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Former good article Aztec was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 26, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
February 23, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
April 17, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Talk archives[edit]

Some of the older entries in Talk:Aztec have been moved to archival subpages. The organization of these archival subpages is both chronological AND topical. This means that entries are extracted from this page and moved to an appropriate subpage according to topic AND to an appropriate subpage according to year.

Some entries have been copied to Wikipedia:WikiProject Aztec/Terminology.

It is suggested that all current discussion be restricted to this page. Please do not conduct discussion on an archival subpage as many people will watch only this page (Talk:Aztec) for new entries.

From time to time, editors may choose to move old entries from this page to an archival subpage at their discretion. It is suggested that you let entries age here for at least a month or more before moving them to the archival subpage.

If you are a new editor of the Aztec article, please review this Talk page and any relevant subpages before making edits.

In particular, you may find the Wikipedia:WikiProject Aztec/Terminology page useful as it covers a number of issues of usage such as capitalization, spelling, pronunciation, etc.


Removed text on New Spain & slavery[edit]

In restoring the article to an earlier, vandalized version and to recover some deleted passages, I (intentionally) also removed one non-vandal recent addition[1] that had replaced an earlier para, without however restoring that original para.

The original para read: <block quote>The "New Spain" of deeznutz

the 17th century was a depopulated country and many Americanism cultures were wiped out. Because of the fall of their social structure, the population had to resort to the Spanish to maintain some order. In order to have an adequate supply of labor, the Spaniards began to import black slaves; most of them eventually merged with the local population.

</block quote>

while the replacement para read: <block quote>Mexico was so densely populated, however, that a need was never felt to import slaves. As Spanish subjects, Indians could not be enslaved, and a system of required but paid labor was eventually worked out between the Crown and greedy miscomprehended. Americanism tribes had been organized into autonomous states, and when the invaders finally realized this, they used the per-existing Indian boundaries during colonial rule. Today the United Mexican States is only 9% white and 1% black, with the rest either purely Indian or mixed with Spanish — and only Spanish — according to the NIH genome studies, which can be seen on the NIH website. Today, mainland Spanish-America, North and South, is not the melting pot that the rest of the Americas are. </block quote>

I don't think that either of these versions are useful here- apart from factual concerns in each, they are really more concerned with the post-conquest / early-colonial era in general, and are not specific or meaningful to the Aztec narrative (IE, this article). "New Spain" in the Americas was more than just the former Aztec territory, and although neither of these provide sources for their contradicting statements, it's clear they are attempting to debate a much wider &mash;and later&mash; framework than the reasonable scope of this article.--cjllw ʘ TALK 07:47, 14 June 2007 (CUT)

Hi, i wrote the first sentence, about... i think three years ago, if i remember. it had a reference to studies about the "demographic catastrophe". (this is not the original reference.. i forgot what it was..)- Originally this was part of some sort of epilogue, explaining that the fall of the Aztec empire did not imply the fall of Americanism cultures. That was a different process. Probably it get orphaned. while i think it is an important point, i leave to you if it falls or no into the scope of the article. Just i wanted to comment it was not outsourced. About the second sentence, according to the "protector Mexican Del genome human" the population in Mexico has about 65% of Amerindian components and about 15-20 of African components, in total about 35 races are part of the racial make up of modern Mexico. But this is does not belong to the Aztec article...  :). Nahuatl 05:46, 11 October 2007 (CUT)

Mexicas not Aztecs!!![edit]

Mexicas was the real name of the "aztecs", from which Mexico and Mexico-Tenochtitlán have their origins. "Aztecs" was just a peyorative name, used by their enemies, meaning "the ones without face", so i suggest to leave the article with the same name as it is now. You don't believe me, check on any onjective place and you will found the truth (not just subjective and "history" places that many can consider subjective). Mexican-Sir10

  • According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, the English term "Aztec" originated in the late 18th century, derived from the Spanish "azteca", which is a transliteration of the Nahuatl "aztécatl", used by the Aztecs to identify themselves to the Spanish, and meaning "person from Aztlān". --Dystopos 22:57, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

the Aztecs also made paper mache sculptures of dogs —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

