Tenochtitlán: The Aztec Civilization

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Tenochtitlán was the capital city of the Aztec civilization. It was founded in AD 1325 by the Mexica people. This city was built on a cluster of small natural islands on Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. The small island was gradually enlarged as Tenochtitlán grew. It became one of the largest and most powerful cities in Mesoamerica. Tenochtitlán achieved great wealth from conquered regions. It was a city of astounding beauty and impressive scale. Its pyramids were brightly painted blue and red for its gods and its palaces were blindingly white. Colorful floating gardens were everywhere. Busy markets displaying foods of all kinds and gold interweaved in clothes and headdresses were bartered. How did this civilization rival any…show more content…
They were originally nomads that came from regions of Northern Mexico or the Southwestern United States. They say from a mythical island called Aztlan, “The Place of Herons.” Because of great drought, the Mexica and other tribes that were located in the southwestern United States and in northern Mexico, known as the Chichimeca, were forced to migrate. Moving south, they settled in the Central of Mexico. At first, the Aztecs were mercenaries for others but as their reputations grew, the fierce warriors came to surface. In several surviving codices, Mexicas are shown carrying with them the idol of their patron deity Huitzilopochtli. After two centuries of migration, at around AD 1250, the Mexica arrived in the Valley of…show more content…
Because of this the Mexica had a very hard time and were forced to settle on inhospitable land. They became dependence of the city of Culhuacan. This was a prestigious city whose rulers were considered the heirs of the Toltec’s. It is said that in acknowledgement for their assistance during battle, the Mexica were given one of the daughters of the King of Culhuacan to be worshipped as a goddess/priestess. When the king arrived to attend the ceremony, he found on of the Mexica priests dressed in the flayed skin of his daughter: the Mexica reported to the king that their god, Huitzilopochtli, had asked for the sacrifice of the princess. The sacrifice and flaying of the Culhua Princess provoked a ferocious battle, which the Mexica lost. After they exiled out of Chapultepec, according to Mexica myth, the Aztecs wandered for weeks, months, and years searching for a place to settle. The Aztecs, guided by a priest’s dreams of a god; Huitzilopochtli who appeared to the Mexica leader and who instructed him to settle where they found an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus killing and eating a snake. After 26 years, this place was found in the middle of a marsh with no ground-rock at all. It was where the Mexica founded their capital city, Tenochtitlán in the year 2
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