Premium Essay

Ancient Aztec Religion

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By ndegruy
Words 377
Pages 2
Ancient Aztec Religion: A complex interaction of gods, dates, directions and color that dealt mainly with fear of nature, and of the world. The Aztecs are famous for their sacrificial rituals that were held in order to repay the gods for the sacrifices they had made in order to bring humans life. For instance the sun god Huitzilopochtil, who gave up movement to be the sun will stop if he is not appeased bringing the world to an end, something the Aztec people feared would occur every 52 years if they made one wrong step.

The main city of the Aztec Empire was Tenochtitlan(Mexico City) where they ruled and were the military power until the Spaniards came in 1519. They formed alliances with the two other major cities Texcoco and Tlacopan.

Government: .The family unit was the basic unit of the Aztec government .Nobles and priest had a large amount of power, and although nobility provided leadership, they weren’t automatically placed into government. .The true power belonged to the city councils. Each council had an executive council that consisted of four individuals. Of those four there would be a Hatcani or Leader of the city. (The city council of Tenochtitlan has been compared to the Roman senate) .The Huey Tlatcanin (emperor) was worshipped as a god who’s rule is supported by city councils, priests, judges, governers , etc. He has absolute power in a sense –could be removed by a democratic system.

The Fall: .The last Aztec Emperor Cuitlahuac surrendered to Cortez on August 13, 1521. The Aztecs defeat was brought on by a number of different reasons such as . a lack of population due to sacrifices .at first the Aztecs believed that the Spanish soldiers were gods .their inability to fight of the smallpox virus brought by Spaniards decimated twenty-five percent of the population of the empire. .Cortez simply outsmarted the Aztecs and…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Gender in Pohnpei and Aztec Culture

...Gender in Pohnpei and Aztec Culture A society cannot evolve without a system that is run by men and or women. Many cultures involved gender roles to achieve their goals and lifestyles. There can be so many similarities in the statuses a gender is labeled but just in a different way. I enjoyed reading the anthropological story of Martha Ward on Pohnpei culture and I figured to compare it to the Aztec culture. You will find how gender played in these two cultures. They both have social classes and what role men and women played. Let’s start with Pohnpei, there is a strong coherence to this vital society due to increasing modernization, areas of gender. In social and political structures contain aspects of both order and freedom. There’s harmony between tradition (males running politics and woman determining clan ranking) and freedom. Some men achieve status in both the traditional and modern political systems (Ward 57). Elders draw young people into marriage, titles, even land ownership (Ward 57). The political aspect of society is run by men. Each district is headed by a man called Nahnwarski or king or also Paramount Chief, then High Chief, high ranked citizens, and the commoners (Ward 14). Ambition is a respected, even an ancient idea, one not tied to job status and education. Dedicated work for the Paramount Chiefs and loyalties to a geographic section and district are signs of worthy ambition (Ward 76). A man advancing through title ranks pulls his hard-working......

Words: 1401 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Religious Sacrifice - Aztec Understanding

...22:1-2). When one thinks of human sacrifice as in relation to religion, the most often-cited example is the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is asked by god to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to him. To prove his faith, Abraham attempts to. God only stops him at the last moment, impressed by Abraham’s show of devotion. Religion is something that is practiced solely out of faith. To have faith is to believe in what cannot be seen or heard, what cannot be held; a belief that is not based on proof. The bible describes the Christian god as more of a present being, but to the Aztec, their gods were spiritual. Abraham had the voice of god to tell him that sacrifice was not what he truly wished but what if there was no presence there to stop him? For the Aztec there were no voices. They had developed the idea that their purpose on earth was to appease the gods for all that they had given them, and that is life. That being said, the most logical way to repay them for the life they had given is to give it back, bringing the Aztec upon human sacrifice. The number of lives taken by their people is unknown, however what is known, is that the number is much larger would care to believe. The Aztec, as Abraham had prepared himself to do, sacrificed themselves out of devotion to the gods. The Aztec sacrifice of humans was attributed to religion, but in what aspect of religion is it said to give your own life to repay christ? (The Aztec felt worship to hundreds of gods opposed to christianity......

