Who were the Aztecs?

Who were the Aztecs?

Discussion post 2

Who were the Aztecs?

The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican community that lived in Mexico between the 14th to the 16th century. They have a significant classification of being blood thirst community due to their belief in the human sacrifice(“Sacrificial cannibalism was most certainly practiced by the Mexican elite…”History of Mexican Food Before the Spanish). Human blood was a symbolic connection between their divine beings to the community, and hence a continuous blood spill and human sacrifice only meant stronger bonds with their gods. On average or an estimation, it was believed that the Aztecs would sacrifice nearly twenty thousand people, believing that their sacrifice would make the sun rise and set, increase land fertility, increase female fertility, and offer protection from the gods.  Aztecs were also cannibalistic in their way of life.

“The founding tribe of the Aztecs called themselves the Mexica. The country of Mexico gets its name from this tribe.” The Aztecs, engineering and Empire Documentary.    

Why are they a significant power?

The Aztecs are a considerable significance in the study of ancient civilization.  Their origin is believed to have started when a neighboring king offered her daughter for marriage in the Aztecs community. Instead of conducting the usual marriage ceremony, the king’s daughter was offered as a sacrifice to the god of fertility. Upon receiving the news of the death of her daughter, the king organized a retaliatory force to drive out the entire Aztecs community. Eventually, after being evacuated, the Aztecs settled near Lake Texcoco where they build their empire and later renamed the place as Tenochtitlan.

Another significance is its ancient building technology. Their new settlement was nearly 25 miles away from an ancient ruin called Teotihuacan. From the ancient ruins, the Aztecs found inspiration to build up their new home, similar to Teotihuacan. Acampapichtli, who was the Aztecs leader, took the initiative of constructing a new city. They used tree logs as a foundation for the superstructures, and the formation of crossways for connecting the cities in the cardinal points. The building of the aqueduct signified their most powerful engineering skill in an ancient civilization that even the growing Roman empire could not have engineered such a project. During their rise to power, they elected a new leader who instigated the design of dikes that would extend their boundaries and have a kingdom with over fifteen million inhabitants.

What were some of the valuable lessons you learned about the Aztecs?

Engineering methods

Through to their ingenious architects, engineers, and leaders, the Aztecs built amongst the most ambitious engineering projects in ancient governments.  The engineering projects created international relations with neighboring kingdoms for growth and searched for power.


They had a structured system in which all the Aztecs were obliged to adhere to. Boys were trained to become warriors for the Aztecs believed that bloodshed to the gods was their only way of survival and worshipping them. (“your mission is to give them the sun the blood of enemies to drink, and to feed Tlatecuhtli, the earth, with their bodies”The Aztecs.)Girls would do household duties as their men build up the empire.

They had an education system and two different types of schools; namely the calmecac and the telpochcalli.

Marriage was conducted as soon as one attained the age of twenty.

What was their civilization/empire like?

Its empire comprised of a calpolli, meaning a big house that included the following components

  • A group of families who were related by kin
  • Elite members in a society who would provide the resources to the commoners
  • Calpollec, the principal chief was the ruler elected by the inhabitants
  • Pipitin, or the noblemen who comprised of imperial administrators and eagle nobles as the fierce warriors (cuauhpipitilin)
  • Teteucutin, the rulers of the various town and had a higher hierarchy than the noblemen.
  • Bondsmen, who through suppression or rebellion had lost their civil rights.
  • Slaves, (Tlacohtin) the citizens who could not uphold their duties and adhere to their responsibilities.

What questions and critiques were raised for you after learning about the Aztecs?

Was it justified to sacrifice human life and blood for gaining divine intervention?

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