Altepetl

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The altepetl (Nahuatl pronunciation: /alˈtepetɬ/), in Pre-Columbian and Spanish conquest-era Aztec society, was the local, ethnically based political entity. It is usually translated into English as "city-state".[1] The word is a combination of the Nahuatl words ā-tl, meaning water, and tepē-tl, meaning mountain.

Nahuatl scholars Lisa Sousa, Stafford Poole, and James Lockhart have stated:

A characteristic Nahua mode was to imagine the totality of the people of a region or of the world as a collection of altepetl units and to speak of them on those terms.[2]

They prefer the Nahuatl term over any English-language approximation. They argue that in many of the documents pertaining to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the word āltepētl is often used as a translation of the Spanish Ciudad de México (Mexico City), a translation that has colored the interpretation of the texts and conceptions of Nahua society.

The concept is comparable to Maya cah and Mixtec ñuu.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Smith 1997 p. 37
  2. ^ Sousa et al. 1998, p. 36

References[edit]

García Martínez, Bernardo (2001). "Community Kingdoms: Central Mexico (Nahua)". In David Carrasco (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 238–239. ISBN 0-19-510815-9. OCLC 44019111. 
Gibson, Charles (1983) [1964]. The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico, 1519–1810. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0912-2. OCLC 9359010. 
Lockhart, James (1996) [1992]. The Nahuas After the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth Through Eighteenth Centuries. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-2317-6. OCLC 24283718. 
Noguez, Xavier (2001). "Altepetl". In David Carrasco (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-19-510815-9. OCLC 44019111. 
Sousa, Lisa; Stafford Poole, and James Lockhart (trans. and eds.) (1998). The Story of Guadalupe: Luis Laso de la Vega's Huei tlamahuiçoltica of 1649. UCLA Latin American studies, vol. 84; Nahuatl studies series, no. 5. Stanford & Los Angeles, CA: Stanford University Press, UCLA Latin American Center Publications. ISBN 0-8047-3482-8. OCLC 39455844. 
Smith, Michael (1997). The Aztecs. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23015-7.