In: Historical Events

Submitted By bigehle
Words 4995
Pages 20
COR 130
Individual Research Paper

The Aztecs and the role of Human Sacrifice

The Aztec was a culture that dominated the Valley of Mexico in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. All the Nahua-speaking peoples in the Valley of Mexico were Aztecs, while the culture that dominated the area was Tenochca. At the time of the European conquest, they called themselves either "Tenochca" or "Toltec," which was the name assumed by the bearers of the Classic Mesoamerican culture, stated in Manuel Aguilar-Moreno’s book, Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. Sadly, many of the Aztec didn't survive after the arrival of the Europeans. But during the earlier years, the Aztec became one of the most advanced civilizations because of their religion, war, and agriculture. The Aztecs gained an infamous reputation for their bloodthirsty human sacrifices with explicit tales of the beating heart being ripped from the still-conscious victims, decapitation, skinning and dismemberment. All of these things did happen but it is important to remember that for the Aztecs the act of sacrifice was a strictly ritualized process that gave the highest possible honor to the gods and was regarded as a necessity to ensure mankind’s continued prosperity.
The Aztecs were not the first civilization in Mesoamerica to practice human sacrifice; human sacrifice was practiced to some extent by many peoples in Mesoamerica and around the world for many centuries. But it was the Aztec empire that really took the ritual to new heights. Although early reports undoubtedly exaggerate the number of human sacrifices that happened during the Spanish Conquest, probably to justify the Spaniards own brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples. Nevertheless, it is thought that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of victims were sacrificed each year at the great Aztec religious sites and it cannot be denied that there would…...

Similar Documents

Appellant, Aztec Petroleum Corp., Appeals from a Summary Judgment in Favor of Appellee, Mhm Company,

...Appellant, Aztec Petroleum Corp., appeals from a summary judgment in favor of appellee, MHM Company, which removed Aztec as general partner in a limited partnership and substituted MHM as general partner. In two points of error, Aztec contends that the trial court erred in denying its motion for summary judgment and in granting MHM's motion for summary judgment because neither Aztec nor all of the limited partners consented to the removal of Aztec and substitution of MHM as general partner and, therefore, the removal and substitution are invalid as a matter of law. We conclude that the partnership agreement of Aztec 80-A, Ltd., as thereafter amended, permits the removal of Aztec and substitution of MHM as general partner as a matter of law. Accordingly, we affirm. The facts are undisputed. The controversy centers on section 11.12 of the partnership agreement. Section 11.12 states: Amendments. Amendments to this Agreement may be proposed by the General Partner, or by the holders of 10% or more of the Units, by submission of a written proposal to the General Partner. Following such proposal, the General Partner shall submit to the Limited Partners, by notice in accordance with Section 11.1 of this Agreement, a verbatim statement of the proposed amendment, and when the General Partner deems it appropriate, an opinion of counsel as to the legality of such proposed amendment, and its recommendation with respect to the proposed amendment. Except as otherwise expressly......

Words: 2685 - Pages: 11

Gender in Pohnpei and Aztec Culture

...Gender in Pohnpei and Aztec Culture A society cannot evolve without a system that is run by men and or women. Many cultures involved gender roles to achieve their goals and lifestyles. There can be so many similarities in the statuses a gender is labeled but just in a different way. I enjoyed reading the anthropological story of Martha Ward on Pohnpei culture and I figured to compare it to the Aztec culture. You will find how gender played in these two cultures. They both have social classes and what role men and women played. Let’s start with Pohnpei, there is a strong coherence to this vital society due to increasing modernization, areas of gender. In social and political structures contain aspects of both order and freedom. There’s harmony between tradition (males running politics and woman determining clan ranking) and freedom. Some men achieve status in both the traditional and modern political systems (Ward 57). Elders draw young people into marriage, titles, even land ownership (Ward 57). The political aspect of society is run by men. Each district is headed by a man called Nahnwarski or king or also Paramount Chief, then High Chief, high ranked citizens, and the commoners (Ward 14). Ambition is a respected, even an ancient idea, one not tied to job status and education. Dedicated work for the Paramount Chiefs and loyalties to a geographic section and district are signs of worthy ambition (Ward 76). A man advancing through title ranks pulls his hard-working......

