Life and Labor in Ancient Mexico: The Brief and Summary Relation of the Lords of New Spain

Life and Labor in Ancient Mexico: The Brief and Summary Relation of the Lords of New Spain

Life and Labor in Ancient Mexico: The Brief and Summary Relation of the Lords of New Spain

Life and Labor in Ancient Mexico: The Brief and Summary Relation of the Lords of New Spain

Excerpt

At the opening of the sixteenth century most of Central Mexico, from the fringes of the arid northern plateau southward to the lowlands of Tehuantepec, paid tribute to the Aztea1 of the Valley of Mexico. These Aztecs were late- comers in an ancient, intensely civilized land. Little more than two centuries before, they had been an obscure barbarian tribe, one of a number of such tribes who broke into the valley when the Toltec Empire, with its seat at Tula, collapsed at the end of the twelfth century. These invaders, some of whom may have served as mercenaries guarding the marches of Toltec civilization, felt much respect for the superior Toltec culture and claimed for themselves the prestige attached to the Toltec name. Five succession states, all parading real or assumed Toltec origins, soon arose in the Valley of Mexico.

Last to arrive in the valley, much later than the others, were the Aztecs. Their picture chronicles give the date 1168 as the date of their departure from their homeland somewhere in the North. Led by four chiefs and a woman who carried a medicine bundle housing the spirit of their tribal god, Huitzilopochtli, who guided their steps speaking in the strange . . .

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