From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Mesoamerica (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mesoamerica, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, its civilizations, history, accomplishments and other related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has been marked as needing immediate attention.
WikiProject Mexico (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mexico, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Mexico on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Indigenous peoples of the Americas (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Indigenous peoples of the Americas, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Indigenous peoples of the Americas on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Ethnic groups (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ethnic groups, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles relating to ethnic groups, nationalities, and other cultural identities on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

link changes[edit]

Unlogged in User:, why are you changing links from Toltec to Toltecs? If there is a good reason for doing so, please explain, thanks. -- Infrogmation 15:55, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If you plan to split the article, please mention so at least on the summary of your edits, or even better here in the talk page. Dori | Talk 15:59, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

Castañeda's concept of "Toltec"[edit]

Below from User Talk:Dori:

Hi Dori. I am trying to seperate the article about the mesoamerican culture from Castaneda's concept, which hasn't much to do with it. The article about the culture will be found under Toltecs, the article of Castaneda's concept under Toltec. I am now adjusting the links. -- 15:57, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please mention so on the summary then or else it looks like a deletion. Dori | Talk 16:00, Dec 18, 2003 (UTC)

As "Toltec" is also commonly used for the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture, I don't think this is a good idea. Either both concepts should go in the same article, or if there is some necessary reason, "Toltec" can be made a disambiguation page (though I doubt that's needed). I will duplicate this talk at Talk:Toltec, and suggest that further discussion go on there. -- Infrogmation 16:02, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

What exactly is Castañeda's concept of "Toltec"? Is it something unrelated to the civilization? Wouldn't Toltec (Castañeda) be a better solution? If you already have your proposed Toltec article, please post it at Toltec/temp so we can take a look and help you find the best place for it. Hjr 16:10, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, I really should have mentioned this before (I didn't think this would arouse so much reaction): I have now made a new article Toltec (Castaneda). -- 16:18, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • That looks good to me. -- Infrogmation 16:24, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Good solution! Hjr 16:41, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Tollan, Teotihuacan[edit]

Hi Infrogmation, Thanks for cleaning my mess. I will try to put my ideas more clearly, before writting them :)

I am looking for documentation in enlgish for the Torescano tesis, but so far i have found nothing. Do you think info like this would be useful?

Altough he tesis has not been fully accepted, if he is corrected, it would require a mayor reevaluation of prehispanic history. But i am nos shure is is correct to includ this.

Nanahuatzin 10:49, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

That the Aztec accounts gathered at the time of the Conquest and the generation after tend to confuse the two earlier Central Mexican empires of Tulan and Teotihuacan has long been known. I think it's been generally accepted for some years that Teotihuacan was known as "Tolan" or "Tollan" before the Post-Classic Toltec Tula. Advances in decyphering Maya heiroglyhps confirmed this I think in the mid 1990s. See the Tollan article; for that matter Tenochtitlan was also sometimes refered to by that title. I don't know that any major rewrite of Pre-Columbian history is necessary. Or am I misunderstanding what the Torescano thesis is? Is he alleging that Teotihuacan was the only Tollan, or that it was active in the Post-Classic? If you can summarize, or link to a version in Spanish I should be able to get the general idea of it (though my Spanish has become quite poor from many years of disuse).
Some Aztec chronicles specifically mention Teotihuacan as being earlier than the Toltec, as is confirmed by archeology, and mention an even earlier great culture "Tamoanchan" that some scholars think refers to the Olmec. Cheers, -- Infrogmation 16:12, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

For the time being I moved the below 2 paragraphs here from the main article:

Today the debate has started again, started by the Mexican Historian Enrique Florescano, from the Mexican Academy of History, with some speciallist from the CIT (Center of Teotihuacan Studies). Florescano has claimed for years that Teotihuacan was the first Tollan, his point of view has benn slowlly acepted by mexican historians.

The magnificent frescos of Cacaxtla show fine artestry of the Mesoamerican Post-Classic era.

