City of Sacrifice: Violence From the Aztec Empire to the by David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit

By David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit

At an excavation of the nice Aztec Temple in Mexico urban, amid carvings of skulls and a dismembered warrior goddess, David Carrasco stood earlier than a box full of the adorned bones of babies and youngsters. It was once the positioning of a huge human sacrifice, and for Carrasco the guts of fiercely provocative questions: If ritual violence opposed to people was once a profound necessity for the Aztecs of their capital urban, is it critical to the development of social order and the authority of urban states? Is civilization equipped on violence? In urban of Sacrifice, Carrasco chronicles the interesting tale of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, investigating Aztec spiritual practices and demonstrating that non secular violence used to be critical to urbanization; the town itself used to be a temple to the gods. That Mexico urban, the most important urban in the world, was once outfitted at the ruins of Tenochtitlan, is some extent Carrasco poignantly considers in his comparability of city existence from antiquity to modernity. Majestic in scope, urban of Sacrifice illuminates not just the wealthy background of a massive Meso american urban but in addition the inseparability of 2 passionate human impulses: urbanization and non secular engagement. It has a lot to inform us approximately many time-honored occasions in our personal time, from suicide bombings in Tel Aviv to rape and homicide within the Balkans.

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City of Sacrifice: Violence From the Aztec Empire to the Modern Americas

At an excavation of the good Aztec Temple in Mexico urban, amid carvings of skulls and a dismembered warrior goddess, David Carrasco stood ahead of a box jam-packed with the adorned bones of babies and youngsters. It used to be the positioning of a huge human sacrifice, and for Carrasco the guts of fiercely provocative questions: If ritual violence opposed to people was once a profound necessity for the Aztecs of their capital urban, is it principal to the development of social order and the authority of urban states?

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61 One reliable interpreter of these descriptive phrases, Leonardo López Luján, argues that they refer to a cosmological model, an archetypal Tollan, and not actual buildings in the historical city of Tollan. 62 Aztec cosmology and the city that symbolized it derived their general plan, or at least shared their principle features, from a wider Mesoamerican paradigm of the cosmos. The finest image we have, which has a strong resonance in the colonial production of the Codex Mendoza, is the opening page of the pre-Conquest divinatory manual known as the Codex Fejéváry-Mayer, in which the cosmos is divided into five precisely defined sections of space organized by sacred trees, < previous page page_38 next page > < previous page page_39 next page > Page 39 deities, birds, and appropriate colors.

Previous page page_48 next page > < previous page page_49 next page > Page 49 Chapter 2 Templo Mayor: The Aztec Vision of Place To us, it seems an inescapable conclusion that the religious man sought to live as near as possible to the Center of the World. He knew that his country lay at the midpoint of the earth; he knew too that his city constituted the navel of the universe, and, above all, that the temple or the palace were veritably Centers of the World. But he also wanted his own house to be at the Center and to be an imago mundi .

According to the revelation of our god when he appeared to me this night, a prickly pear cactus standing upon a rock has grown from this heart and has become so tall and luxuriant that a fine eagle has made his nest there. When we discover it we shall be fortunate, for there we shall find our rest, our comfort, and our grandeur. There our name will be praised and our Aztec nation made great. The might of our arms will be known and the courage of our brave hearts. With these we shall conquer nations, near and distant, we shall subdue towns and cities from sea to sea.

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