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Unformatted text preview: History Lecture 1/30 and 2/1 30/01/2008 12:00:00 Rise and Fall and Rise of Mesoamerican Empires Mayas declined after 800s Teotihuacan, peaceful agricultural merchant city of artisans, colossal pyramids, and 200,000 inhabitants in highlands of Mexico collapsed in 900s under nomadic invasions Tributary empire of Toltecs disintegrated in 1100s under civil strife and nomadic raids C. 1345 the Mexica invaders from the north founded Tenochtitlan, future capital of Aztec empire, in Lake Texcoco Tenochtitlan: 2 nd largest city in the world Built on artificial islands, surrounded and protected by water on all sides Offered harvests of fish and other food Chinampa farming, peasants dug channels through marshes and swamps and then made alternating channels crisscrossing the land and then planted trees on these islands Flourishing farming system Late 1400s Aztec empire had 12 million people Was a tributary empire Sacrificed up to an estimated 250,000 people a year Human sacrifice was encouraged by devotion to their war god o To guarantee that the sun would rise next morning o It would take the blood of human beings to give the sun strength to rise again in the morning Aztecs believed that the earth would collapse after every 52 years if the Gods were not strong enough Aztec empire powered by violence, but also an empire of advanced civilization. Codex: a pictorial book written by Aztec priests Mexica Imperial Society Advanced civilization Mandatory education, bureaucrats, judges o Women not taught to read or write Educated military nobility at top of rigid hierarchy Controlled the riches and labor forces Received land grants and tribute from commoners Their council selected the ruler...
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