Aztecs


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Aztecs: Incas, Mayans

Aztecs

 

the largest Indian tribe in Mexico. Population, approximately 800,000 (1969 estimate). Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, belongs to the large Uto-Aztecan group of languages.

In the 12th century the Aztecs, who had come from the north, invaded the Valley of Mexico and settled there; in the 14th century they founded the settlement of Tenochtitlán (modern Mexico City). In 1427 the Aztecs, in an alliance with the city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan, conquered the population of the entire valley and of central Mexico as well. Between 1519 and 1521 the Aztecs were conquered by the Spaniards. Until the time of their appearance in the Valley of Mexico, a tribal system prevailed among the Aztecs. As a result of socioeconomic stratification in the 15th century, an early class state developed; slavery, trade, and well-developed crafts existed. The basic agricultural crops were maize, beans, cotton, cacao, tobacco, and tomatoes. The Aztecs had no domesticated animals except dogs.

The rich culture of the Aztecs was based on the traditions of the previous inhabitants of Mexico—the Toltecs, Zapotecs, and Mixtecs. Medicine and astronomy were the most highly developed sciences. The Aztecs had hieroglyphic writing, a solar calendar, and well-developed art. Teno-chtitlán, the capital of the Aztecs, which was constructed on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco, had a regular plan and was laced with canals. Among the Aztec buildings which have been preserved are tetrahedral stone pyramids and temples in strictly geometrical shape (with the remains of reliefs and paintings). In addition to the formidable grandeur and ponderousness of the statues of gods made out of basalt and andesite, Aztec sculpture includes heads of warriors portraying cruel and grim wrath and expressive figurines of animals. Plumed ornaments, polychromatic ceramics, stone and shell mosaics, obsidian vases, and pieces of jewelry were skillfully executed. Most of the Aztecs are now agricultural and industrial workers in Mexico, although a small number of them have preserved their old economic way of life.

REFERENCES

Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Vaillant, G. Istoriia atstekov. Moscow, 1949.(Translated from English.)
Covarrubias, M. Indian Art of México and Central America. New York, 1957.
Caso, A. The Aztecs. Norman, Oklahoma, 1959.

R. V. KINZHALOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The game was sadly a one-sided affair in the scoring department with the Aztecs coming out on top 41-0, with the half-time score being 28-0.
The rest of us arrived around noon and the park was packed to the gills with plastic-bag-soda-sucking skate boys, tube-top-bursting Aztec goddesses, Red Bullhawking goons with backpacks full of the crappy elixir, and even a few 30-ish Mexi vert dogs in full pad regalia.
The Aztecs had no backups on scholarship available.
HANDBOOK TO LIFE IN THE AZTEC WORLD MANUEL AGUILAR-MORENO
They're a solid team, but I think we can get 'em, to tell you the truth,'' said Aztecs freshman tailback Lynell Hamilton, who has run for 509 yards in four games.
In addition, Forest Lawn will offer two special events on September 25th that explore culture and art from Olmecs to Aztecs and Mayans.
He was also the chief architect of the Aztec kingdom's foreign policy, in which the Aztecs allied with the city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan against Tiaxcala, Cholula, and Huexotzinco.
Newly installed interpretive signage maps the geography of this region; illustrates a timeline from the Olmecs (1500 BC - 300 BC) to the Aztecs (AD 1325 - AD 1521); and discusses the cultural, artistic, and religious roots of highly advanced ancient cultures, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, Maya, Aztec, Totonac, and Huastec.
Thanks to an overpowering defense - despite some silly personal-foul penalties and the late ejection of defensive tackle Rodney Leisle for punching an Aztecs player in the stomach - used two interceptions to change the balance of the night.
Safety Dennis Keyes (shoulder) donned the red ``do not hit'' jersey and may not be available against the Aztecs.
As the Mountain West Conference regular season champions, the Aztecs (21-8) continue their march toward a spot at next week's NCAA's March Madness tournament.