By José Luis de Rojas

“An updated and particularly considerate learn of the Aztec capital urban of Tenochtitlan, delving into the numerous and sundry matters and difficulties confronted through any city.”—Frances F. Berdan, writer of Aztecs of relevant Mexico

“Provides a finished view of existence within the Aztec capital urban, bringing jointly a wide selection of archaeological and documentary details to ascertain all elements of the city’s historical past, association, and day-by-day life.”—Janine Gasco, coeditor of The Legacy of Mesoamerica

Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire ahead of the Spanish conquest, rivaled the other nice urban of its time. In Europe, merely Paris, Venice, and Constantinople have been greater. Cradled within the Valley of Mexico, town is exclusive between New global capitals in that it was once good defined and chronicled by way of the conquistadors who to that end demolished it. which means, notwithstanding centuries of redevelopment have pissed off efforts to entry the traditional city’s continues to be, a lot may be identified approximately its city panorama, politics, economic climate, and religion.

even if the town instructions loads of recognition from archaeologists and Mesoamerican students, little or no has been written in English for a non-technical viewers. during this interesting booklet, eminent professional José Luis de Rojas provides an available but authoritative exploration of Tenochtitlan—interweaving glimpses into its population’ day-by-day lives with the wider tales of urbanization, tradition, and the increase and fall of the Aztec Empire. whereas such a lot Aztec reports are likely to specialize in extra amazing actions like war and human sacrifice, this quantity specializes in the basics—things like development, meals, and jobs—bringing the Aztec capital to lifestyles whereas improving our knowing of its culture.

José Luis de Rojas is professor of anthropology on the Complutense collage of Madrid. he's the writer of approximately a dozen books, including Ethnohistory of the US, The Indian Monies and Their Use in New Spain, and The Aztecs.


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There must have been many of the latter, not only those who had achieved status by fighting in wars but The Construction of a Metropolis · 43 also representatives of the subject towns who had homes in the capital reflecting their rank: In this great city there are very nice and very large houses, and the reason for so many large houses is that all of the lords of the land, vassals of Muteczuma[,] have their houses in the city and reside there during part of the year. In addition, there are also many rich citizens who have very nice houses.

There were seven calpulli at the start of the migration and fifteen when Tenochtitlan was founded. We do not know how the new groups were formed, although the most likely scenario is that groups began to split off as they grew. Each calpulli had a leader. Above him, at the head of the hierarchy, was a superior council composed of four priests who carried the god Huitzilopochtli. According to these accounts, a lord or supreme head of state did not exist among the Mexica. However, as we have seen, such leaders did exist in the cities that had already been established at the time the Mexica migrated.

We could suppose that Moctezuma’s reluctance to receive Cortés was also related to the company Cortés arrived with. Timing is a very important factor here, and researchers have not paid adequate attention to it. Cortés arrived on Mexico’s gulf coast in April of 1519 and entered Tenochtitlan on November 8th of that year. He was in the city until June 30, 1520, by which time Motecuhzoma had already died and his brother Cuitlahuac had succeed him. The siege of Tenochtitlan had begun by the end of May 1521.

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