The first I moved here because I don't really understand what any "debate" is about. The second I don't see the relevence to this article; we certainly could use a good article on Cacaxtla though. -- Infrogmation 17:48, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Basically, his tesis is that Teotihuacan is Tollan, and the original the toltecs. He believes the excavations in teotihuacan will reveal the burial of the real Quetazlcoatl. I will try to make a fair resume of his work, and the opinions of other speciallist. He is about to publish something new. Maybe i will be better to wait a little.

Maybe you will find this interesting:

I introduced cacaxtla, since the frescos shows some of the history of the fall of teotihucan, but now i think is irrelevant here, just i was a bit confused on how to structure the info. I will try to get something write about it.

Nanahuatzin 23:14, 2 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I would like to see some evidence substantiating the assumption that "Toltecs" spoke Nahuatl or indeed any other language. It is not known what language was spoken by Toltecs, it is not known which language was spoken by the population of Teotihuacan. And it is particularly speculative that they had any connection.--Someoneelse 21:09, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

The toltecs and their language[edit]

NATE PETERSON IS AWESOME!!! There is no evidence as to which language the Toltecs spoke. It is reasonable to assume that they spoke nahuatl because many people in that general area do so. But they could have spoken many different languages. Most likely if Toltecs are understood as the builders of Tula Hidalgo they were Huastecs, (mayans). Mot likely if toltecs were from teotihuacan they spoke nahuatl. However there is not really any solid foundations for considering toltecs an ethniuc group. The only sources we have to their existence are mythical and symbolical, not actual history. In aztec culture toltecs were a symbol of knowledge and culture and they were in contrast with the concept chichimeca which symbolises the savage, warlike and primitive. This is also the reason that the nahuatl sources assume that the toltecs spoke nahuatl and that they spoke the highstatus pillahtolli version and not like peasants. And it is also the reason that they assume that chichimeca just babbled. Popoloca means babbling or talking without making sense, the aztecs used this term for *all* non-nahuan languages, according to the florentine codex nahuatl part Cortes spoke popoloca for example. The feature of believing in a higy developed ancestor culture coming from a place meaning "the reed place" (tollan in nahuatl) is pan mesoamerican, mixtecs, mayas etc believed this which makes it still more likely that it is a mythologicalisation of the actual historicasl ancestoirs of the m esoamerican cultures such as teotihuacanos or olmecs, but it also means that myth is so intertwined with the representations of these "toltec" cultures that it is impossible to separate myth from reality in them. This article seems to be under a completely different impression fo what the word toltec means and refers too. I only cut the parts about language because I am interested in the factuality of the linguistic informations. But I do suggest that you check up on your sources to find out what is actually known about the Toltecs and that you tone down the thought that the Toltecs were an actual ethnic group quite alot (it is possible that they were but it is by no means a fact). --Maunus 09:07, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I made a mistake... For the nahuas, tolteca does not means literally "artits".. rather it was used as a sinonimous of artist. In the Florentine codex we find this description "Tolteca: Artist, learned, multiple, restless. The true artist: he is able, skilfull, he dialoges with his hearth, he find the things in his mind. For the true artist everything come from his hearth. que creates with delight, he makes things with tranquility, with care, he make things like a Tolteca.". From this we have the words "ten-toltecalt" or declamator. "Tlil toltecalt" or painter or artist of the black ink. "Ma-toltecaltl" or artist of the hand. The sum of the arts was calleed "Toltecayotl".
Popoloca was the name used by the aztec to non nahuatl languages, but mainly it was used to designte the language "chocho" or nguigua also known as "popoloca chocho" there is also two variants, the popoloca of otlantepec and ixcateco. The popoloca language is related to mazateco, and is part of the linguist family of otomange.
The "historia Tolteca Chichimeca" narrates the travels of the Tolteca Xicalanca and it´s written in eurpeoan writting, in nahuatl and popoloca. Acording this text, the fall of Tula was due to a conflict between the two main groups. The chichimeca, who workship Tezcatlipoca, and those who workship Quetazlcoalt. From thsi text is infered that they spoke nahuatl and chocho (popoloca).
Problably the article need two sections: what we know of Tula, based on the strictly archeological record and other part about the rich mitoholgy that surrounds "Tollan", the almost mythical place fo the nahua legends, and that some autors, like Florescano, insists it has nothing to do with "tula" but with Teotihuacan, and others considered only a mithycal place,like Tamoanchan.
Of course there is a strong debate on the origin of the Tolteca. The archoelogy fins ad confluence of diferent cultures, tolteca chichimeca, otomíes and nonoualcas who were the dominant aspect (and they spoke nahuatl)(Jiménez Moreno 1990). Anoher author finds Huastec influence (X. Noguez:1995). Still another proposition is that they were originally from Cholula, and expeled by the the olmeca xicalanca, while Paul Kirchhoff propose the Olmeca Xocalanca as ancestors to the Tolteca. An interpretation of the "Anales de Cuauhtitlan" also put Cholula as the origin of the Tolteca.
I think this article need more work. I will try to get the latest works, and consult with you. ( AS you have noticed.. my english is not the best..). This will take some time... Nanahuatzin 20:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I do not agree that popoluca refer mainly to chocho. There are one present day language called popoluca and a language group called popolocan neither of them is chocho (chocho is a popolocan language as is mazateco but neither is called popoloca. popoluca is a zoquean language and not otomanguean)(obviosuly this shows that many languages were called popoloca because spaniards asked their aztec allies "what language is spoken here?" and the answer was "popoloca" a strange language. And the spansih kept that name) The florentine codex uses popoloca to describe spanish. In many modern nahuan dialects it means sensless babble. Having read at different occasions the tolteca chichimeca I dont recall seeing any chocho written in that, nor do i know of any other early sources of written chocho. Also be religious worship cannot be uswed as evidence for the toltecs speaking any language in particular. Mayans can be said to worship quetzalcoatl for example. Only they call him k'ukulka:n in yucatecan or gukumatz' in quiché: maya words with the same meaning "feathered serpent". Also the tolteca chichimeca is not a reliable historical source and should not be used as such it is a mythical relation that may or may not be based on actual historics facts and which we have to use arguments from other sources in order to use as basis for understanding of which parts are fictive and which arent.

