Lake Texcoco (Tezcoco or Tezcuco) is a comparatively shallow body of brackish water, with an area of about IIZ sq.
In the New World, according to Prescott, King Nezahualcoyotl had zoological gardens at Tezcuco in Mexico in the middle of the 15th century, whilst in the next century Cortes found aviaries and fishponds at Iztapalapan.
About 1325 they founded on the lake of Tezcuco the permanent settlement of Mexico Tenochtitlan, which is still represented by the capital city, Mexico.
Thus they overcame the Acolhuas, who had made Tezcuco a centre of prosperity.
The next king of Tezcuco, Nezahualcoyotl, turned the course of war, when Azcapuzalco, the Tepanec stronghold, was taken and the inhabitants sold as slaves by the conquering Acolhuas and Aztecs; the place thus degraded became afterwards the great slave-market of Mexico.
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.
Be seen by the elaborate balance of power maintained in the federation of Mexico, Tezcuco and Tlacopan, where each king was absolute in his own country, but in war or other public interests they acted jointly, with powers in something like the proportion in which they divided conquered lands and spoil, which was two-fifths each to Mexico and Tezcuco and one-fifth to Tlacopan.
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.
Not less remarkable was the palace of Tezcuco, surrounded with its groves and pleasure-gardens; and, though now hardly anything remains of the buildings above ground, the neighbouring hill of Tezcotzinco still has its stone steps and terraces; and the immense embankment carrying the aqueduct-channel of hewn stone which supplied water to basins cut in the solid rock still remains to prove that the chroniclers' descriptions, if highly coloured, were at any rate genuine.
It is related that Nezahualcoyotl, the poet-king of Tezcuco, built a ninestoried temple with a starry roof above, in honour of the invisible deity called Tloquenahuaque, " he who is all in himself," or Ipalnemoani, " he by whom we live," who had no image, and was propitiated, not by bloody sacrifices, but by incense and flowers.