The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Nov 16, 2011 - History - 152 pages
4 Reviews
This Very Short Introduction employs the disciplines of history, religious studies, and anthropology as it illuminates the complexities of Aztec life. Readers meet a people highly skilled in sculpture, astronomy, city planning, poetry, and philosophy, who were also profoundly committed to cosmic regeneration through the thrust of the ceremonial knife and through warfare. David Carrasco looks beyond Spanish accounts that have colored much of the Western narrative to let Aztec voices speak about their origin stories, the cosmic significance of their capital city, their methods of child rearing, and the contributions women made to daily life and the empire. Carrasco discusses the arrival of the Spaniards, contrasts Aztec mythical traditions about the origins of their city with actual urban life in Mesoamerica, and outlines the rise of the Aztec empire. He also explores Aztec religion, which provided both justification for and alternatives to warfare, sacrifice, and imperialism, and he sheds light on Aztec poetry, philosophy, painting, and especially monumental sculpture and architecture. He concludes by looking at how the Aztecs have been portrayed in Western thought, art, film, and literature as well as in Latino culture and arts.

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Review: The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #293)

User Review  - C. Derick Varn - Goodreads

A brief and extremely readable summary of various aspects do the history and culture of the Mexica. It does have to achieve a broad overview of the cultural and religious history of the Mexica, but it ... Read full review

Review: The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #293)

User Review  - Daniel Wright - Goodreads

It's slightly irritating that introductions about the Aztecs always end up as historical accounts of the Spanish invasion and take over of Mexico. Unfortunately, this is an inevitable result of the ... Read full review


center of the Aztec world
Aztlan cities peoples
3 Aztec expansion through conquest and trade
4 Cosmovision and human sacrifice
weavers of life and precious necklaces
6 Wordplay philosophy sculpture
7 The fall of the Aztec empire
8 The return of the Aztecs
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About the author (2011)

David Carrasco is the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University. For his scholarship in Mesoamerican religions and his work on Mexican American culture he received the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle.

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