Words: 1441 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Fall of the Aztec Empire

...The Aztecs, also known as Mexicas, dominated northern Mexico all the way to the early 16th century until Hernan Cortes invaded during a Spanish conquest. Legends reveal they originated in Aztlan, somewhere in northern Mexico. In the 12th century they extended their wandering to new boundaries and settled in the central basin of Mexico roughly a century later. Refuge was found in 1325 on the islands in Lake Texcoco where the major city Tenochtitlan was founded. What is now modern-day Mexico, this city quickly flourished and was inferior to only Paris and Constantinople in population size. The fall of the Aztec empire created ripples throughout history. What was once the most prominent and powerful empire, suddenly ceased to exist, in only two years time. The tactics of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, the religious affiliation with the invasion, cultural sacrifices, and the disease and natural disaster that was brought upon the Aztecs, contributed greatly to the rapid downfall of a major world superpower. Sacrifice It is widely believed that the religious rituals of sacrifice the Aztecs participated in contributed to the decline, in multiple ways. The killing of thousands of people is detrimental to society, never beneficial. The population took a drastic hit and the civilizations established around the Aztec empire never allied because of the violent measures they took. Tlaxcala is a prime example. Many of their people had been killed and they inevitably joined the...

Words: 781 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Spiritual World of the Aztecs

...The Spiritual World of the Aztecs Religion can be described as a shared set of fundamental beliefs and practices. “The Aztec religion was a complex set of beliefs, rituals and gods that helped the Aztec/Mexica to make sense of their world, reality and death (Maestri Nicolette, 2013)”. Today, we will explore the famous Aztec world of gods, sacrifice, and magic in an attempt to better understand their culture and worldview. The traditional Aztec religion was on that focused on the services provided by a series of gods, all to whom a debt was owed. The debt was perpetual and came to be when the gods made the decision to sacrifice themselves to enable human life. “Life for humankind was only possible with a moving sun, and this the gods provided. It then became the responsibility of humanity to feed the sun thereafter, lest it stop and the universe stop with it (Holly Peters-Golden, 2012)”. The Aztec’s shared belief in this theory gave rise to a number of traditions and ceremonies involving human sacrifice. These ceremonies were conducted frequently and were often scheduled in accordance with their ritual calendar. These rituals were sacred to the Aztecs and were performed without hesitation or remorse. In every situation, those who were to be sacrificed were held in high regard for their contribution to the continuity of human life entitled them to great honor and the promise of a rewarded afterlife. In addition, the remains of the sacrificed individuals were...

Words: 564 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Ahmad Nourzaie Hist 2b Response #1 Aztec Awe The Aztec Empire is regarded as the greatest Mesoamerican empire of all time. Their Empire stretched for more than 80,000 square miles through what is now central and southern Mexico. Tenochtitlán was the capital city of this great Empire; and the location of the eventual fall of the Empire. Hernán Cortés was the Spanish conquistador that conquered the Aztecs during the period of 1519-1521. One of Cortés’ foot soldiers was a man by the name of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who later wrote of his experience upon entering Tenochtitlán. Díaz wrote his account many years after the events he described; in order to create a much more honest description of the conquest in response to the contemporary reiteration of the historians of his day. In his account, Díaz seemed to be very taken aback by the Aztecs; in regards to their fighting, their city, and their rituals. Díaz who although was a very firm believer in Spain’s conquest of Aztecs; had a level of respect and admiration for the Aztec. Díaz was first and foremost a soldier; he never seemed to have any second thoughts in regards to his role as a soldier, he always fought, and believed he was fighting for the right cause. Throughout Díaz’s war account; he mentions God, which illuminates the fact that beyond the monetary goal of this conquest; there was a sense of doing God’s work. “In that small platform were many more diabolical objects, trumpets great and......

Words: 931 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Religions of Ancient Origin 22 indicative hours The focus of this study is the response of religions of ancient origin to the human search for ultimate meaning and purpose. The five religious traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism are NOT to be studied. Syllabus Outcomes: P1 describes the main characteristics of religion and belief systems P2 identifies the influence of religion and belief systems on individuals and society P6 selects and uses relevant information about religion from a variety of sources P7 undertakes effective research about religion, making appropriate use of time and resources P8 uses appropriate terminology related to religion and belief systems P9 effectively communicates information, ideas and issues using appropriate written, oral and graphic forms Content: Students are to select TWO religions of ancient origin to study from the following: - Aztec or Inca or Mayan - Celtic - Nordic - Shinto - Taoism - an Indigenous religion from outside Australia |Students learn about: |Students learn to: | ...