We've been down this path before, and I sincerely doubt there will be any change in consensus to move this away from Aztec, a name so firmly established ever since the historiography of the 19thC. All the various demonyms and autonyms can be (and are) cross-referenced and linked/redirected. Am sceptical about the supposed pejorative connotations.--cjllw ʘ TALK 03:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
What we must do is merge Mexica to this article. Otherwise the information is redundant. --the Dúnadan 23:05, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
CORRECT! "Mexica" is the actual name of the so-called "Aztecs". The articles should be merged. Using "Aztec" just continues the misinformation. The term "Aztec" wasn't popularized until Europeans came, and especially by Von Hagen and Lord Kingsborough of England. Just because people have an emotional attachment to the sound of the word does not make it acceptable to continue along with false information. --Dropmeoff 12:38, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
It's not a question of "emotional attachment", but one of naming the article in accordance with wikipedia's naming conventions. It can hardly be disputed that the term "Aztec" has an extremely wide currency, both in specialist and non-specialist literature.
Any concerns over "false information" can readily be addressed by noting in the text (as this article does now, albeit imperfectly) any differences and alternatives in nomenclature. The article title alone, whatever it is, is not going to resolve or provide clarity on what is 'correct' or not.
If you wanted to be even more specific, then it should properly be noted that what autonym applies varies and depends on the source, the context, the specific point-in-historical-time, and the intended scope that any particular autonymic usage applies to. "Mexica" is not the only possibility on record; others include culhua-mexica and tenochca. --cjllw ʘ TALK 02:52, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
It's hardly an emotional attachment. Based on naming Wikipedia's naming convention, the title should be Aztec. Thank you very much, Madman 23:39, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
And pray tell, what is Wikipedia's naming convention based upon, but 'concensus'. That is itself a green light for emotional attachment to the usage of "Aztec". The term Aztec has nothing to do with the facts. It has everything to do with lazy thinking and an emotional attachment to a "that's just the way we've always done it!" mentality.Dropmeoff 21:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Your demeanor, here and on your user page, shows that whatever "emotional attachment" is entailed here is entirely your own. Hardly academic, hardly objective. If you don't like wiki's guidelines, start your own.
Agree, Aztec should be the title. AlexC. ( Talk? ) 04:16, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually the term does not exist in English, if you type in MS Word, "Mexica" it thinks it's a mistake, if you research in Google, it corrects you as well, I myself don't really see the problem, things have different names in different languages, in Spanish there might be a distinction between the two terms but in English there isn't, basically everyone knows then under the name of Aztecs, if we merge the articles (which I hope we do), the name of the article should be Aztecs or Aztec Empire with a note saying that in Spanish there is also the term Mexica, but again by far most people refer to them as the Aztecs. Supaman89 17:55, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

By your own logic, the majority of the world's languages and words do not exist because they are "not in MS Word." The term "Aztec" should actually be a disambiguation of the correct term, Mexica. Ever wonder why Mexico is called Mexico and not "Azteco?"Dropmeoff 22:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I wonder why the article still names Mexicas as "Aztecs", 6 years after the renaming or merging proposal. Aztecs are not Mexicas, but people from Aztlan.Equinoxe 20:16, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

because the proposal wasnøt accepted. Mexicas and Aztecs are to different things and this one is not about the Mexicas.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:39, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

State of Mexico[edit]

I'm not sure where the best place is for this question so I'm putting it here.i know not the best idea but WHATEVER! !!!

In the State of Mexico article, another editor wrote: "There were different ethnic groups including otomies, matlazincas, mazahuas and chichimecas." All of these groups are redlinks except for the Chichimecas. Anybody know who the other groups are and whether they merit an article of their own? Or is there an article of broader scope that mentions (or should mention) these groups?

--Richard 17:23, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Richard. We have articles on these peoples at Otomi and Mazahua, and also Matlatzinca (this latter is misspelled above). There are also some articles on their languages. True enough, these groups and their related langs. are historically connected with the region now defined by the State of México. Probably, those alternate/plural names and misspelling should be turned into redirects to the existing articles.--cjllw ʘ TALK 03:17, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, thanks. Now, how about these emperors: Tlalmanalco and Opochihuacan ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richardshusr (talkcontribs) 06:01, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
And how about this text from the Toluca article?
The god Tolotzin was supposed to had his principal temple in the volcano: Xinantécatl, now known as the Nevado de Toluca, because the volcano's form suggests a sleeping god.
Who is Tolotzin and do we hae an article on him?
--Richard 07:05, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Richard. I see now these edits are associated with a Wikipedia schools and universities project, which looks to be a fine enterprise I hadn't personally been aware of.

