The Aztec Empire: The Valley Of Mexico

414 Words2 Pages
When Spanish ships landed in Mexico in 1519 the tremendous Aztec empire was at the top of its power from their capital Tenochtitlan the Aztecs controlled much of America ruling 15 million people. Aztec Palaces were as big and elaborate as those in Europe and their temples rivaled the Egyptian pyramids but within just 2 years the Aztec empire perished. The center of the Aztec Empire was the Valley of Mexico, where the capital of the Aztec Triple Alliance was built upon raised islets in Lake Texcoco.
The exact origins of the Aztec people are uncertain, but they are believed to have begun as a northern tribe of hunter-gatherers whose name came from that of their homeland, Aztlan. The Aztecs were also known as the Tenochca (from which the name
…show more content…
Typical Aztec crops included maize, beans, squashes, potatoes, tomatoes and avocadoes; they also supported themselves through fishing and hunting local animals such as rabbits, armadillos, snakes, coyotes and wild turkey. Their relatively sophisticated system of agriculture and a powerful military tradition would enable the Aztecs to build a successful state, and later an empire.
The Aztec language, Nahuatl, was the dominant language in central Mexico by the mid-1350s. Numerous Nahuatl words borrowed by the Spanish were later absorbed into English as well, including chili, avocado, chocolate, coyote, peyote, guacamole, ocelot and mescal.
Aztec religion developed from the worship of animistic spirits symbolizing natural forces in constant conflict while seeking balance. The cycle of life and death encouraged acceptance of the Toltec belief that the gods required human sacrifice to sustain nature and continuing life.
The Aztecs conceptualized their sun deity Huitzilopochtli as a blood-thirsty war god with an appetite for brave warriors captured in battle. In every Aztec city, they built pyramids, topped with temples to the sun. They honored Huitzilopochtli in great public ceremonies, when priests at the high shrine tore out the living hearts of victims and held up the trembling organs to the

More about The Aztec Empire: The Valley Of Mexico

Open Document