Daily Life of the Aztecs

Daily Life of the Aztecs

Jacques Soustelle

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 1842125087

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Aztecs were fierce, honorable, death-obsessed, and profoundly religious. A famed scholar evokes the life of this complex culture on the eve of its extinction, when the Spanish arrived and conquered them--imprisoning Montezuma and strangling Atahualpa. "It is, without question, the most brilliant, the clearest and most readable portrayal of Aztec life available in any language."--The Observer.

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given. May we bring back some prisoners! The earth shall be ravaged! She, the roe of Colhuacán, She is adorned with plumes. 68 Other, and much more simple, hymns are in fact little more than indefinitely repeated magical formulæ; an example is the song of Chicomecoatl, the goddess of maize. -239- In singing this, they endeavoured to stir nature into its annual re-birth-- Oh revered goddess of the Seven Ears, Rise, awake! Oh our mother, you are leaving us today, You are going to

have to put up with a great deal of offensiveness on their part -they would pull his goods about, flatly accusing him of having stolen them, and all this would have to be accepted with humble tears. It was only after he had undergone this treatment that he was allowed (or indeed obliged) to show his generosity in the feast that he offered -- a feast of such proportions that the guests, and even the inhabitants of the whole quarter, could eat and drink for two days, and then carry the leavings

decided upon this course were sometimes drunken and idle creatures, tired of working their land, which in any case was taken from them by the calpulli when it had been left uncultivated for three years, or sometimes players of the ball-game or patolli, ruined by their addiction to it, or sometimes women who having played the whore 'for nothing most of the time' 84 ended by selling themselves to be sure of food and a roof, and to be able to dress well. The act of giving up one's liberty was

tradition 20 Coatlicue was miraculously got with child by a ball of feathers that fell from the sky -- the soul of a human sacrifice -- and her son, born already armed with his fire-snake (xiuhcoatl) made his brothers and his sisters flee as the sun chases away the night and wipes out the stars. The early days of Uitzilopochtli were hard, for then he was no more than the obscure god of a small wandering tribe, travelling on men's backs across the dusty plains of the north. At that time he was

poet, and they took to exchanging poetic blows. The prince was suspected of making advances to the favourite. The matter was brought before the court, and as, according to the law, it was a case of treason towards the king which carried the death-penalty, it was necessary to carry out the sentence, although his father loved him beyond measure.' 37 In passing, it may be noticed that this palace-drama was -181- one of the remote causes of the fall of the Mexican empire: for, Nezaualpilli's

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