I do agree however that the article needs more work though, and that it would be a very good idea to have a description of the strictly archeological record (although this is indeed problematic as well) and a section on the toltec as a mythological concept. Also you ar obviously aware of the problems that scientific description of the toltecs pose (anything from chochos to huastecs is proposed), there is in fact no agreement or "widely accepted standpoint" on the subject as of now, and the article does not reflect this situation. --Maunus 21:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

The "chocho" part in the Historia Tolteca Chichimeca was not recongnized originally as another language, so it was not transcribed. Walter Lehman was the first to identify it as chocho. Preus and Mengin clasified it as "popoloca choco" form the faily of the mange language. Eric Hamp considered the ngigua and the popoloca as two variants of the same langauge. Acording the article by Michael Swanton in the link i put, recently a corpus of popolocan text has been identified, although it does not mention the other texts. I am aware of the problems involved and i think those should be commented on the text, specially since some wild speculations are available in the net. Maybe i considered too seriously the myths, so i am glad you provide some healty skepticism. Nanahuatzin 02:39, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
That sounds very interesting. Could you provide some references to lehman and mengin and hamp so that I might read it for my self?

--Maunus 09:49, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

You have not produced any references to the Popoloca language reference as the language of the Toltecs. I stull don't believe you and this is also a reason for the POv-tag which is now on the article.Maunus 11:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Biased article[edit]

This article is heavily biased. It relies upon the mythical interpretations of the Aztecs and ignores much of modern archaeological and historical scholarship. It is extremely unlikely that there is any historical validity at all to Aztec historical-mythical accounts for periods prior to the Aztlan migrations (which includes most of what the Aztecs said about the toltecs, including the names of reputed Toltec kings). The justification for this statement is found in a paper in press at Dumbarton Oaks.

The notion of a "Toltec empire" is another Aztec fantasy. See this paper

See my book, The Aztecs (Blackwell, 2nd edition, 2003) for more comments on the toltecs and why Aztec accounts of toltecs are heavily biased and suspect.

