Nahuan languages Tree diagram of the relation between the Nahuan languages and the rest of the Uto-Aztecan language family, based on the internal classification of Nahuan given by Terrence Kaufman As a language label, the term "Nahuatl" encompasses a group of closely related languages or divergent dialects within the Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The Ethnologue recognizes 28 varieties with separate ISO codes. Sometimes the label also is used to include the Pipil language Nawat of El Salvador. Regardless of whether "Nahuatl" is considered to label a dialect continuum or a group of separate languages, the varieties form a single branch within the Uto-Aztecan family, descended from a single Proto-Nahuan language.
While for many other civilizations the night sky has been a source of stability and unchanging harmony, Aztecs were concerned about a lack of stability and the potential destruction of the world coming from the sky.
The Aztecs used a complex calendar system characteristic of Mesoamerican civilizations.
It combined a count of days based on the solar year with a separate calendar of days based on various rituals.
Every 52 years, both calendars would overlap and a new cycle would commence. Unlike other civilizations, such as the Mayans, the Aztec seriously considered the possibility that the world could be destroyed and recreated at the end of such a year cycle.
Such cosmological understanding has far-reaching cultural and social consequences. Historians of Aztec astronomy nowadays speak of entire ritual landscapes in which not only cities were planned according to astronomical alignments, but in which the very location of major cities had been determined by their significance for rituals that were guided by astronomical observations.
By interpreting the complexity of their calendar as the expression of a world view, in which different deities act in different ways, often opposing each other and leaving the fate of humanity depending on the outcome of their efforts, the Aztec regarded each day as being dominated by different, potentially conflicting meanings given by the various calendar counts.
At the centre of their cosmology, however, stood the sun, famously represented in the Aztec Calendar Stone.
For the Aztecs, it was the fifth sun, following the earlier four suns having come to an end with various destructions of the world. This sun had itself come into existence as the result of a god sacrificing himself for humanity, a sacrifice that in itself was mandating human sacrifice to the sun, as well as a life that needed to be lived to prevent the gods destroying the world again.
For the Aztecs, like for many other civilizations, astronomy was a study closely associated with religious significance and a strong moral code of behavior.
Aztec astronomy also played an important role in later history in relation to the emancipation of Mexico from Spanish colonial rule. In order to solve the puzzles he encountered in the process he had to study a large number of sources from different Mesoamerican civilizations.
What surprised him was how little understanding of those cultures the existing European literature on the topic demonstrated.
He argued that only Mexicans could properly understand Aztec culture, as Mexico combined European and Aztec heritage. Aroundhis claim that the Aztecs had been on the same cultural level as the great civilizations of ancient Greece and Egypt provoked much controversy.
However, supported by good arguments from the study of Aztec astronomy this claim helped establish a Mexican identity independent of the Spanish mother country in the 19th century. The Aztec Calendar Stone remains one of the central icons of Mexican culture.In this lesson, you will explore the defeat of the powerful Aztec Empire, and then test your understanding about the Aztecs, the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and empires in .
For the Aztecs, like for many other civilizations, astronomy was a study closely associated with religious significance and a strong moral code of behavior. Aztec astronomy also played an important role in later history in relation to the emancipation of Mexico from Spanish colonial rule.
The Aztec Empire - Chapter Summary. In this chapter, our expert instructors summarize the most important components of the Aztec Empire. This annotated inquiry leads students through an investigation of the Aztec Empire through the study of its capital city, Tenochtitlán.
Scholars debate the significance of the role of the Aztec Empire in Mesoamerican culture. Aztec society was multiethnic and concepts of Aztec artisans manufactured everyday and luxury goods mostly ethnicity were interwoven with connections to place (Berdan et al.
from household-based workshops, and studying craft production is ). Independent Study of the Aztec and Inca. Read the material in Bulliet on the Aztec and Inca. Pages , (Lots of details) Read the material in Bentley on the Aztec and Inca. Pages , (Big picture) When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico and Peru they found highly sophisticated complex societies.1/5(1).