Words: 1401 - Pages: 6

Conquistadors and the Fall of the Aztec Empire

...people who have heard about the Aztecs and their empire, but are they aware what truly brought the Aztec civilization to a screeching halt? Among other things the Conquistadors had the largest influence in the downfall of the Aztec Empire. According to a well-known historical anthropologist by the name of Ross Hassig the conquest to Mexico (which was where the Aztecs lived) has captured historians' interest for centuries and the expedition has undergone relentless investigation. The conquistadors took over the Aztec Empire which became known as Mexico, and later became under Spain's control. Since the Conquistadors were from a different civilized part of the world, they had advanced weaponry to aid them in the great feat. Not only did the Spanish, or better known as conquistadors, bring unknown weapons they also brought unknown diseases which was a detriment to the fall of the Aztec Empire. Spain sent conquistadors to Mexico to expand their empire and Herman Cortes was ultimately considered the Gran Conquistador since it was his expedition that led to the conquest of Mexico and the fall of the Aztecs (Levy, 332). Cortes arrived on the shores of Mexico with an army of conquistadors with the intent to expand the Spanish empire. On his journey he schemed to covert the native inhabitants to Catholicism and carry of a fortune of gold, of course the only thing that stood in his way were the Aztecs. Tenochtitlan, the city in which the Aztecs resided, was where Cortes met......

Words: 933 - Pages: 4

Religious Sacrifice - Aztec Understanding

...or heard, what cannot be held; a belief that is not based on proof. The bible describes the Christian god as more of a present being, but to the Aztec, their gods were spiritual. Abraham had the voice of god to tell him that sacrifice was not what he truly wished but what if there was no presence there to stop him? For the Aztec there were no voices. They had developed the idea that their purpose on earth was to appease the gods for all that they had given them, and that is life. That being said, the most logical way to repay them for the life they had given is to give it back, bringing the Aztec upon human sacrifice. The number of lives taken by their people is unknown, however what is known, is that the number is much larger would care to believe. The Aztec, as Abraham had prepared himself to do, sacrificed themselves out of devotion to the gods. The Aztec sacrifice of humans was attributed to religion, but in what aspect of religion is it said to give your own life to repay christ? (The Aztec felt worship to hundreds of gods opposed to christianity where there is but one) Legend has it the creation of the earth was not an easy task, created only to be destoyed time after time. The fifth and final creation was that of the planet as we know it, sustained only by the sacrifice of all gods so that we as humans could live. The Aztec felt a blood-debt that had to be repayed, similar to an eye for an eye, but in their case, a life for a life. The story is that a god gave......

Words: 1441 - Pages: 6

Fall of the Aztec Empire

...The Aztecs, also known as Mexicas, dominated northern Mexico all the way to the early 16th century until Hernan Cortes invaded during a Spanish conquest. Legends reveal they originated in Aztlan, somewhere in northern Mexico. In the 12th century they extended their wandering to new boundaries and settled in the central basin of Mexico roughly a century later. Refuge was found in 1325 on the islands in Lake Texcoco where the major city Tenochtitlan was founded. What is now modern-day Mexico, this city quickly flourished and was inferior to only Paris and Constantinople in population size. The fall of the Aztec empire created ripples throughout history. What was once the most prominent and powerful empire, suddenly ceased to exist, in only two years time. The tactics of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, the religious affiliation with the invasion, cultural sacrifices, and the disease and natural disaster that was brought upon the Aztecs, contributed greatly to the rapid downfall of a major world superpower. Sacrifice It is widely believed that the religious rituals of sacrifice the Aztecs participated in contributed to the decline, in multiple ways. The killing of thousands of people is detrimental to society, never beneficial. The population took a drastic hit and the civilizations established around the Aztec empire never allied because of the violent measures they took. Tlaxcala is a prime example. Many of their people had been killed and they inevitably joined the...