Words: 1624 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Religion of Ancient Egypt

...Christianity and Religion of Ancient Egypt Is it possible that Christianity came from Ancient Egypt? Probably yes. There are several facts, which prove it. Although Egyptian temples were destroyed, manuscripts were burned and the statues of Gods were broken, Egyptian religion is still alive and the Gods rise repeatedly but in different forms. Regeneration There were a lot of solemn rites in Egypt due to death and resurrection of Osiris, for example: funerary ceremony where the main symbol of deceased was grain, planted in wet ground in clay jar .The appearance of plant meant revival with Osiris`s protection. The underground world in Egyptian culture was pledge of plants` regeneration through fat land containing moisture, it meant that those people whose bodies were buried into the ground, had an opportunity to regenerate, although in another form. The idea of dying and revival God was an essential discovery. Many nations took over the concept. Most historians are sure that The Bible stories about Christ`s life, death and resurrection are renewed version of Egyptian myth. Osiris, among all Gods, was more familiar and understandable for the nation: as a man and God, virtuous and suffered without any guilt and then awarded with eternity, in one time. U.Budge said:” The main reason why the Osiris cult existed was promise of timeless life for his followers.” Even after acceptance of Christianity Egyptians continued to mummify deceased people and combine attributes of......

Words: 1479 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Ancient Architecture

...Taylor P Ancient Architecture Functions of Ancient Monuments Ancient monuments have been discovered to be a prominent feature of many different ancient civilizations throughout history. The most elaborate and well known ancient buildings are the pyramids and the ziggurats of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Mesoamerica. The construction of these massive monuments began sometime during the fourth millennium BC and to this day many can still be seen. Although believed by most to serve a particular religious function, historians are still trying to discover the exact purpose of these breathtaking feats of architecture. However, through the vast studies of archaeology, enough information has been acquired to make some valid theories. The first civilization to construct a massive architectural project was the Egyptians with their construction of the pyramids. It is believed that the Egyptian civilization began around 5500 BC and then began to flourish as a result of new innovations in agriculture and the abundance of natural resources around the Nile. Over time, Egyptians made great achievements in mathematics, writing, astronomy, medicine, engineering, and architecture. This played a huge part in the progression of Egypt into a powerful and influential civilization. In addition to these achievements, the significance of religion was another extremely important factor that allowed the Egyptian civilization to thrive. Egyptians practiced polytheism. In their religion, not only......

Words: 1786 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Religions of Ancient Mesopotamia

... YEAR 10 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ASSESSMENT TASK ANCIENT RELIGIONS Religions of Ancient Mesopotamia George Pauls 10K Ms. Delalande (Note: Ms Delanlande instructed that essay format was permitted and an extension was granted in regards to my absence.) George Pauls 10K Year 10 Religious Education Assessment Task Ancient Religions – Religions of Ancient Mesopotamia Many religions around the world in modern time are still believed and followed by a large portion of the world’s population with the predominant religions being Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Many Religions have simply come to a halt and ceased to be believed and followed such as the religions in Ancient Egypt and Ancients Greece. One of the lesser known and arguably the oldest ancient religion of our world was the ancient religion on Mesopotamia, which did follow some key concepts from the other foreign ancient religions in which there were multiple gods, goddesses and other deities and supreme beings. It is believed to have originated over fifty centuries ago. Mesopotamia is known more commonly known as Iraq, situated within the Middle East. The religion of Ancient Mesopotamia consists of numerous components. The God Anu (Below) The God Anu (Below) The Mesopotamian religion was followed by Sumerians and Akkadians (Assyrians/Babylonians) who lived in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian religion was basically perceived as a form of paganism with over 2100 deities which associated with a specific region, city or state...

Words: 990 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Ancient Armies

...Angel Salinas Saldaña 22-11-2014 Ancient Armies Well, in the ancient times people defended and fought for their territory by making a huge army of strong people who gave their life for their city. I’m going to talk about 3 of the best armies that have existed. The army of the Kingdom of Macedonia was among the greatest military forces of the ancient world. It was created and made formidable by King Philip II of Macedon; previously the army of Macedon had been of little account in the politics of the Greek world, and Macedonia had been regarded as a second-rate power. Tactical improvements included the latest developments in the deployment of the traditional Greek phalanx made by men such as Epaminondas of Thebes and Iphicrates of Athens. Philip II improved on these military innovators by using both Epaminondas' deeper phalanx and Iphicrates' combination of a longer spear and smaller and lighter shield. However, the Macedonian king also innovated; he introduced the use of a much longer spear, the two-handed pike. The Macedonian pike, the sarissa, gave its wielder many advantages both offensively and defensively. For the first time in Greek warfare, cavalry became a decisive arm in battle. The Macedonian army perfected the co-ordination of different troop types, an early example of combined arms tactics — the heavy infantry phalanx, skirmish infantry, archers, light and......