Re the current sentence in the State of Mexico article that you are referring to:

Some of the more important Aztec emperors were Cuauhtitlan, Tezozomoc, Azcapotzalco, Tlalmanalco, Opochihuacan and Xaltocan.

All except the second of these are actually placenames of Nahua city-states (altepetl) or localities, not the names of individual rulers (and "emperor" is probably not the most appropriate title to use in this context). There are individual rulers known for these altepetls, mentioned in sources like Chimalpahin. Some are only mentioned in passing and there's not much more known about them then their names. Others prob could have at least a short article's worth of material.--cjllw ʘ TALK 14:57, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposed split[edit]

Given both the persistent naming issues and the polysemy of the name "Aztec", I think it would be a good idea to turn Aztec into a disambiguation page. Information about the empire itself can be moved to Aztec Empire; information about Aztec culture/society/civilization can go to Nahuas or Nahua people (which is the term now generally preferred by scholars); information specific to Tenochtitlan and the Mexica can go to Mexica.

As it is, this article and others alternate between using "Aztec" to mean "Nahua" and using to mean "Mexica Tenochca", in which case the Tlatelolca and the non-Mexica get left out, and this is guaranteed to be misleading to the reader.

Thoughts? --Ptcamn 03:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Your proposal makes a lot of sense from an academic's point of view but I am sorry to say that I oppose it on the grounds that it runs counter to the intuition of the lay reader (of which I am one). Rather than a disambiguation page, this title should be a summary article which "gets it right" relative to the use of the words "Aztec", "Mexica" and "Nahua". If the current version doesn't get it right, then let's fix it.
If you think that Aztec society should be moved to Nahua society with a redirect, I can see that as long as Nahua society explains why Aztec society is the same as Nahua society.
However, since the average lay reader knows nothing about Mexicana way the Aztecs called tenochticlan today as aztecsnd Nahua, it is unreasonable to throw a disambig page at him and expect him to understand what is going on. A summary article here will be much more what he/she is expecting and we can gently lead him/her to the other pages in the course of providing the summary .sacrafice the azyecs
--Richard 05:20, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean by "summary"? A summary of the use of the words "Aztec"/"Mexica"/"Nahua"? That would essentially be a verbose disambiguation page. --Ptcamn 06:16, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
No, I mean a summary article which covers the range of what people usually associate with the word "Aztec". It would be a short and concise article along the lines of what you might expect to find in some of the more lightweight encyclopedias. In the course of covering the topic, the article would educate the reader as to the "correct" usage of the words "Aztec"/"Mexica"/"Nahua" and directed to more detailed articles on each topic via the {{main}} article tag.
There's a principle or guideline somewhere that says that the first page a user sees should correspond with what they would expect to see. Putting up a disambig page is technically correct but, in practice, frustrating to the average user who doesn't really care about these technical fine points.
--Richard 06:31, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I was too lazy last night to try to find the Wikipedia guideline. It's one of the first sections in WP:DISAMBIG.
"Ask yourself: When a reader enters a given term in the Wikipedia search box and pushes "Go", what article would they most likely be expecting to view as a result? For example, when someone looks up Joker, would they expect to find information on comedians? On a card? On Batman's nemesis? On the hit song or album by The Steve Miller Band? When there is risk of confusion, the page for an ambiguous term should have a way to take the reader to any of the reasonable possibilities for that term; either the top of the page should have one or more disambiguation links, or the page itself should be a disambiguation page."
My argument is that the average reader will expect an article on what is commonly known as the Aztecs, not a disambig page. In the case above, "Joker" does not have a single domininat meaning the way "Aztec" does.
--Richard 15:06, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not a question of "correct" usage. I'm not arguing against the organization of the current Aztec article because it's "incorrect", but because it's misleading. Talking about "the rise of the Aztecs" and then going on to talk about "Aztec culture" makes it sound like the Mexica brought the Nahua culture with them. Likewise it's misleading to talk about the Spanish conquering the Aztecs, when there were "Aztecs" fighting on both sides. I'd rather frustrate the average user than misinform them. --Ptcamn 07:05, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm still not convinced that splitting the article will address these issues as much as rewriting the text would. Consider this, whether we split the article or not; the article will have to be rewritten to address these issues; why not start doing that now while waiting for others to respond?
I'm just one voice. Feel free to wait and see how other editors feel. I will abide by the consensus. (I know that this page is watched by much more knowledgeable editors whose opinions I respect)
--Richard 07:38, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
So, the proposal is such that when Joe Averageuser types in "Aztec" and hits Go then they are taken to a disambiguation page? I agree with Richard "Your proposal makes a lot of sense from an academic's point of view but I am sorry to say that I oppose it on the grounds that it runs counter to the intuition of the lay reader (of which I am one)."
I would still like to merge the "Mexica" article into "Aztec" since the "Mexica" article just duplicates what's there and there seems to be a definite consensus to do that.
These are noble attempts to provide shadings, but do not suit our clientele. Madman 13:30, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Since this issue obviously grabs you, Ptcamn, why don't you write an article describing and detailing the differences in these 3 terms (Aztec, Mexica, Nahua), with all the appropriate footnotes, citations, etc etc? Certainly that would help crystalize the matter and be a very useful addition to our body of Mesoamerican work here. Madman 15:57, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
If Mexica is merged into Aztec, then the non-Mexica information should be separated out, and "Aztec" only used in the sense of "Mexica", not "Nahua". Why should the other Nahua groups (Acolhua, Tepanec etc) get separate articles while the Mexica are merged into the general article? --Ptcamn 21:47, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
A separate Mexica article would be nice if it contained information not already in the Aztec article. It presently does not, and that is why it needs to be merged. Madman 15:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Wasn't there three groups unified in the term that has become 'Aztec'; the Mexica, Acolhua, and Tepanecs? I think they fall under "Nahua culture", but are still not the same. i think if Mexica becomes merged w/ the Aztecs, then the other two groups should as well. Xuchilbara 21:19, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

