Tireless speech-makers and lovers of verse, the ancient Aztecs were also prodigious record keepers, using a pictographic system to keep records of their history, geography, and rituals. Many of these accounts were destroyed after the Spanish conquest; but fortunately, a few survived, including those kept by the invaders. This book by an international authority on Mexican archaeology and sociology presents a vivid history of that profoundly religious Aztec warrior society — from its days as a primitive people, to the early sixteenth century — when, on the eve of the Spanish conquest, a powerful native government ruled with great organizational ability and restless energy. Rare illustrations of the temples at Tenochtitlán and Tenayuca, human sacrifice, Aztec gods, weddings, the midnight revels of warriors, and many other subjects accompany a highly readable text that describes the problems of living in a great city-state, the ruling classes and living standards, religious beliefs, and the everyday lives of people. Here also are detailed descriptions of public buildings and market places, home furnishings, games and amusements, family life, the conduct of war, the arts of language, music and dancing, and other topics. Amazing in scope and detail, this work will be invaluable to students of Mexican history and of interest to anyone fascinated by this ancient civilization.
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