Words: 1204 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Aztecs

...The Aztecs Human sacrifices were a common ritual practiced by the Aztec. The practice has caused more confusion and controversy among anthropologists, chroniclers, journalists, and priests who either condemn the topic or refuse that it ever took place. There are various evidences that ritual killings were a basic part of the life of Aztecs. They included eyewitness observation, detailed reports from interviews conducted on elders be Spanish friars and archaeological evidence. They show that ritual killing was practiced by Aztecs for long as found by hunter-gatherers in the Valley of Tehuacan. Most sacrifices are said to have taken place in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan where records shows that there existed two sacrificial stones, many ritual knives and human remains of about 126 people buried in the site. Sacrifices are said to have taken place every month at certain altars and temples in the ceremonial centers. They spent a lot of energy, time and wealth offering the sacrifices in various festivals. The most common type of sacrifice was the auto sacrifice. It involved the use of sharp instruments like maguey thorns to pierce people’s earlobes, arms, thighs, tongue or even genitals with the aim of offering blood to the gods. Beheading, on the other hand was the most common type of killing and involved animals such as quail. However, the most valued and dramatic sacrifices involved captured warriors, children, women and slaves. They were bathed,......

Words: 326 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Comparing Ancient Religions

...Comparing Ancient Religions This paper will explore Buddhism and early Christianity and compare and contrast them, by discussing their similarities and their distinct differences. As defined, Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on teachings of Siddhartha Gautama in about 500 B.C.E. Buddhism is considered a world religion but is principally practiced in China, India, and other parts of Asia (Duiker and Spielvogel 490). To date, Buddhism has over three hundred million followers around the world. According to belief and custom, Siddhartha Gautama was born into a royal family and at age of twenty nine, he became conscious of the fact that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness. Upon his realization of the “pain of illness,” Siddhartha left home. He began to explore dissimilar traditions and religions (Duiker and Spielvogel 46). Daily, he made a practice to search for and explore difference ideas, philosophies, in search of finding the key to human happiness. Through meditation he finally found 'the middle path’ and was enlightened. “By observing the activities of mankind in real life, the Buddha mastered the principles of human behavior. He then taught the two characteristics of the Middle Path” (Buddhism - The Middle Path). What is Christianity? When discussing Christianity and defining what is a “true Christian” or “which definition is correct” there are several different definitions and versions as to describe Christianity. Therefore, for the purpose of......

Words: 879 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Aztec Society

...Peter Nichlas Soetaniman Professor Valery Taylor Fall15 Art 007 1 November 2015 Should Aztec Society be understood as (A) Civilized or (B) Barbaric? 1. Aztec society displayed many attributes that displayed intelligence and sophistication. Yet at the same time, they also portray a rather barbaric behavior that made me question my opinion. However, Del Castillo describes that upon entering the city of Coyoacan, they spotted tower-like buildings (which were their shrines); they met by many Caciques and dignitaries wearing very rich cloaks (Del Castillo, 216). These alone already describes a little of their sophistication. Moving over towards the great Montezuma, he had with him, fine gold jewels of various shapes. In sign of respect, he gave, to each of the four captains, small gold objects and three loads of cloaks of rich feather work; and to the soldiers he gave two loads of cloaks each, with a princely hair. These demonstrate skilled workmanship and knowledge of how to properly provide proper gifts. It is also a sign of politeness and good manners, which even some civilizations do not have with them (De Castillo, 221). Moreover, Cortes and Montezuma exchanged bows, and clasped hands. These simple gestures are a simple signs of sophistication in due to each other’s presence as different ranks. Both showed respect to each other (Del Castillo, 221). At this point in time, Montezuma is about 40 years old, and he was very neat and clean, and took a bath every afternoon....

Words: 893 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...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...

Words: 4995 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

13 Religions

... Corinna Sullwold |Religion Name |Cult of Pharaoh - Ancient |Mayan/Aztec - Ancient | |Origins of the religion: |Between 10000 and 7000 BCE a group of ancient Egyptians settled in the Nile Valley. |Mayan religion was founded c.250AD which is the rise of the Mayan civilization | |It's Founder, dates, Key Figures, Historical |7000 – 3000 BCD the people became organized into separate villages. After 3000 BCE |( | |Development, Cosmogony (creation stories), |hieroglyphics were developed after the independent villages become united under one |Aztec formed between the 12th and 15th centuries AD. | |Myths |kingdom. They were then ruled by one imperial Pharaoh. |( | | | |Religion for both cultures was a central part of their daily lives. They prayed and | |HOW THE RELIGION STARTED … | ...

Words: 5398 - Pages: 22