It is true that Aztlan, the land whence the Aztecs traced their name and source, cannot be identified, but the later stages.
As a humming-bird Huitzilopochtli was alleged to have led the Aztecs to a new home.
Where the Aztecs are recorded to have celebrated in 1195 thefestival of tying up the " bundle of years " and beginning a new cycle.
In old days New Mexico was the home of a breed of hairless cats, said to have been kept by the ancient Aztecs, but now well-nigh if not completely extinct.
If tradition is any guide, human sacrifice seems in many important areas to be of secondary character; in spite of the great development of the rite among the Aztecs, tradition says that it was unknown till two hundred years before the conquest; in Polynesia human sacrifices seem to be comparatively modern; and in India they appear to have been rare among the Vedic peoples.
Semites and Egyptians, Peruvians and Aztecs, slew human victims; Africa, especially the West Coast, till recently saw thousands of human victims perish annually; in Polynesia, Tahiti and Fiji were great centres of the rite - in fact, it is not easy to name an area where it has not been known.
The aborigines, who seemed to have reached a stage of civilization somewhat similar to that of the Aztecs, were conquered and exterminated or absorbed by Creeks about the middle of the 18th century.
Among them were cadastral plans of villages, maps of the provinces of the empire of the Aztecs, of towns and of the coast.
The Aztecs settled there because of the security afforded by its islands and shallow waters - their city, Tenochtitlan, being so completely surrounded by water that a handful of warriors could easily defend its approaches against a greatly superior force.
For the water supply the Aztecs used the main causeway through their city as a dam to separate the fresh water from the hills from the brackish water of Texcoco, and obtained drinking water from a spring at the base of the hill of Chapultepec. The Spaniards added three other springs to the supply and constructed two long aqueducts to bring it into the city.
The hegemony of the Aztecs, who dominated the other tribes from the central valley of Mexico, was oppressive.
He was the mythic leader and chief divinity of the Aztecs, dominant tribe of the Nahua nation.
None of them were written except through the use of ideographs, in the making of which the Aztecs used colours with much skill, while the Mayas used an abbreviated form, or symbols.
They had been preceded on the same plateau by the Chichimecs, possibly of the same race, who were conquered by the Aztecs sometime in the 15th century after a supposed occupation of the territory about 400 years.
There is evidence to show that the Aztecs adopted the civilization of the Toltecs, including their religion (Quetzalcoatl being a god of the Toltecs and Mayas), calendar and architecture.
They were an energetic people, were never subdued by the Aztecs, and are now recovering from their long subjection to Spanish enslavement more rapidly than any other indigenous race.
The Aztecs from the 12th century appear to have migrated from place to place over the mountain-walled plateau of Anahuac, the country " by the water," so called from its salt lagoons, which is now known as the Valley of Mexico.
The native population of the plateau of Mexico, mainly Aztecs, may still be seen by thousands without any trace of mixture of European blood.
There is a basis of reality in the Toltec traditions is shown by the word toltecatl having become among the later Aztecs a substantive signifying an artist or skilled craftsman.
The Aztecs moving from place to place in Anahuac found little welcome from the Nahua peoples already settled there.
Coxcoxtli used the help of the Aztecs against the Xochimilco people; but his own nation, horrified at their bloodthirsty sacrifice of prisoners, drove them out to the islands and swamps of the great salt lagoon, where they are said to have taken to making their chinampas or floating gardens of mud heaped on rafts of reeds and brush, which in later times were so remarkable a feature of Mexico.
The Acolhuas bad at first the advantage, but Ixtlilxochitl did not follow up the beaten Aztecs but allowed them to make peace, whereupon, under professions of submission, they fell upon and sacked the city of Tezcuco.
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.
The maize was ground with a stone roller on the grinding stone or metlatl, still known over Spanish America as the metate, and the meal baked into thin oval cakes called by Aztecs tlaxcalli, and by Spaniards tortilla, which resemble the chapati of India and the oatcake of Scotland.
A few may be descendants of the Aztecs and Mayas, whose temples, sculptures, burialgrounds, &c., have not yet been fully explored.
No ethnical relationship can ever have existed between the Aztecs and the Egyptians; yet each race developed the idea of the pyramid tomb through that psychological similarity which is as much a characteristic of the species man as is his physique.
They lived in settled communities, cultivated the soil to some extent, and ascribed their progress toward civilization to a legendary cause remarkably similar to those of the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru.
Examples of this are given in § 20; it is worthy of notice that the vigesimal (or, rather, quinary-quaternary) system was used by the Mayas of Yucatan, and also, in a more perfect form, by the Nahuatl (Aztecs) of Mexico.
AZTECS (from the Nahuatl word aztlan, " place of the Heron," or "Heron" people), the native name of one of the tribes that occupied the tableland of Mexico on the arrival of the Spaniards in America.
The Aztecs came, according to native tradition, from a country to which they gave the name of Aztlan, usually supposed to lie towards the north-west, but the satisfactory localization of it is one of the greatest difficulties in Mexican history.
The Greek " key " pattern found on objects in Peruvian graves was not necessarily borrowed from Greece, nor did Greeks necessarily borrow from Aztecs the " wave " pattern which is common to both.
2 The common European story of a queen accused of giving birth to puppies shows the survival of the belief in the possibility of such births among civilized races, while the Aztecs had the idea that women who saw the moon in certain circumstances would produce mice.
Zulus, Red Indians, Aztecs,' Andaman Islanders and other races believe that their dead assume the shapes of serpents and of other creatures, often reverting to the form of the animal from which they originally descended.
In cruelty the Aztecs surpassed perhaps all peoples of the Old World, except certain Semitic stocks, and their gods, of course, surpassed almost all other gods in bloodthirstiness.
But in grotesque and savage points of faith the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Vedic Indians ran even the Aztecs pretty close.
As a humming-bird, Huitzilopochtli led the Aztecs to a new home, as a wolf led the Hirpini, and as a woodpecker led the Sabines.
The City of Mexico dates, traditionally, from the year 1325 or 1327, when the Aztecs settled on an island in Lake Texcoco.
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 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.
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.