HIST174 History of Mexico
The Aztecs
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I. The Postclassic period

A. Major characteristics

- fragmentation
- migrations
- religious exchange

Quetzalcoatl
Tollan
Toltecs

- warfare

B. Major sites and centers

1. Oaxaca

- Zapotecs and Mixtecs

Zaachila
Tehuantepec

Mitla, 1300-1521

2. Maya

- Yucatan peninsula

Chichen Itzá, 750-1200
Mayapán, 1283-1450
Tul
úm, 1450-1520

- Guatemala/Chiapas highlands

Iximché (Kaqchikel), 1470-1527
Q'umarkaj (K'iche'), 1225-1524

3. Central Mexico

Cholula, 100-1520
Tula, 800-1150
Tenochtitlan, 1325-1521

II. The Aztec empire

A. Who are the 'Aztecs'?

- Aztlán
- Chicomoztoc
- 'Chichimecs' vs. 'Toltecs'
- Mexica = one of seven Chichimec tribes, founders of Tenochtitlan
- Nahuas = native speakers of Nahuatl in central Mexico
- altepetl = multi-ethnic city-states
- The Triple Alliance, est. 1428

Tenochtitlan + Tlatelolco = the Mexica
Tlacopan = the Tepaneca
Texcoco = the Acolhua

B. Aztec imperialism

1. Major expansions

- 1440-1468, Moctezuma I (Mexica)
- 1486-1502, Ahuitzotl (Mexica)

2. Methods of conquest

- sequence and methods
- goal: trade and tribute
- ritual aspects and the maintenance of empire

Flowery Wars (against Tlaxcala and Huejotzingo)
Human and other sacrifice