This is not a simple question. I am just as dismayed as Ptcamn by the misleading and confusing nature of the term "aztec" and its use here. While there is no doubt that it will be easier for the "lay-reader" to find and understand an article called "aztec" but there is reasonable doubt as to how far considerations of the lay-readers needs can be allowed to distort and overrule current scholarly understanding of history. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 08:28, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
That was not my intent. The "lay reader" should find an article which educates him with the current scholarly understanding of history. What I fear is that a disambig page will require him to understand the current scholarly understanding of history and most lay readers will not have that understanding.
--Richard 08:39, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Nor will be lay reader care much. Madman 15:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Which then begs the question: are we more concerned with educating the lay reader, or coddling his/her apathy? A disambig page serves to stimulate thinking in this case, whereas the lack of one discourages it (and quite bluntly, removes facts). Which is the nobler cause to serve?Dropmeoff 22:39, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
My personal opinion is that an article about "aztec"s ideally should first and foremost enable the reader to distinguish between the different groups that have been subsumed under this term - and understand why such distinctions is necessary. This can be done in two manners. One is a disambiguation page - but that will not further the readers understanding of the need to distinguish I fear, but it will be by far the easiest for us as editors. Another way is to clearly and explicitly in the article text distinguish between the groups and qualify all statements as to which of the groups they refer to. I think this second option is the best - but it is a long way away - as it is the present article and all of the "aztec" related articles simply assumes the existence of a unified aztec culture and makes sweeping generalizations about it without distinction and without citing the sources the statement is based on and to which groups they might or might not be applicable. This strategy will cost us all a huge effort in introducing responsible scholarship in the articles and pulling out swaths of unsourced, undersourced or badly sourced general statements about "aztec culture".·Maunus· ·ƛ· 08:28, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Your second approach is what I favor and what I was proposing above. Let's start by inventorying all the Aztec/Mexica/Nahua related articles and then critiquing them relative to Ptcamn's concern. Then let's come up with a plan to fix all the articles, one-by-one.
I'm OK with creating a disambig page as long as Aztec links to a real article first with a link to the disambig page at the top of it.
--Richard 08:39, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
As suggested above, I think a properly detailed and referenced article detailing the differences between the terms "Aztec", "Mexica", and "Nahua" would be a good place to start. This article could then be linked to by any number of other articles without re-inventing the wheel.
Using this standard Wikipedia technique, we won't burden each and every Aztec-related with a long Aztec/Mexica/Nahua exposition, expositons which would be difficult to keep in sync and up-to-date. Madman 15:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I am inclined to favour a split and a verbose disambiguation page at Aztec because the opposite is simply a daunting task. We are talking about scores of articles that should be completely rewritten.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:55, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Sounds reasonable to me. And I am not opposed to a verbose disambiguation page to explain the subtleties of the distinction between topics. --Dystopos 16:25, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I can live with a verbose disambiguation page per PTcamn, Maunus and Dystopos. In fact, this may be the best way to start. But I must emphasize the word "start". I don't see how having such a page would relieve us of the necessity to rewrite the existing articles. Either the use of Aztec/Mexica/Nahua is correct or it isn't. If it isn't, the disambig page won't fix the problem. It would wind up just advising the reader of the correct usage and then leave him/her to wade through the articles that will still use the terms incorrectly.
--Richard 04:37, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
That's true.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 07:53, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