-Michael E. Smith

I agree very much and it is what I have been arguing for awhile. Also it is a pleasure (and honor) to see you here. Maunus 21:04, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Dr. Smith, it is good to hear from you. You are welcome encouraged to edit the article.
I have enjoyed reading your research, much of which, I am grateful to see, is online (a treat for those like me who have limited access to an academic library). In particular, I am a big fan of your article on "City Size in Late Post-Classic Mesoamerica", in the Journal of Urban History and have cited it in several articles. Do you know of any data concerning the size of Cholula? The present Cholla article talks about "possibly . . . a population of up to 100,000 people", which seems impossibly high given the estimates in your article (above)?
In any case, I would encourage you to jump right in and edit this Toltec article (citing sources, of course, etc etc). Maunus and I and the other regulars here could use your insight. Madman 21:47, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I have added a POV tag to this article which is in fact heavily biased and completely without verification as Dr. Smith noted. The same is the case for the Pipil article which without uncontradiction advances the idea that the Pipil were descendents of Quetzalcohuatl and the Toltecs. It is amazing that it doesn't strike the Toltec'ists as a little odd how busy this Señor Ce Acatl Topiltzin must have been starting civilizations all over mesoamerica if one were to believe all the civilizations who claim to have descednded from him are to be believed unquestionedly. Maunus 11:05, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Infobox and map[edit]

I think the infobox and map which were recently added to the article are potentially misleading. As the text of the article itself notes, the concept that there was an actual and definable "Toltec state" with political hegemony has come under serious question in contemporary scholarship, if indeed the consensus has not already and conclusively shifted against this idea. For example, I would not think that many modern Mesoamericanists would be content to label Chichen Itza as a "Toltec" site, as the map currently does.

Possibly the map itself could be retained, although it would need to be recaptioned to make the point that this is only one, probably outmoded, conception of a putative Toltec sphere. I think the infobox itself should go, implying as it does that there is some unproblematic acceptance overall that an actual hegemonic state existed- contrary to the article's description of modern interpretations.

I will look to do this in the next little while, unless someone objects or comes up with an alternative proposal. --cjllw ʘ TALK 01:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Chicimec-Toltec dualism[edit]

I am curious about the statement in the article where it is stated that the Chichimecayotl is referred to as understood as the opposite (i.e. nomadic and savage) to the Toltecayotl. I'm curious of the sources grounding this perspective. That is because of a general suspiciousness of the conceptual frames by which historical accounts are interpreted. Here I intuit a colouring stemming from the rather binaristic dialectic view on history, referring to the episteme brought upon by the Hegelian or the Marxist framework. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xact (talkcontribs) 19:45, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I think the notion of there being a dualism in Aztec thought between chicimecayotl and toltecayotl has a long pedigree, one going back way before the days when Hegel and Marx were getting around in short pants. Therefore I doubt that this contrast btw the two originates from Hegelian scholarship, even given there are some modern researchers schooled in that tradition. The contrast may be found in many of the earliest sources we have.
By way of example, the opening paragraph of the 16th-century Codex Ramirez basically says that, according to their own histories the indios of New Spain consist or derive from two, quite different 'nations'—one refined and "clear-speaking", the other the "savage and barbarous" chichimeca. I've paraphrased, and the text actually uses nahuatlaca instead of tolteca, but that's the gist of it.
The same would apply for probably most other 16thC (and onwards) accounts, and AFAIK their respective and contrastive associations are consistently noted whenever one, the other or both of chichimec/toltec are mentioned. --cjllw ʘ TALK

04:07, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} hi, i think that the last part of modern toltecs is no sense, can you take it out, please, it does not write references, and has no :meaning at all, in realtion with the real arqueological study. --Ivanpares (talk) 00:33, 29 :March 2010 (UTC) Ivanpares (talk) 00:33, 29 March 2010 (UTC) please, take care of it, thank you--Ivanpares (talk) 01:56, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Not done: {{edit protected}} is not required for edits to unprotected pages, or pending changes protected pages. --JokerXtreme (talk) 05:47, 31 March 2010 (UTC)


a map would be handy. PiCo (talk) 15:38, 10 June 2011 (UTC)