Aztec Facts

Aztec Facts
The Aztecs were a civilization that lived from the 14th to the 16th centuries in Tenochtitlan, a city built on an island in Lake Texcoco (now known as Mexico City). The Aztec's first ruler Acamapichtli oversaw the construction of the Aztec Empire in the 1300s. It was only two centuries later in the early 1500s, when they Aztecs were ruled by Cuauhtemoc, that the Spanish conquered and destroyed Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs referred to themselves as Mexica. Aztec was a name given to them by the Europeans. Some historians believe that the Aztec Empire, which included Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan, had a population of 200,000 at the time of Montezuma II's rule.
Interesting Aztec Facts:
Aztec legend states that in 1323 they saw a vision of an eagle perched atop a cactus eating a snake - signalling to them that they were to make their home at that spot. They determined that this was the island that would become Tenochtitlan.
Aztecs had a variety of currency including cacao beans, and quachtli - a type of cotton cloth.
Children were required to attend school, even if they were slave children.
The school taught Aztec children about warfare, history, citizenship, religion, and work skills. The education for girls focused on marriage.
Wealthy Aztecs lived in homes made of adobe brick or stone while the poor Aztecs lived in huts.
The Aztecs did not write - only the priests and scribes were permitted to write. They used a system of pictures for the alphabet called N'ahuatl.
The Aztecs had two calendars. One calendar's purpose was to mark religious festivals while the other calendar was used as a measurement of time.
The Aztecs valued music and it was important in their religious ceremonies.
Aztec instruments included drums, bells, horns, shells, rattles, and whistles.
The Aztec people had many gods and goddesses. These included Chantico (goddess of Hearth), Chicomecoatl (goddess of maize), Chalchiuhtlicue (goddess of lakes and streams), Coatlicue (goddess for life's pain), Huehuetectim (god of fire), Huitzilopochtli (god or sun, war, and nation), Mictlantecuhtl (god of the dead), Quetzalcoatl (god of wind, priesthood, creation, and of knowledge), Tezcatlipoca (god of war and death, and of magic), Tlaloc (rain god), Tloque Nahuaque (god of everything and everyone), and Xipe Totec (god of suffering and of spring and new life).
The Aztec relied on maize (yellow corn) as a dietary staple, but they also enjoyed avocados, tomatoes and other vegetables, squash, chilli peppers, meat, tamales, and tortillas. They also consumed chocolate.
The Aztecs would often bury their dead under their houses.
The Aztecs were known to sell their children, or themselves, as slaves to pay off their debts.
Aztec slaves could buy their freedom, so it was more like indentured servitude as opposed to the slavery that was rampant in the United States.
Although the Spanish conquered the Aztec Empire, it was the diseases brought over by the Europeans that killed them off completely.
The Aztecs introduced chocolate to the Europeans. It was originally called "chocolatl".
When the Spanish conquered Tenochtitlan it is estimated that almost 250,000 people died.


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