In light of the naming discussion and proposed split I have been thinking of a way to organize aztec related articles in a new and better new way. I think "Aztec" should be an article dealing with the term "aztec" and its various applications with sections describing different aspects of the word each with a referral to a main article with a non-aztec name. For example a section called "Aztec language" should refer to the Nahuatl language as its main article. This will require that the material in the current aztec article is moved to other articles that are in turn renamed.

I suggest that the current Aztec Triple Alliance becomes the main article for the content of the current Aztec article. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 08:06, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I continue to think that such an article "dealing with the term 'aztec and its various applications with sections describing different aspects of the word each with a referral to a main article" is a good idea. However, titling this article "Aztec" would be a disservice to the readers looking for information on what is universally known as the Aztecs. There are over 1000 links to the present Aztec article, and the folks clicking on those links are not looking for a disambiguation page.
Remember the Wikipedia guideline WP:DISAMBIG:
"Ask yourself: When a reader enters a given term in the Wikipedia search box and pushes "Go", what article would they most likely be expecting to view as a result?" Upon typing in "Aztec", every reader will expect an article on what is commonly known as the Aztecs, not an article on the use of the term "Aztec".

We can and should have a link at the top of the present Aztec article pointing to this disambiguation page, but let's not force readers to pick thru a disamig page to get to where they want to go. Madman 12:31, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

What is it that the word "Aztec" commonly refers to? What is it that a reader would expect the Aztec article to be about? Nahua people? The Triple Alliance? Mexica-Tenochca? Late Postclassic Central Mexican Civilization? The problem here is that the entity commonly known as "The Aztecs" is not an entity at all.(Maunus writing from work) 16:07, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the answer is that "Aztec" commonly refers to a mish-mash of all of the above. Thus, the answer to your question is probably the last option "Late Postclassic Central Mexican Civilization". Whether that's a what people should think of when they hear "Aztec" is debatable. However, the real point is that most people (including me before I read about it on Wikipedia) have never heard any of these terms. The word "Aztec" is burned into our minds since we learned about them in school as children. It is a deeply ingrained concept or misconception. IMO, the article Aztec must correct this misunderstanding by explaining that "Aztec" refers to different things in different contexts and then explain what the correct terms are to describe each aspect (e.g. Nahua people, Nahuatl language, Triple Alliance, Mexica). That way, by the time the reader is reading a subsidiary article, he/she will know why the article is not titled Aztec language, Aztec Empire, etc. The lead of each subsidiary article should explain the relationship between the topic and the term "Aztec".
The lead of the Nahuatl article does an OK job of doing this except one wonders what the relationship is between Aztecs, Mexica and Nahuatl-speaking peoples. Are the Nahuatl-speaking peoples called "Nahua" of which the Aztecs are the group that dominated central Mexico? So who are the Mexicas? I believe they were the ruling subgroup of the Aztecs. Did I get that right?
--Richard 17:41, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I think the best place to start would be a "verbose disambiguation statement" that provides the best set of terms available for us to use in improving these articles. That statement could be rather lengthy, and should be cited where necessary to account for evolution of terminology and contemporary scholarly disputes. This could remain an essay at Talk:Aztec/Use of terms (or at Wikiproject:Mesoamerica, or wherever makes the most sense). Editors could be referred to that essay during discussions about article improvement. Then, assuming some consensus is established, it would be summarized in the introduction to Aztec. In the meantime, we can work on addressing ambiguous or misplaced information in the articles as best we can. --Dystopos 21:22, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I have been bold and rewritten the lead - I have tried my best to consider the layreaders needs and expectations while not compromising factuality, clarity and readability. I was suprised at how bad the lead actually was when reading through it after removing some vandalism. Please feel free to add and change where you might have good reasons to do so. I feel that if the rest of the articles were written in such a fashion the problem would be smaller.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:39, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Definitely looks better. If I find some time, I'll try to resolve redundancies with the intro and the "nomenclature" section. (I'm guessing it would be best to "introduce" the problems with nomenclature as briefly as possible in the intro, and then expand on them in the separate section) --Dystopos 22:11, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Good job, Maunus. I did some minor copyediting, primarily making a bullet-list out of one paragraph and fixed some capitalization. I also took Dystopos' advice (kinda) and moved a late "nomenclature" paragraph out of the lead and put it into the ==Nomenclature== section. Thanks, Madman 02:31, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