Words: 781 - Pages: 4

The Spiritual World of the Aztecs

...The Spiritual World of the Aztecs Religion can be described as a shared set of fundamental beliefs and practices. “The Aztec religion was a complex set of beliefs, rituals and gods that helped the Aztec/Mexica to make sense of their world, reality and death (Maestri Nicolette, 2013)”. Today, we will explore the famous Aztec world of gods, sacrifice, and magic in an attempt to better understand their culture and worldview. The traditional Aztec religion was on that focused on the services provided by a series of gods, all to whom a debt was owed. The debt was perpetual and came to be when the gods made the decision to sacrifice themselves to enable human life. “Life for humankind was only possible with a moving sun, and this the gods provided. It then became the responsibility of humanity to feed the sun thereafter, lest it stop and the universe stop with it (Holly Peters-Golden, 2012)”. The Aztec’s shared belief in this theory gave rise to a number of traditions and ceremonies involving human sacrifice. These ceremonies were conducted frequently and were often scheduled in accordance with their ritual calendar. These rituals were sacred to the Aztecs and were performed without hesitation or remorse. In every situation, those who were to be sacrificed were held in high regard for their contribution to the continuity of human life entitled them to great honor and the promise of a rewarded afterlife. In addition, the remains of the sacrificed individuals were...

Words: 564 - Pages: 3

How and When Did the Aztec and Inca Empires Fall?

...How and when did the Aztec and Inca empires fall? . The Aztec and Inca names do not necessarily refer to people who inhabited the Americas but they reference the empires themselves. The empires were made up of many groups. The Aztec Empire encompassed the ethnic groups of the Acolhua, the Tepanecs and the Mexicas. The Aztec Empire was ruled by the Mexicas. The Mexicas were warriors. They built their capitol in a city called Tenochtitlan. It was located where central Mexico is today (Chasteen 28). Hernan Cortes was a Spanish leader who had a lot of experience with the indigenous people by the time he came upon the Aztec empire. The Mexica had no clued what the Spanish wanted or their intentions. After the Mexica accepted the Spanish into their land, Cortes took their leader Moctezuma hostage. Next Cortes made allies with long time Mexica enemies (a common tactic by the Europeans) and waged war on the Mexica. The Mexica also suffered from a rapidly spreading sickness which worked to Cortes advantage to decimate the Aztec Empire. The Inca Empire was located in the areas of what today makes up Columbia, Peru and Chile. It was south of the Aztec Empire and its capitol was called Cuzco. It was made up of a federation of four governments. The Chinchay Suyu , Anti Suyu, Kunti Suyu, and Qulla Suyu (Wikipedia). A distant relative of Cortes by the name of Franscisco Pizarro used similar techniques to defeat the Inca Empire. Pizarro took the Incan leader hostage and eventually......

Words: 440 - Pages: 2


...Ahmad Nourzaie Hist 2b Response #1 Aztec Awe The Aztec Empire is regarded as the greatest Mesoamerican empire of all time. Their Empire stretched for more than 80,000 square miles through what is now central and southern Mexico. Tenochtitlán was the capital city of this great Empire; and the location of the eventual fall of the Empire. Hernán Cortés was the Spanish conquistador that conquered the Aztecs during the period of 1519-1521. One of Cortés’ foot soldiers was a man by the name of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who later wrote of his experience upon entering Tenochtitlán. Díaz wrote his account many years after the events he described; in order to create a much more honest description of the conquest in response to the contemporary reiteration of the historians of his day. In his account, Díaz seemed to be very taken aback by the Aztecs; in regards to their fighting, their city, and their rituals. Díaz who although was a very firm believer in Spain’s conquest of Aztecs; had a level of respect and admiration for the Aztec. Díaz was first and foremost a soldier; he never seemed to have any second thoughts in regards to his role as a soldier, he always fought, and believed he was fighting for the right cause. Throughout Díaz’s war account; he mentions God, which illuminates the fact that beyond the monetary goal of this conquest; there was a sense of doing God’s work. “In that small platform were many more diabolical objects, trumpets great and......

Words: 931 - Pages: 4

Conquest of the Aztec Empire

...The story of the conquest of the Aztec Empire by a small band of Spanish conquistadors and their Indian allies is one of the most famous episodes from history. It is well known not only for its historical significance, but also for its outrageous and hair-raising feats of derring-do. Hernando Cortez, acting essentially on his own, with an army of only about 500 men overthrew the wealthiest, most sophisticated, and most powerful empire on the American continent. The Aztecs were not a passive, peace-loving people. They had enormous armies of experienced warriors and dominated the tribes and territories for hundreds of miles around. Their cities were large, complex and strongly fortified, and their civilization was prosperous and sophisticated. The Spaniards won a victory over the Aztecs against almost insurmountable odds through a combination of diplomacy, treachery, ferocious combat and good luck. So great was the conquistadors love of gold and glory that they stood firm in nearly impossible circumstances and their sheer audacity won the day. Cortez was unquestionably brutal and merciless at times, but on the whole, he was an exceedingly skilled tactician and a charismatic leader of men. He accomplished a great deal by diplomacy and treated his Indian allies fairly. He had several Indian children whom he acknowledged and provided for, and won the respect of many native leaders. If his plans had not gone awry he might have conquered the Aztec empire with little bloodshed,......

