The modern name is derived from Mexitli, one of the names of the Aztec god of war Huitzilopochtli, which name was later on applied also to the Aztecs themselves.
The same explanation may be applied to Greek and Aztec myths of the deluge, to Australian and Greek myths of the original theft of fire.
Teguixin is taken from the Aztec teco-ixin, i.e.
The Mexican " departmental " gods answer to those of other polytheisms; there is an Aztec Ceres, an Aztec Lucina, an Aztec Vulcan, an Aztec Flora, an Aztec Venus.
These deities are not easily ' One of the most important sources for the ancient Mexican traditions and myths is the so-called " Codex Chimalpopoca," a manuscript in the Mexican language discovered by the Abbe analysed, but on the other hand Tonatiuh and Metztli, the sun and moon, stand out distinctly as nature gods, and the traveller still sees in the huge adobe pyramids of Teotihuacan, with their sides oriented to the four quarters, an evidence of the importance of their worship. The war-god Huitzilopochtli was the real head of the Aztec pantheon; his idol remains in Mexico, a huge block of basalt on which is sculptured on the one side his hideous personage, adorned with the humming-bird feathers on the left hand which signify his name, while the not less frightful war-goddess Teoyaomiqui, or " divine wardeath," occupies the other side.
'QUEZAL, or Quesal, the Spanish-American name for one of the most beautiful of birds, abbreviated from the Aztec or Maya Quetzal-tototl, the last part of the compound word meaning fowl, and the first, also written Cuetzal, the long feathers of rich green with which it is adorned.'
Seven of the twenty days constituting the Aztec month bore names evidently borrowed from those of the Chinese horary signs.
The Hare (or Rabbit), Monkey, Dog and Serpent reappeared without change; for the Tiger, Crocodile and Hen, unknown in America, the Ocelot, Lizard and Eagle were substituted as analogous.6 The Aztec calendar dated from the 7th century; but the zodiacal tradition embodied by it was doubtless much more ancient.
After the Toltecs came the Chichimecs, whose name, derived from chici, dog, is applied to many rude tribes; they are said to have come from Amaquemecan under a king named Xolotl, names which being Aztec imply that the nation was Nahua; at any rate they appear afterwards as fusing with more cultured.
One of the first clear events of the Aztec arrival is their being made tributary by the Tepanecs, in whose service they showed their warlike prowess in the fight near Tepeyacac, where now stands.
In this war we first meet with the Aztec name Moteuczoma, afterwards so famous in its Spanish form Montezuma.
The Aztec numerals, which were vigesimal or reckoned by scores, were depicted by dots or circles up to 20, which was represented by a flag, 400 (a score of scores) by a feather, and 8000 (a score of scores of scores) by a purse; but for convenience these symbols might be halved and quartered, so that 534 might be shown by one feather, one quarter of a feather, one flag, one-half of a flag, and four dots.
The Aztec Quetzalcoatl taught metallurgy and agriculture, gave abundance of maize, also wisdom and freedom from disease.
Of the long Aztec migration seem historical, and the map of Mexico still shows the names of several settlements recorded in the curious migration map, published by Gemelli Careri (Giro deli mondo, Venice, 1728) and commented on by Humboldt; among, these local names are Tzompanco, " place of skulls," now Zumpango in the north of the Mexican valley, and Chapultepec,.
As one of the Aztec chiefs at the time of the founding of their city was called Tenoch, it is likely that from him was derived the name Tenochtitlan or " Stone-cactus place."
The wars of this nation with the Tepanecs, which went on into the 15th century, were merely destructive, but larger effects arose from the expeditions under the Culhua king Acamapichtli, where the Aztec warriors were prominent, and which extended far outside the valley of Anahuac. Especially a foray southward to Quauhnahuac, now Cuernavaca, on the watershed between the Atlantic and Pacific, brought goldsmiths and other craftsmen to Tenochtitlan, which now began to rise in arts, the Aztecs laying aside their rude garments of aloe-fibre for more costly clothing, and going out as traders for foreign merchandise.
About 1430 took place the triple alliance of the Acolhua, Aztec and Tepanec kings, whose capitals were Tezcuco, Mexico and Tlacopan, the latter standing much below the other two.
In fact the rest of native history may be fairly called the Aztec period, notwithstanding the magnificence and culture which make Tezcuco celebrated under Nezahualcoyotl and his son Nezahualpilli.
When the first Moteuczoma was crowned king of the Aztecs, the Mexican sway extended far beyond the valley plateau of its origin, and the gods of conquered nations around had their shrines set up in Tenochtitlan in manifest inferiority to the temple of Huitzilopochtli, the war-god of the Aztec conquerors.
