Mesoamericans believed the gods would only provide for them if they were nourished by humans.
There were many ways the Aztecs appeased their gods (and there were hundreds of them), but the most common way was by paying a blood debt, which they believed they owed to the gods. This was achieved by ritual blood-letting, piercing, animal sacrifice, and human sacrifice. The Aztecs (and other Mesoamerican cultures) were not the only cultures who have performed human sacrifices (In some sources, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to appease Artemis), but they were perhaps the most prolific.
They believed that if they did not feed their sun god, Huitzilopochtl, human hearts, then the sun would not rise. They sacrificed to avoid destruction.
The Aztecs did not have a formal military, but every able boy was trained to fight. They learned how to fight in school and were considered men after they had taken their first prisoner.
War time was a happy time for the Aztecs. Warriors were able to prove their strength and courage. Their costumes were designed to illicit fear among their enemies and tribes they intended to conquer, and the more important the warrior, the more elaborate his costume.
Their chief weapon was surprise and fear. Wait, their two chief weapons were surprise, fear, and ruthless efficiency. Their three… oh bloody hell. Anyways, other than being forced to pay a tribute, the conquered subjects had relative freedom.
Like Egyptian Pharaohs their emperor, the Huey Tlatcani (Great Speaker) was worshiped as a god.
Individual families did not own land, but shared it with a group of families called a Calpulli. The leader of this group was responsible for their basic needs.
The nobility and priesthood held a lot of power, but were not always in a position of power. In cities, the heads of the Calpulli formed a council, and within it, four members would form an executive council. One of these members would be the Tlatcani (not to be confused with the Huey Tlatcani), or leader of the city.
The Aztecs used chocolate as currency.
Perhaps the most important fact of the day.
And then this happened… Sorta
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