Words: 2009 - Pages: 9


...Jane Smith Profesor Espinosa Hispanic Civ 1 de diciembre 2013 “Latinos en los Estados Unidos” Los Latinos en los Estados Unidos son un grupo muy diverso y, colectivamente ellos consisten del segundo más grande población del país. El grupo de latinos en los Estados Unidos incluyen, principalmente, los Mexicano- Americanos, quien son el grupo más grande y viejo con 33 millones (65% del total de hispanos); los Puertorriqueños con 4.7 millones (9%); los Cubano-Americanos con 1.8 millones (3.7%), y en menor medida los Dominicanos y los hispanos de Centro Americanos, principalmente de El Salvador, Nicaragua, y Guatemala. La mayoría de los Latino Americanos que vinieron a los Estados Unidos fue resultado de una de las muchas guerras de los últimos 150 años. Los puertorriqueños y muchos Mexicano-Americanos son descendientes de los residentes quienes patria fueron anexado por los Estados Unidos; muchos más Mexicanos, Cubanos, y Centro Americanos refugiados huyeron d Los mexicanos en los Estados Unidos son uno de los grupos más discriminados y juzgados en comparación con otros grupos que no son descendentes del país. Citado por Villarruel y Walker “En 1996-98 en Los Ángeles, en comparación con la juventud blanca, la juventud latina fue: Arrestada 2.3 más, Enjuiciada como adulto 2.4 veces más. Encarcelada 7.3 veces más.” “Pablo, un inmigrante indocumentado mexicano de 16 años de edad, dormía en su cama a las 2:30 de la mañana, cuando la policía golpeó la puerta del......

Words: 647 - Pages: 3

The Aztecs

...The Aztecs Human sacrifices were a common ritual practiced by the Aztec. The practice has caused more confusion and controversy among anthropologists, chroniclers, journalists, and priests who either condemn the topic or refuse that it ever took place. There are various evidences that ritual killings were a basic part of the life of Aztecs. They included eyewitness observation, detailed reports from interviews conducted on elders be Spanish friars and archaeological evidence. They show that ritual killing was practiced by Aztecs for long as found by hunter-gatherers in the Valley of Tehuacan. Most sacrifices are said to have taken place in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan where records shows that there existed two sacrificial stones, many ritual knives and human remains of about 126 people buried in the site. Sacrifices are said to have taken place every month at certain altars and temples in the ceremonial centers. They spent a lot of energy, time and wealth offering the sacrifices in various festivals. The most common type of sacrifice was the auto sacrifice. It involved the use of sharp instruments like maguey thorns to pierce people’s earlobes, arms, thighs, tongue or even genitals with the aim of offering blood to the gods. Beheading, on the other hand was the most common type of killing and involved animals such as quail. However, the most valued and dramatic sacrifices involved captured warriors, children, women and slaves. They were bathed,......

Words: 326 - Pages: 2


...Chris Garcia Topic: Aztecs Specific Purpose: To inform about the Aztec civilization I. Introduction A. Attention-getter: Have you ever wonder you made the fist chocolate drink or who came out with the color red or who use for the first time the tomatoes the Aztec where the first ones B. Thesis: Today you will know some Aztec history and achievement and the fall of their empire and about their decent C. Preview: Today I will explain some aspect of the Aztec civilization and not only the old Aztec civilization but also the new generation D. Credibility: I have study the Aztec history for one year and half E. Relation: Many of you are not from Aztec decent but never less in some point of your live you want to know little about you background [Transition: Let’s begin with Aztec history.] II. Body A. According to Rand Genera an Instructor of Reedley College the Aztec homeland was Aztlan and then migrated to Mexico. Aztlan was at Utah, Colorado, Nevada 1) During the migration the Aztec where lead by ten leaders one was Tenoch (cactus on a stone) later became the first Aztec emperor 2) They where looking for a symbol, that symbol was an eagle in a cactus eating a snake and where they found that symbol that’s where their new home was going to be 3) Eventually they found the symbol, they called their new home Tenochtitlan [Transition: Now that you know little bit of the Aztec background now let’s......

