Aztecs

In: Historical Events

Submitted By bigehle
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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…...

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