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

By David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit

At an excavation of the good Aztec Temple in Mexico urban, amid carvings of skulls and a dismembered warrior goddess, David Carrasco stood prior to a box choked with the embellished bones of babies and youngsters. It used to be the location of an incredible human sacrifice, and for Carrasco the heart of fiercely provocative questions: If ritual violence opposed to people used to be a profound necessity for the Aztecs of their capital urban, is it crucial to the development of social order and the authority of urban states? Is civilization outfitted on violence? In urban of Sacrifice, Carrasco chronicles the attention-grabbing tale of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, investigating Aztec non secular practices and demonstrating that non secular violence was once indispensable to urbanization; the town itself was once a temple to the gods. That Mexico urban, the most important urban on the earth, used to be equipped 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 an incredible Meso american urban but additionally 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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This pattern of centering was further duplicated and miniaturized in the many barrios of each quarter, each of which had a local ceremonial precinct consisting of a temple, a small market, and a school. Calnek writes, The barriosconceived as territorial unitswere marked by a structure that housed the patron deities of the group. This structure was evidently part of a large complex that also included a telpochcalli (young man's house) and in most or all cases, a plaza or market. . In addition to providing the locus for public and private rituals dedicated to local deities, the temple was also the meeting place for barrio elders and the focal point for large ceremonials organized by occupationally specialized groups.

This nexus was reiterated by the fact that the nine assistants to Tenuch were warriors. As will be seen later in this book, the collection of nine warriors, deities, or levels of the cosmos had profound cosmological significance in the geometry of the universe. And the image of the city's founding rests on the interaction of images of sacred place, war, and ideal, giant warriors. The Spanish commentator reflected this interaction of images by saying, In the course of some years, the inhabitants were multiplying and so the city was named Mexico, a name derived from the Mexicans, naming it < previous page page_26 next page > < previous page page_27 next page > Page 27 the place and site of the Mexicans.

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.

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