Words: 415 - Pages: 2

Ancient Aztec Religion

...Ancient Aztec Religion: A complex interaction of gods, dates, directions and color that dealt mainly with fear of nature, and of the world. The Aztecs are famous for their sacrificial rituals that were held in order to repay the gods for the sacrifices they had made in order to bring humans life. For instance the sun god Huitzilopochtil, who gave up movement to be the sun will stop if he is not appeased bringing the world to an end, something the Aztec people feared would occur every 52 years if they made one wrong step. The main city of the Aztec Empire was Tenochtitlan(Mexico City) where they ruled and were the military power until the Spaniards came in 1519. They formed alliances with the two other major cities Texcoco and Tlacopan. Government: .The family unit was the basic unit of the Aztec government .Nobles and priest had a large amount of power, and although nobility provided leadership, they weren’t automatically placed into government. .The true power belonged to the city councils. Each council had an executive council that consisted of four individuals. Of those four there would be a Hatcani or Leader of the city. (The city council of Tenochtitlan has been compared to the Roman senate) .The Huey Tlatcanin (emperor) was worshipped as a god who’s rule is supported by city councils, priests, judges, governers , etc. He has absolute power in a sense –could be removed by a democratic system. The Fall: .The last Aztec Emperor Cuitlahuac surrendered to...

Words: 377 - Pages: 2

Aztec Society

...Peter Nichlas Soetaniman Professor Valery Taylor Fall15 Art 007 1 November 2015 Should Aztec Society be understood as (A) Civilized or (B) Barbaric? 1. Aztec society displayed many attributes that displayed intelligence and sophistication. Yet at the same time, they also portray a rather barbaric behavior that made me question my opinion. However, Del Castillo describes that upon entering the city of Coyoacan, they spotted tower-like buildings (which were their shrines); they met by many Caciques and dignitaries wearing very rich cloaks (Del Castillo, 216). These alone already describes a little of their sophistication. Moving over towards the great Montezuma, he had with him, fine gold jewels of various shapes. In sign of respect, he gave, to each of the four captains, small gold objects and three loads of cloaks of rich feather work; and to the soldiers he gave two loads of cloaks each, with a princely hair. These demonstrate skilled workmanship and knowledge of how to properly provide proper gifts. It is also a sign of politeness and good manners, which even some civilizations do not have with them (De Castillo, 221). Moreover, Cortes and Montezuma exchanged bows, and clasped hands. These simple gestures are a simple signs of sophistication in due to each other’s presence as different ranks. Both showed respect to each other (Del Castillo, 221). At this point in time, Montezuma is about 40 years old, and he was very neat and clean, and took a bath every afternoon....

Words: 893 - Pages: 4

Spanish 2 Module 3.2

...3.02 México interior - Práctica A. Answer the following about the Aztecs and the Conquistadors. 1. Describe the life of the Aztecs. What is Tenochtitlan? How big was that city? 2. What was sold at the Aztec market? 3. What was the main staple of the Aztec diet? 4. What were some of the reasons that Cortez wanted to conquer the Aztecs? 5. What were some of the biggest advantages the Spanish had over the Aztecs? B. Write a short composition in English comparing and contrasting Mexico City today and Mexico City of long ago (Tenochtitlan). Be sure to include: • Population (number) • The government • The ruins • Modes of transportation • Lifestyle in general C. Use the articles indicated to respond to the following questions: From Aztec-History (Ancient Aztec Religion) 1. What are some of the evidences that show how the Aztec religious beliefs permeated all of their society? Name three. 2. Out of the many gods they believed in, which one was the most important? 3. Explain what they believed about the sun and darkness. 4. What does the Bible say about worshiping many gods? Use Isaiah 65:16, Exodus 3:14, Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 28:4, and Psalms 16:4. 5. What did the Aztecs believe about an afterlife? From Aztec-History (Mexican Flag) 1. Explain the symbolism found on the Mexican flag of an eagle devouring a serpent while perched on a cactus growing out of a rock. 2. It was here they built their capital city of......

Words: 440 - Pages: 2