Synopses & Reviews
Inga Clendinnen creates a vivid and dramatic picture of life in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, once the nerve centre of the Aztec tribute empire. She explores the worlds of Aztec women, of priests and of warriors, in an extraordinary recreation of everyday life in the city. Contrasting the beauty and sophistication of Aztec culture with the savagery of human sacrifice, she attempts to explain the philosophy, rituals, and social structures that underpinned this remarkable empire.
'Inga Clendinnen's vivid study Aztecs begins and ends with the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, the glistening lake city which rose like a dream to the Spaniards who first saw it ... It takes us deep into the heart of Mexican or Aztec society.' The Times Literary Supplement
Inga Clendinnen's account of the Aztecs recreates the culture of the city of Tenochtitlan, magnificent centre of the Aztec empire, in its last unthreatened years before it fell to the Spaniards and their Indian allies.
In 1521, the city of Tenochtitlan, magnificent center of the Aztec empire, fell to the Spaniards and their Indian allies. Inga Clendinnen's account of the Aztecs recreates the culture of that city in its last unthreatened years. It provides a vividly dramatic analysis of Aztec ceremony as performance art, binding the key experiences and concerns of social existence in the late imperial city to the mannered violence of their ritual killings.
The city of Tenochtitlan, magnificent center of the Aztec empire, fell to the Spaniards and their Indian allies in 1521. In recreating the culture of that city in its last unthreatened years, this study binds the key experiences and concerns of social existence to the mannered violence of ritual killings.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I. The City: 1. Tenochtitlan: the public image; 2. Local perspectives; Part II. Roles: 3. Victims; 4. Warriors, priests and merchants; 5. The masculine self discovered; 6. Wives; 7. Mothers; 8. The female being revealed; Part III. The Sacred: 9. Aesthetics; 10. Ritual: the world transformed, the world revealed; Part IV. 11. Defeat; Epilogue; A question of sources; Monthly ceremonies of the seasonal calendar; The Mexica pantheon; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index.