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Other titles in the How to Be series:
How to Be an Aztec Warrior (How to Be)by Fiona Macdonald
Synopses & Reviews
Imagine that you are growing up in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The highest goal in your society for a young man is to be a successful warrior-that is what you want to be! How do you become a warrior? Do you have what it takes?
The reader will learn exactly what the requirements for being an Aztec warrior are. What kind of families do warriors come from? What kind of training do they get? Boys were educated by their fathers until the age of 10. Military training took place in calpolli schools-schools run by closely related family groups.
Warfare was considered a religious duty by the Aztec. They fought not only to enlarge their empire, but also to take prisoners to sacrifice to the gods. Men who took many captives were rewarded. They received land, high social rank, and important government offices.
What kind of weapons will you use? Aztec methods of combat were designed to capture prisoners rather than to kill. The chief weapon was a wooden club edged with sharp pieces of obsidian (volcanic glass). This weapon, called a macuahuitl, was effective for disabling an opponent without killing him. The Aztecs also used bows and arrows and spears. A spear-throwing device called an atlatl increased the range and force of their spears. For protection, warriors carried shields and wore padded cotton armor. Did you know you'll have to pay for your own armor? But you won't pay with money, since the Aztecs had no system of money as we know it. You'll barter instead.
What sort of military campaigns will you take part in? Well, you won't travel far from home, because the Aztecs used the wheel only in toys and had no horses or other beasts of burden to carry their gear. And most battles lasted only a few days.
Will you be married? Where will you live? How will you advance in rank? All of your questions will be answered to prepare you for the job interview section at the end of the book-a clever way to test if you are ready to become an Aztec warrior!
Have you sharpened your weapons? Are you ready for battle? Can you speak Classical Nahuatl? Do you know the legend of the vision of the eagle clutching the snake on a prickly pear cactus—the first signal to our ancestors of the site our great city of Tenochtitlan? Can you take prisoners and bring them back alive to offer as human sacrifice to the gods? Only then may you cut your hair! So are you ready for your initiation as an Aztec Warrior?
National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
How would you like to join the team that defends your people and your homeland?
Your main duties will include:
defending your city against invaders
conquering new territory
controlling conquered peoples and collecting tribute from them
taking captives to sacrifice to the gods
How to join? Hurry to the main square of your city when you hear the beat of the big war drum.
About the Author
Fiona Macdonald studied history at Cambridge University and at the University of East Anglia. She has taught in schools and adult education, and is the author of numerous books for children on historical topics, including Ancient Rome.Fiona Macdonald studied history at Cambridge University and at the University of East Anglia. She has taught in schools and adult education, and is the author of numerous books for children on historical topics, including Ancient Rome.
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