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Joshua Richardson
Joshua Richardson

Aztecs: The History and Culture of the Mesoamerican Civilization


Aztek: A Mesoamerican Culture and a DC Comics Superhero




Have you ever wondered what is aztek? Is it a historical term, a fictional character, or both? In this article, we will explore the meaning and origin of aztek, as well as its different aspects and manifestations. We will also provide you with some tips and tricks on how to write an engaging and informative article on aztek.


Introduction




Aztek is a word that can refer to two different things:




aztek



  • The Aztecs, a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico from the 14th to the 16th century.



  • Aztek, a superhero appearing in DC Comics, who is based on the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl.



Both of these topics are fascinating and worthy of exploration, as they reveal different aspects of human history, culture, and imagination. To write an article on aztek, you need to do some research, organize your information, and use a conversational style that engages the reader. You also need to use headings, subheadings, tables, and other formatting elements to make your article easy to read and understand.


The Aztecs: A Mesoamerican Civilization




The Aztecs were one of the most influential and powerful civilizations in pre-Columbian America. They created a vast empire that spanned most of central Mexico, and left behind a rich legacy of art, architecture, religion, science, and literature.


The origin and meaning of the term "Aztec"




The term "Aztec" is derived from "Aztlán", which was the mythical homeland of the Mexica people, one of the ethnic groups that formed the Aztec civilization. The Mexica migrated from Aztlán to the Valley of Mexico around the 13th century, where they founded their capital city, Tenochtitlan. The term "Aztec" was originally used by the Spanish conquerors to refer to the Mexica and their allies, but later it was expanded to include all the Nahuatl-speaking peoples of central Mexico. Today, the term "Aztec" is also used as a synonym for Nahua, which is the collective name for the indigenous people who speak Nahuatl languages.


The history and culture of the Aztecs




The Aztecs were a complex and diverse civilization that developed over several centuries. They had a remarkable political, social, religious, and artistic system that reflected their worldview and values.


The Aztec Empire and its city-states




The Aztec Empire was a confederation of three city-states: Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. These city-states formed an alliance in 1427 to defeat the Tepanec state of Azcapotzalco, which had previously dominated the Basin of Mexico. The alliance was led by Tenochtitlan, which became the dominant power in Mesoamerica. The empire expanded its territory through warfare and tribute collection from other city-states. At its height, the empire controlled an area of about 200,000 square kilometers (77,000 square miles), with a population of about 5 to 6 million people. The Aztec religion and mythology




The Aztec religion was a polytheistic system of beliefs that incorporated deities from multiple cultures and had elements of human sacrifice and bloodletting. It was based on a complex cosmology of opposing states and a series of heavens and underworlds. It developed in the capital city of Tenochtitlan, which was the center of the world for the Aztecs and the site of many festivals and ceremonies.


Some of the most important Aztec gods were:


  • Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, sun, and human sacrifice, who was the patron deity of the Mexica tribe and the leader of the South.



  • Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god of wind, wisdom, and creation, who was the patron deity of the Toltec culture and the leader of the West.



  • Tezcatlipoca, the smoking mirror god of night, sorcery, and destiny, who was the rival of Quetzalcoatl and the leader of the North.



  • Tlaloc, the rain god, who was associated with fertility, agriculture, and water.



  • Chalchiuhtlicue, the jade skirt goddess of rivers, lakes, and oceans, who was the wife of Tlaloc.



  • Xipe Totec, the flayed god of spring, renewal, and vegetation, who was worshipped by skinning human victims and wearing their skins.



  • Xochipilli, the flower prince god of art, beauty, dance, and music.



  • Xochiquetzal, the flower feather goddess of love, sexuality, fertility, and weaving.



  • Mictlantecuhtli, the lord of death and the underworld.



  • Coatlicue, the mother goddess of earth and life, who gave birth to Huitzilopochtli and Coyolxauhqui.



The Aztecs believed that human sacrifice was necessary to appease the gods and ensure the continuation of the world. They practiced various forms of sacrifice, such as heart extraction, decapitation, drowning, burning, and gladiatorial combat. They also practiced self-sacrifice by piercing their ears, tongues, or genitals with sharp objects and offering their blood to the gods. The most common victims were prisoners of war, but sometimes volunteers or children were also sacrificed. The Aztecs also believed in an afterlife that depended on how one died rather than how one lived. Those who died in battle or sacrifice went to the sun's paradise; those who died by drowning or lightning went to Tlaloc's paradise; those who died by disease or old age went to Mictlan's underworld; and those who died by suicide went to Xolotl's underworld.


The Aztec society and economy




The Aztec society was hierarchical and divided into clearly defined classes. The nobility dominated the key positions in the military, state administration, judiciary, and priesthood. While traders could become extremely wealthy and powerful, even their prosperity was based on their class, and most citizens remained simple farmers. Within Aztec society, there was a limited opportunity for individuals to better their social position, especially in the military and religious spheres. It is also true that nepotism prevailed but, at the same time, promotions could be obtained on merit as well as demotions from incompetence. In practice, though, the vast majority of the Aztec population would have remained in the social group of their immediate family throughout their lives.


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The most important social grouping in Aztec society was the calpolli (plural calpoltin), which was a collection of families connected either by blood or long association. Elders (calpolec), led by a chief elected for life (calpolec), controlled the landholdings of each calpolli distributing it for members to farm as their own on condition that they paid a regular tribute in return. Another condition for these common farmers (macehualtin) was that they not leave their land untended for more than two years. If a farmer died without children his land was returned to his calpolli for redistribution. The calpolli also had its own temple (teocalli), school (telpochcalli), storehouse (calpixque), military company (cuauhtlocalli), market (tianquiztli), court (tlatocan), cemetery (pantheon), etc., so that each calpolli performed religious rituals and festivals together as well as being largely self-sufficient in terms of administration. The Aztec capital Tenochtitlan had 80 calpoltin but this system existed across all city-states within The Aztec art and science




The Aztec art was a diverse and multifaceted expression of the Aztec culture and worldview. It included monumental stone sculptures, terracotta figurines, featherworks, codices, paintings, pottery, textiles, metalwork, and jewelry. The Aztec artists used various materials and techniques to create their works, such as carving, molding, weaving, painting, gilding, inlaying, and mosaic. The Aztec art was influenced by previous Mesoamerican cultures, such as the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Zapotec, as well as by contemporary cultures from Oaxaca and the Gulf Coast. The Aztec art also reflected the social hierarchy and religious beliefs of the Aztecs, as well as their political and military achievements. Some of the most famous examples of Aztec art are the Coatlicue statue (see above), the Sun Stone (also known as the Aztec Calendar), the Templo Mayor sculptures, and the Borgia Codex.


The Aztec science was a complex and sophisticated system of knowled


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