The successor of the Aztec king was customarily a chosen brother or nephew, the eldest having the first claim unless set aside as incompetent; this mode of succession, which has been looked on as an elaborate device for securing practical advantages, seems rather to have arisen out of the law of choice among the descendants of the female line, found in American tribes of much lower culture.
Something like this appears in the succession of kings of Tezcuco and Tlacopan, which went to sons by the principal wife, who was usually of the Aztec royal family.
The accounts given by Spanish writers of the Central Americans in their state after the Spanish conquest are very scanty in corn parison with the voluminous descriptions of Aztec life.
The four leading Maya signs called kan, muluc, ix, cauac corresponded in their position to the four Aztec signs rabbit, reed, flint, house, but the meanings of the Maya signs are, unlike the Aztec, very obscure.
The rattlesnake was worshipped in the Natchez temple of the sun; and the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl was a serpent-god.
98° 33 r" W., which with the neighbouring Ixtaccihuatl (Aztec " white woman ") forms the south-eastern limit of the great basin known as the " Valley of Mexico."
At Roswell; the lowest, - 23° at Aztec. At Santa Fe, where mountain and plain meet, the mean annual temperature is 49 0; the mean for the winter is 31° and for the summer 67°; and the highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded were respectively 97° and - 13°.
At intervals are circular spaces, called " glorietas," with statues (the famous bronze equestrian statue of Charles IV., and monuments to Columbus, Cuauhtemoc the last of the Aztec emperors, and Juarez).
The great cathedral stands on or near the site of the Aztec temple (teocalli) destroyed by Cortes in 1521.
The Aztec name of the city was Tenochtitlan, derived either from Tenoch, one of their priests and leaders, or from tenuch, the Indian name for the " nopal," which is associated with its foundation.
The Aztec calendar includes nakshatra titles borrowed, not only through the medium of the Tatar zodiac, but likewise straight from the Indian scheme, apart from any known intervention.
The wonderful plumage of the " quetzal " (Trogon resplendens) was, it is said, reserved b y the Aztec rulers for their own exclusive use.
The Indian element in the population is made up of several distinct races - the Aztec or Mexican, Misteca-Zapoteca, Maya or Yucateco, Otomi or Othomi, and in smaller number the Totonac, Tarasco, Apache, Matlanzingo, Chontal, Mixe, Zoque, Guaicuro, OpataPima, Tapijulapa, Seri and Huavi.
The name Mexico 1 was given by the Spanish conquerors to the group of countries over which the Aztec power more or less prevailed at the time of the European invasion.
Real information as to the nations of Mexico before Spanish 1 In this, as in all other Aztec names, the x (or j) represents the English sound sh; hence Mexitli and Mexico should be properly pronounced Meshitli, Meshico.
In Mexico itself the languages of the Nahua nations, of which the Aztec is the best-known dialect, show no connexion of origin with the language of the Otomi tribes, nor either of these with the languages of the regions of the ruined cities of Central America, the Quiche of Guatemala and the Maya of Yucatan.
Thus actual documents of native Aztec history, or copies of them, are still open to the study of scholars, while after the conquest interpretations of these were drawn up in writing by Spanish-educated Mexicans, and histories founded on them with the aid of traditional memory were written by Ixtilxochitl and Tezozomoc. In Central America the rows of complex hieroglyphs to be seen sculptured on the ruined temples probably served a similar purpose.
As in the Guatemala traditions, we hear of ancient migration from the Mexican legendary region of Tula; and here the leaders are four famous chiefs or ancestors who bear the Aztec name of the Tutul-Xiu, which means " Bird-Tree."
These traditions, in some measure borne out by linguistic evidence of names, point to the immigration of detachments of a widespread race speaking a common language, which is represented by the Aztec, still a spoken language in Mexico.
In Aztec, viz.
Based on conquest as the Aztec kingdom was, and with the most bloodthirsty religion the world ever saw, the nation was, above all, Wan a fighting community.
The conquest of Mexico by the Spanish forces under Hernando Cortes (q.v.) in 1520, and the death of the last Aztec emperor, Guatemozin, introduced what is known as the colonial period of Mexican history, which lasted down to the enforced resignation of the last viceroy, O'Donoju, in 1821.
Among the pure whites - who were practically all of Spanish extraction - there were two well-defined classes, the Gachupines or chapetones, Spaniards born in Europe, said, to be so named in allusion to their spurs, from Aztec words meaning " prickers with the foot," and the native-born or creoles: the former, though a small minority, had almost all the higher positions both in the public services and in commerce.
However, every 'vestige of the Aztec worship was banished from the Spanish settlements.'
The Mestizos, who form so large a fraction of the population of modern Mexico, numbering several millions, afford a convenient test in this respect, inasmuch as their intermediate complexion separates them from both their ancestral races, the Spaniard, and the chocolate-brown indigenous Aztec or other Mexican.