 supersite packed with great articles
The "shrewd work of the royal counselor Tlacaelel"  is particularly enlightening on the relation between Toltec and Aztec cultures.
search= mayan+toltec



DownloadThe Enigma of Aztec Sacrifice
by Michael Harner
Natural History, April 1977

Aztec Cannibalism: An Ecological Necessity?  Science (Not) 12 May 1978 ~delacova/aztecs/
The Aztecs || Tenochtitlan
Collections of many powerful historic photos with little commentary


 "The Aztecs responded to their increasing problems of food supply by intensifying agricultural production with a variety of ingenious techniques, including the reclamation of soil from marsh and lake bottoms in the chinampa, or floating garden, method. Unfortunately, their ingenuity could not correct their lack of a suitable domesticable herbivore that could provide animal protein and fats. Hence, the ecological situation of the Aztecs and their Mesoamerican neighbors was unique among the world's major civilizations. I have recently proposed the theory that large-scale cannibalism, disguised as sacrifice, was the natural consequence of these ecological circumstances. more || =aztec+cannibalism
Aztecs is actually multiethnic term, established as the result of an alliance between the Mexica and the inhabitants of Texcoco and Tlacopan after the defeat of the Tepanec kingdom based at Aztcapotzalco.
 In 1325, the first settlers began the Aztec empire as an island community in Lake Texcoco. Land was scarce, so farmers drained lakeside marshes and floated large baskets full of earth into the marshland to build platform-mounted fields called chinampas for growing crops like corn The Aztecs had not discovered the wheel, and they had no pack animals, so boats were vital for transport.
The Aztec twin cities of Tenochtitlán and Tlatelolco, located on an island in Lake Texcoco, became the center of the Aztec Empire. The Aztecs had a highly centralized, tribute state based on the extraction of labor and goods from conquered populations.

n arriving in Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards were deeply impressed by the beauty, order and cleanliness of this city with between 150,000 and 300,000 inhabitants, one of the biggest metropolises in the world at the time.

No public monument to Hernán Cortés is to be found anywhere in Mexico.

In the spring of 1519 a Spanish expedition of eleven ships set sail from Cuba. On board were 508 soldiers, 16 horses, and several pieces of artillery. The first land they sighted was the coast of Yucatán, once the heart of the Mayan empire. The leader of this small Spanish band was a young adventurer named Hernán Cortés. Little did he realize that his arrival coincided precisely with the foreseen return of the Plumed Serpent. On Holy Thursday, Cortés moored his ships off the Mexican coast and founded the city of Veracruz in the name of the Emperor Charles.
Another emperor, named Moctezuma, received the news. "The gods have come back. Their lances spit fire. Their warriors have two heads and six legs, and they live in houses that float." The whole Aztec empire was filled with foreboding, as comets raced across the sky in broad daylight.

The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
 Manuscripts preserved in  the National Library in Paris, the Laurenziana Library in Florence and the library of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City used to create this thorough and fascinating history of the indomitable will of a people who ruled several million people speaking many languages from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf coast and from central Mexico to the present-day Republic of Guatemala.

by Casado Internet Group the Belize super site

The Aztecs or Mexicas were the last of the many nomadic tribes to enter the Valley of Mexico from the north. They arrived during the middle of the thirteenth century, and attempted to settle in one or another of the flourishing city-states, but wherever they appeared, they were violently driven away as undesirable foreigners. It is true that they spoke the same language as the old Toltecs, but otherwise they were almost totally uncultured. The only heritage they brought with them, besides the Nahuatl tongue, was an indomitable will.
After a whole series of defeats and humiliations, the Aztecs succeeded in establishing themselves on an island in the lake; the ancient codices state that their city was founded in the year 1325.

more this article ||

First Impression of the great Aztec City of Tenochtitlán

"When we arrived there Montezuma came out of an oratory where hisDownload cursed idols were, at the summit of the great Cue, and two priests came with him, and after paying great rev erence to Cortes and to all of us he said: "You must be tired Señor Malinche, from ascending this our great Cue," and Cortes replied through our interpreters who were with us that be and his companions were never tired by anything. Then Montezuma took him by the hand and told him to look at his great city and all the other cities that were standing in the water, and the many other towns on the land round the lake, and that if he bad not seen the great market place well, from where they were they could see it better.

So we stood looking about us, for that huge and cursed temple stood so high that from it one could see over every thing very well, and we saw the three causeways which led into Mexico, that is the causeway of Iztapalapa by which we had entered four days before, and that of Tacoma, and that of Tepeaquilla, and we saw fresh water that comes from Chapultepec which supplies the city, and we saw the bridges on the three causeways which were built at certain distances apart through which the water of the lake flowed in and out from one side to the other, and we beheld an that great lake a great multitude of canoes, some coming with supplies of food and others returning loaded with cargoes of merchandise; and we saw that from every house of that great city and of all the other cities that were built in the water it was impossible to pass from house to house, except by drawbridges which were made of wood or in canoes; and we saw in those cities Cues and oratories like towers and fortresses and all gleaming white, and it was a wonderful thing to behold; then the houses with flat roofs, and on the causeways other small towers and oratories which were like fortresses.

After having examined and considered all that we had seen we turned to look at the great market place and the crowds of people that were in it, some buying and others selling, so that the murmur and hum of their voices and words that they used could be heard more than a league off. Some of the soldiers among us who had been in many parts of the world, in Constantinople, and all over Italy, and in Rome, said that so large a market place and so full of people, and so well regulated and arranged, they had never be held before

True History of the Conquest of Mexico
by Father Bernal Diaz del Castillo

End of the Aztec Era
Flowers and Songs of Sorrow
Nothing but flowers and songs of sorrow
are left in Mexico and Tlatelolco,
where once we saw warriors and wise men.

We know it is true
that we must perish,
for we are mortal men.
You, the Giver of Life,
you have ordained it.

We wander here
and there in our desolate poverty.
We are mortal men.
We have seen bloodshed and pain
where once we saw beauty and valor.

We are crushed to the ground;
we lie in ruins.
There is nothing but grief and suffering
In Mexico and Tlatelolco,
where once we saw beauty and valor.

Have you grown weary of your servants?
Are you angry with your servants,
0 Giver of Life?

Mormon theology tells us this and it was also written about extensively by the early Spainiards however it is doubtful since the language has little similarity and the utilitarian wheel was not ever used.
However, there is a great deal of denial academically concerning the origins particularly with the grandmother tribe, the Olmecs of Veracruz  ·
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia
MESOAMERICAN CODICES IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Although large numbers of pre-Columbian manuscripts were destroyed in the name of religion during the Spanish conquest, some survived 
featuring photos of Mexica art and history with a promise of more to come

Prehispanic calenders.
Academic discussions.

Mesoamerican Archaeology WWW page

Online Mesoamerica.
Information on the codices and more.

Rene Voorburg's Mesoamerica page
includes calendars for Macs and Windows

Mexican Society and Culture.

Mexico's Index

The Maya Astronomy Page

AZTEC- Student Teacher Resource Center ||

When a man is willing and eager, the gods join in. - Aeschylus

 aztec/a-links Aztec Graphics || bookstore
opportunity for students to explore a popular legend of  the Southwest and Mexico on multiple levels using trial proceedings, research techniques, and poetry by
"Our ancestors did not have the choice to live emotionally healthy lives.  Survival was their primary goal. Today, we live in a different time. Women can continue to help the culture evolve with the same courage and tenacity of the heroínas of Mexico by breaking through the cultural barriers of our time. Every woman can experience a heroic journey.

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