In less than 100 years, the Aztec empire rose to power, only to collapse under the assault of Cortes. A warrior who has trained for war his entire childhood had been beaten up and dragged off the battlefield by an Aztec Noble from Tenochtitlan. Instead of being killed, he was worshiped by his captors as a god. After months of preparation, he would be given the ultimate honor.
At the top of the Great Temple, he would be greeted by the nobleman who’d captured him. Four priests would put him on a stone altar. The chief priest would then stab him in the chest, rip out his heart, and offer it to Tonatiuh, the sun god. This was a very common ritual in the Aztec empire because they believed the gods made humans with their own blood so in order to maintain the empire, they’d return the blood.
The Mexica, also known as the Aztecs, lived in the Valley of Mexico, which was already inhabited by the Tepanecs, the Acolhuas, and the Culhuas. These tribes shunned the Mexica as “snake-eating barbarians”. The Mexica attempted to fight them by killing the daughter of the Culhuas king which led to years of punishment and isolation. They were forced the wander the wilderness until Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec warrior god, led the Mexica to an island in a swamp.
The Mexica turned the swamp into what would soon become the capital of Tenochtitla. Until then, the Mexica worked as hired soldiers for the Tepanecs. The Tepanecs new king feared the Mexicas military skill and attacked them. In 1428, the Mexicas and their king Itzcoatl teamed up with two other city-states and defeated the Tepanecs. This Triple Alliance marked the beginning of Aztec civilization
Itzcoatl and his feudal and religious changes in place devoted the rest of his time conquering more Aztec city-states in the Valley of Mexico. Aztecs fought to kill, and most importantly, they would take captives. For they believed that if men die in battle their souls rest with the gods. So they would tack as many men as possible captive. In most battles worriers would fight one vs one. Generally using spears,or a unique sward that was wood with sharpened obsidian around it.
Moctezuma l started the construction of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. He made schools for Mexica boys and girls, which taught them rituals of Aztec religion. Boys would be trained to become warriors while girls were taught to dance, sing, and how to be a mother and the skills it took to be warriors wife.
Moctezuma l and Itzcoatl conquered many city states. Since warfare ended, market and trade began to slowly increase. There were many things that were traded such as textiles, obsidian tools, medicinal herbs and dyes.
The Great Temple was done in 1487 and had two more temples on top of it. There were two stairs that lead to a place where human sacrifices were made. Everyone in the city states had to see these rituals being made.
In 1519, when Spaniard Hernando Cortes arrived to Tenochtitlan, he came to face with all the temples, houses, and people that were there. He attacked the Aztecs in 1521 and showed no fear while doing it. The war lasted 85 days and defeated the Aztecs.