The Aztecs-Students

The Aztecs-Students - The Aztecs The The Chichimec Period...

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Unformatted text preview: The Aztecs The The Chichimec Period Cultural Innovations Social/Political Structure The Chichimec Period The The Aztec originated from somewhere in north The or northwest Mexico. At that time the Aztecs (who referred to themselves as the Mexica or Tenochca) were a small, nomadic, Nahuatl-speaking aggregation of tribal peoples living on the margins of civilized Mesoamerica. civilized Sometime in the 12th century they embarked Sometime on a period of wandering and in the 13th century settled in the central basin of México. century The Chichimec Period The Aztecs finally found refuge on small islands in Lake Texcoco where, in 1325, they founded the town of TENOCHTITLAN (modern-day Mexico City). Other Chichimecs followed who were more civilized but stole women and practiced sacrifice. practiced – brought knowledge of the Maya calender brought system, cultivated crops with irrigation, constructed with stone. constructed Aztec Origin Myth Aztec Little is known of the earliest Aztecs, they did not keep Little a written record. Their history was passed on by word of mouth from one generation to the next. Legend has it that they came from an Island called Aztlan, meaning White Place - Place of Herons. White Place There is one codex, the Tira de la Peregrinacion, Tira commonly called the Migration Scrolls. The scrolls Migration have the Aztecs leaving Aztlan, which was described as an island in a lake with Chicomoztoc depicted as seven temples in the center of the island. Aztec Origin Myth Aztec The Aztecs believed Huitzilopochtli their war god was their protector, now had them search for their promised land. promised The Aztecs straggled into the Valley of Mexico, led by their chieftain Tenoch. They were a poor, ragged people who survived on vermin, snakes, and stolen food. They were hated and rejected by all the surrounding inhabitants of the valley, for their barbarous and uncultured habits. Huitzilopochtli told Tenoch to lead his people to a place of refuge on a swampy island in Lake Texcoco. When they reached their destination, they were to look for an eagle perched on a cactus, growing from a rock or cave surrounded by water. At that location, they were to build their city and honor Huitzilopochtli with human sacrifices. The city they built was called Tenochtitlán, the city of Tenoch. What is the meaning of the word Aztlan? Aztlan? Mexica/Aztec Mexica/Aztec Basin of Mexico Basin Chain of interconnected lakes, 3-6, but Chain the Aztecs talked about three-Chalco, Texcoco, and Xaltocan. Texcoco, – Lake Texcoco deepest and water flowed from it to other lakes the Basin is about 3,000 sq miles and about the 15% of that is covered by water. 15% Population estimates at around Population A.D.1519 are between 1 to 1.2 million. A.D.1519 Aztec Empire Aztec Tenochtitlan Tenochtitlan How were they all fed? How Used the Chinampas (floating gardens) for Used agriculture. agriculture. – 25,000 acres of chinampas at the time of contact. – gardens never actually floated, but were created gardens by making use of the vegetaion in the swamps. – Floating water plants were used to build up Floating gardens and then were dragged onto shore for chinampas. chinampas. – They became anchored to the native cypress. – Lake mud was piled on and canals were built. Chinampas Chinampas Ancient Aztecs tending to chinampas Cultural Innovations Cultural Trade Trade Economics Market System Market Aztec Market (Tlateloco) Aztec Market days were held once each five days, four Market times each month. Sometimes daily in larger towns. towns. – reflected community craft specializations as well as reflected imported goods. imported – also slaves were traded, and dogs for food (400 on a also slow day). slow Bernal Diaz de Castillo says that he didn’t even Bernal have time to list how many things were offered one day at the market of Tlateloco. one – commodities and goods exchanged by barter. Cultural Innovations Cultural Writing – Nahuatl language spoken at conquest, living Nahuatl language today. language – Many codices and glyphs to describe lifeways of Many Aztecs, as well as Spanish accounts. Aztecs, Several Significant Codices: – – – Codex Borbonicus Codex Florentine Codex Codex Mendoza Codex Borbonicus A scene from the Codex Borbonicus, which shows the gods Tlachitonátiuh and Xolotl, while on the right are the 8 to 13 days of the sixteenth series of the ritual series. Florentine Codex Florentine Human sacrifice Codex Mendoza Codex Tribute Cultural Innovations Cultural Art – Stone carving to communicate ideas. – Free-standing figures of Aztec deities. – Aztec Calender