Cover image for Daily life of the Aztecs : people of the sun and earth
Daily life of the Aztecs : people of the sun and earth
Carrasco, David.
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Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xvi, 282 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
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F1219.73 .C355 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
F1219.73 .C355 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F1219.73 .C355 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F1219.73 .C355 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1219.73 .C355 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Examine the fascinating and often controversial details of the daily lives of the ancient Aztecs through this innovative study written from the perspective of the history of religions. The Aztec people come to life for students, teachers, and interested readers through the exploration of the ceremonial character of their social and symbolic imagination. Insights into the communities they created, the games they played, the education they received, the foods they harvested, and the songs they sang, as well as the sacrificial rituals they performed, enable the reader to gain a better understanding of this complicated culture.

The Aztecs organized their society as a microcosm of the cosmos that intricately linked all aspects of their daily lives to the natural and supernatural world. Carrasco explores the details of the Aztecs' lives and provides an in-depth look at all of these connections to help the reader comprehend the complexity of this ancient culture: The Aztec calendar, Aztec religion and myths, Aztec marketplace, Aztec art and architecture, Aztec war, and autosacrifice and sacrifice are just some topics among the vast number that are colorfully presented. Actual Aztec poems and riddles scattered throughout the text, provide an even deeper understanding of their world view. Carrasco also examines the Aztecs' violent encounter with Europeans and illustrates the long-term significance of colonialism and Aztec culture reflected in modern-day Mexican and Mexican American imaginations.

Author Notes

DAVÍD CARRASCO is the Director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Professor of History of Religions at Princeton University. His previous works include Moctezuma's Mexico: Visions of the Aztec World with Eduardo Matos Moctezuma (1992), Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire: Myths and Prophecies in the Aztec Tradition (1982 and 1992), To Change Place: Aztec Ceremonial Landscapes (1991), and Religions of Mesoamerica: Cosmovision and Ceremonial Centers (1990).

SCOTT SESSIONS is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. He is also administrative assistant and researcher at the Moses Mesoamerican Archive (Princeton University), a researcher for the Afro-American Religion: A Documentary History Project (Amherst College), and development editor for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures . He served as assistant editor for Moctezuma's Mexico: World Visions of the Aztec World (1992) and as a consultant for several documentaries and museum exhibits.

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Booklist Review

Two more titles in the publisher's Daily Life through History series. Greeks includes chapters on language, private and public life, and the impact of ancient Greek civilization. Aztecs includes chapters on education, aesthetics, religion, and European contact. Both have glossaries and selected bibliographies.

Table of Contents

Chronology of Central Mexico Cemanahuac
The Land Surrounded by Water
The World View of Balance
The Cosmic Tree and the Four Quarters Mountains of Water
Tenochtitlan and Aztec Communities Education and the Aztec Life Cycle
From Birth to Death and Beyond The Social Pyramid
Maintaining Your Place and the World Aztec Aesthetics
Flowers and Songs Where the Jaguars Roar
Aztec Human Sacrifice as Debt Payment The Two Tongues
The Aztecs Encounter the Europeans
The Long Event of Aztec Culture
Selected Bibliography