Was Colhua-Mexica actually used? AFAIK it's a name that was proposed by Barlow, not one that's actually attested. --Ptcamn 22:17, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I am 97% on it being attested in either Cortés' letters, Bernal del Castillo or both. I'll check tomorrow.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 22:27, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Colhua-Mexica were used bu both Cortés and Bernal Diáz (both writing culuas) as the main nomenclature for the inhabitants of the triple allaince. Cortés writing in 1523 only refers to "culuans" and not mexica.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 22:18, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I think "cul[h]ua" may also be mentioned in Duran. In Cortés' 1st and 2nd letters, as well as Diaz, they seem to identify "culua" as what they were told the 'country' was called. According to Diaz, when they interrogated the locals on the Tabasco coast where all the gold and jewels came from, their responses were "culua" and "mexico". When later Alvarado makes an inland sortie to dependent villages of Cotaxtla, Diaz says that the "culua language" was spoken there, which was "common to the allies of Mexico and Montezuma, just as Latin was formerly common to those of Rome. Whenever Culuan is connection with this country, it must be understood to refer to the subjects and vassals of Mexico."
I dunno whether the specific "culhua-mexica" phrase is reported, it may indeed be a novelty of Barlow's. Even so, I'd say culhua's amply attested as a near synonym, in use at the time. --cjllw ʘ TALK 05:08, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

"Aztec" is just lazy thinking[edit]

Per Wikipedia's naming convention, I understand that the usage of Aztec is employed due to "consensus" (read: emotional attachment to a particular term) and an attitude of "but that's just the way we've ALWAYS done it!". This "consensus" seems to be based upon what "this 19th century European" or "that 19th century European" wanted to label the Mexica. But funny how none of this "consensus" is based upon the self-definition of the Mexica themselves! Hello? This Aztec term is very lazy thinking and Eurocentric thinking at that. If you're going to stand on the consensus-writings of Cortes and other Spaniards, you'll find that none of them called them Aztecs! What about that consensus?.Dropmeoff 21:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that the term Aztec doesn't just refer to the Mexica but has been used in many other meanings many of which should also be covered in an article about the term.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 22:19, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
True. There should still be an immediate "correction" or clarification for the term (i.e. it's really Mexica, folks). For example, when I type in Burma, the article immediately let's you know that it is officially called Myanmar. Again, if this is a history article, then historical sources show that not even the Spaniards ever referred to them as "Aztec." Perhaps the term Nahua might better serve to undo the confusion between the Mexica and the other Nahuatl-speaking peoples in the region.Dropmeoff 22:31, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
So just for clarification, does the term Mexica encompass all groups who are now collectively referred to as Aztec? Or does it only represent a subgroup? Regards, AlphaEta T / C 00:14, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Most usual interpretation of mexica in historical context is restricted to the group which founded Tenochtitlan, & the descendants and institutions thereof. "Aztec" may sometimes be used in that sense, but is often intended with a wider scope, in particular (& prob. most commonly) as shorthand referring to the political "empire-like" entity and its people(s) that took form in Late Postclassic central Mexico. There are probably at least five or so distinct meanings that the term Aztec has been applied to, depending on context.
For that matter, I've also seen sources which appear to use mexica in some wider sense too, so there can also be inconsistency in the other direction. But my own assessment would be that most often, "Aztec" incorporates "mexica", rather than the other way around. --cjllw ʘ TALK 04:26, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
CJLLW's understanding closely coincides with mine.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:30, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

While I think we must eventually fix all the articles to use the terms according to current usage in academic circles, I propose we start with a single article that does nothing other than describe the usage of "Aztec", "Mexica", "Nahua(tl)" and other related terms. There should also be some historiography describing who used which terms and when. If the Spaniards didn't use the term "Aztec", what word did they use? Who introduced the word Aztec? (I think it was some British Prussian historian in the 19th century but I forget the name).