stone. – Atlantean figures and chocmools Metallurgy – acquired from Maya. – Mostly gold, silver. Art Art Obsidian vessel carved Obsidian in the shape of a monkey Polychrome terracota plaque with molded and apliquéd sculpture of a human face Stone box with representations of corn cobs Jewelry Jewelry Necklaces found in the Great Temple at Tenochtitlan Masks Masks Social Structure Social Basic unit of social organization – calpulli (clan) calpulli – not all lineages within the clan were equal. Membership by birth. – families traced their descent through fathers, families which is a lineage, and these lineages make up a calpulli. up – marry within the calpulli. – one lineage provides leader of that calpule. Four principle social categories: Four PipiltinMacehualtin-commoner clan. Pochtea-merchant clan. Pochtea-merchant Tlacotin-slaves. Tlacotin-slaves. Political Organization Political Divine King or ruler of Aztec Each city (other than Tenochtitlan) ruled by a pettyking selected from the pipiltin. Dual leadership-military and religious – supreme leader chosen from special lineage, with brother supreme succeeding brother. succeeding – court which ruled over military, justice, treasury, and court commerce. commerce. Moctezuma II e-codex.htm Judicial branch Judicial Both pipitlin and commoners chosen. higher and lower courts. – commoners went to lower court (tecalli). – higher court for upper class (tlacxitlan). Prisoners kept in wooden cages, sentencing Prisoners could be death, mutilation or slavery. could * Even elite tried-the sister of Motecuhzoma II Even was tried by her husband for extramarital affairs and she and her lovers were put to death. and Rulers: Post 14th C Rulers: 1Acamapichtli A.D.1376-1391 -married Ilancueil (“Toltec Princess”) 2Huitzilihuitl 1391-1415 2Huitzilihuitl 3Chimalpopocoa 1415-1426 3Chimalpopocoa 4Itzcoatl 1426-1440 5Moctezuma I 1440-1469 Atotozli = Tezozomoc 6Axayacatl 1469-1481 7Tizoc 1481-1486 8Ahuizotl 1486-1502 10Cuitlahuac1520 9Moctezuma II 1502-1520 11Cuauhtemoc 1520-1525 Acamapichtli 1372-1391 Acamapichtli Aztec dynasty emerges ca. 1371 Aztec name means "handful of reeds" was son of Mexica noble and Culhua woman dynasty from which he came had links to Acolhua provided link to Toltec past: wife was of Culhua nobility conquests of Xochimilco and Cuernavaca beginning of conflict with Chalco building up city and constructing houses, chinampas, and canals died ca. 1391, after reign of ca. 19 years died Huitzilihuitl 1391-1415 Huitzilihuitl "Humming Bird's Feather" "Humming – first wife was from Tacuba first – second wife was a Tepanec princess, granddaughter second of Tezozomoc from Azcapotzalco resulted in favorable treatment from Tezozomoc after birth of son Chimalpopoca, delegation came from Azcapotzalco – third wife a: mother of Tlacaelel third – fourth wife was from Cuernavaca fourth mother of Moctezuma Ilhuicamina – died ca. 1415 died Chimalpopoca 1415-1426 Chimalpopoca "Smoking Shield" "Smoking – half Tepanec half – oversaw war with Texcoco oversaw – iin Texcoco, authority was challenged by n Ixtlilxochitl Ixtlilxochitl – asserted right to be called "Lord of the asserted Chichimecs" Chichimecs" Itzcoatl 1426-1440 Itzcoatl Chimalpopoca succeeded by uncle Itzcoatl (Obsidian Chimalpopoca Serpent) Itzcoatl acceded in 1426 at the age of 46 – – – – – may have had Chimalpopoca killed may chief advisor was nephew Tlacaelel, son of Huitzilihuitl chief younger brother of Moctezuma I younger assumed title of Cihuacoatl (Woman Snake) assumed chief reformer of Aztec state chief destroyed pre-Aztec books and records promoted view of Aztecs as heirs to Toltec tradition reign characterized by troubles with Tepanecs latter demanded signs of submission war broke out between Mexica and Tepanecs upon death of Itzcoatl war Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina 1440-1468 1440-1468 "Heaven Shooter“ began construction of Templo Mayor at Tenochtitlan first conquest was with region of Chalca first Empire expansion – – – campaign towards Oaxaca begun in 1458 campaign pretense was killing of merchants pretense conquered kingdom of Atonal conquered A catastrophic famine of 1450-1451 occurred and the practice of human sacrifice was propelled into a high gear in ever increasing numbers. People sold themselves for a few ears of corn to keep from starving. – drive to Gulf Coast fertile Tototac lands sought as protection against famine fertile Tlaxcalans neglected to come to assistance of Gulf Coast peoples Tlaxcalans common people denounced their rulers common Huaxtecs conquered next Huaxtecs AXAYACATL 1469-1481 Water Mask, Face of Water, Son of Moctezuma I. At 19 years of age this leader was installed as the Great Speaker of the Aztec faith and army. He proved himself a great warrior and military strategist and expanded the Aztec empire. His most famous military campaign was in subduing a rebellion from close neighbor and sister city next to Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco in 1473. One of the most colorful stories in Aztec history has Axayacatl in hand to hand combat atop the great pyramid with the leader of Tlatelolco, Moquihuix, with the latter being thrown down the steps of the temple. Conquered Tlatelolco(*38) on trumped up phony charges and successfully substituted a strong military central control in the region. in Axayacatl lost a leg in one of his many battles. As a result of Axayacatl Axayacatl and his concentration of cementing his power base he was able to extend total dominance over the Valley of Mexico for the Aztec Empire. Aztec TIZOC 1481-1486 TIZOC “He Has Bled People, Jewell of the Sun”, was the brother He of Axayacatl. Tizoc's name glyph depicted a pierced leg with cactus spines, indicating his great devotion to self sacrifice. spines, Was proven a bad military leader and was removed from Was office by poison. The empire actually began to shrink under this ruler as his lack of administration skills allowed almost constant rebellion. Was called "Bloodstained Leg". Though his armies were "Bloodstained Though successful, over one hundred thousand prisoners taken, he was considered a coward. AHUITZOTL 1486-1502 AHUITZOTL “Water Dog, Otter”. Was the third son of Moctezuma I. Water Said to be rough and fearless, he lived and slept with his army, one of the greatest warrior kings. – Greatly expanded the Aztec tribute empire during his reign. Greatly Conquered the valley of Oaxaca and the Pacific coast to Guatemala. Imposed strong bureaucratic control over the Aztec empire. The great temple of Tenochtitlan, dedicated in 1487 with the sacrifice of 20,000 victims occurred during his reign. the – Construction of an aqueduct to bring fresh water to the capital was Construction begun. begun. Great uncle to Moctezuma II. Ahuitzotl is reported to have died after striking his head Ahuitzotl while escaping rising waters in his garden area as a result of a dike breaking. Physicians removed parts of his smashed skull and the king died probably foam a subdural MOCTEZUMA II 1502-1520 MOCTEZUMA “Our Angry Looking God, He Who Frowned Like A Lord” Axayacatl's eldest son was the leading candidate for Axayacatl's ascending to the throne, however, he was considered too flamboyant and Moctezuma was chosen. Moctezuma assumed the throne on May 24, 1503. The Aztec people reached their finest hour under his reign. Was the son of Axayacatl (Ruler 6). Originally trained to be a high priest, but proved himself valiantly on the field of battle. Very much a philosopher king. During the reign of this leader the Mexica were able to sustain several major military campaigns at one time which greatly added to the power base of the empire. the Killed while a captive of Cortes. Killed Moctezuma II Moctezuma II: Moctezuma Feathered Headress Moctezuma II and Cortes Moctezuma His priestly training, particularly in the old Toltec His traditions, was his downfall as he believed the return of Quetzalcoatl to be incarnated in Cortes, it paralyzed him and his vast armies until it was too late for the Aztecs. and He believed it was his destiny to preside over the Aztecs He while a total destruction of the Mexica civilization occurred. occurred. Moctezuma was considered a skilled statesman and Moctezuma many references by the Conquistadors to their admiration for him. While a captive of Cortes he lost his stature among the general population of Tenochtitlan and was hit in the head by a stone thrown by his former subjects and died while a captive of Cortes CUITLAHUAC 1520 CUITLAHUAC Brief interim ruler between Motecuhzoma Brief II and Cuauhtemoc. Was the lord of Ixtapapapa. Died of the smallpox brought to Mexico by a soldier with Narvaez. Was nephew to Moctezuma II. Was CUAUHTEMOC 1520-1521 CUAUHTEMOC “DESCENDING EAGLE”, also known as "Prince Falling DESCENDING Eagle". Eagle" Defended Tenochtitlan against Cortes to the last man. Was captured and eventually hung by Colonial troops. Was Cuauhtemoc was a skilled military leader. Cuauhtemoc Another nephew of Motecuhzoma and was 18 years old at the time he was chosen to be the Aztec leader. Was immediately wed to one of Moctezuma's daughters, Tecuichpo, who would later become a Christian and have four Spanish husbands. He was a symbol of valor to the Mexica and represented their spirit of nationalism and pride. Cuauhtemoc's reign, although short, was eventful and envied much respect from the Spanish Conquistadors and Cortes in particular. from ...
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