OK, I decided not to be lazy. I dug this up from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Aztec/Terminology...
The modern usage of the name Aztec as a collective term, applied to all the peoples linked by trade, custom, religion , and language to the Mexica state, the Triple Alliance, was suggested by Alexander von Humboldt and adopted by Mexican scholars of 19th century, as a way to distance "modern" Mexicans from pre-conquest Mexicans.

Maybe what I'm proposing is the "verbose disambiguation page" that we've been talking about. Maybe it's just an article in its own right.

By the way, there's a lot of good stuff in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Aztec/Terminology that could form the basis for whatever we put together.

Let's get a draft going so that we have something concrete to discuss. Once that is stable, we can formulate a plan to fix the rest of the articles.

--Richard 15:58, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

OK, being the impatient sort of guy, I'm going to start a draft at Wikipedia:WikiProject Aztec/Terminology.

Please take a look at it and critique it.

--Richard 16:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the initiative Richard, I think we may in the end need to head in that direction & have an article on Aztec-related terminology (something similar to Native American name controversy, only with a better title). That's a good start, and worthwhile; I'll probably not be online much the next couple of days, but when I get a chance I will look into it more.
I was thinking to start off with, to list the various meanings that the label aztec can be applied to. It's likely each of these properly demands their own article (some have them already), and whether or not one of them becomes the "main" article with the title Aztec, or we make Aztec a disambig page, we can assess as we work through what those terminology options are.--cjllw ʘ TALK 08:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Aztecs were sorta the nazies of the pre-colombus americas[edit]

Don't you all think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

hmm. No?·Maunus· ·ƛ· 10:32, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Just because a society is evil, doesnt mean the people in are. Take the nazi's - there were brilliant german minds mixed in with the genocidal maniacs. Same for the Communists - the Romans - the Persians - the Greeks. All were brutal in their own ways, but not neccessarily evil. The Aztecs simply had nothing else - that was how they were told they should live their lives by their ancestors. (talk) 21:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Aztec article. This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject. --Ptcamn (talk) 23:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Where are the visual arts?[edit]

The "arts" section is entirely about literature and drama; nothing on the visual arts, on which we seem to have no other article. Johnbod (talk) 15:52, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Delisting as GA[edit]

I don't think the article currently deserves its GA status. It has an incredibly messy structure that seems to be almost arbitrary - several sections don't seem to justify their own inclusion. Several important topics are cursorily treated or left out: art, social organisaton, geography, politics. And other weird topics receive too much attention such as the section on modern views. It is severely under-referenced. It has a huge linkfarm. It is poorly written, with choppy prose, sections that read like essays. It also suffers from the same problems that many published accounts of the Aztec civilization suffer from, namely an excessive reliance on the truth value of the ethnohistorical sources and a preference for presenting anecdotal material. Many images are not well chosen. In short, it is a B-class article. Being a major contributor I cannot nominate it for delisting myself - and I hereby request someone else to do it for me.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 08:59, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd be in favour of its delisting for much the same reasons, & agree a period back in the workshop for some repairs is in order. By my reading of the WP:GAR process description, although involved in its development we ought to be able to still list it there and request a reassessment / recommend its (temporary) downgrading until it can be fixed up. GAR also says "It is not necessary to go through this process unless there is a disagreement about the article's status", thus far there is none but someone may have a contrary view. Either we cld leave it a couple days and see if anyone disagrees, or alternatively just put it up on GAR anyways and see what happens. --cjllw ʘ TALK 00:34, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Aztec terminology revisited: a proposal[edit]

In order to improve the quality of coverage of Aztec related topics a major issue to resolve is the ethnic nomenclature. I hereby intend to start a discussion in order to achieve consensus about the usage of aztec related ethnonyms - this I will do by puttingforth a proposal, which can serve as a starting point for discussion. The major questions to be resolved are: choose the defininition of "Aztec" that we want to use. Construct guidelines for the usage of "Aztec", "Nahua", "Mexica" and other specific ethnonyms. My proposal is as follows:

Aztec - to be used when referring to common expressions of precolumbian Nahua culture - i.e. when referring to precolumbian nahua culture as a whole. This would mean that only things that were common for all nahua speaking groups before the spanish conquest could be called "Aztec", it would also mean that both Mexica, Tlaxcaltecs, Tlatelolca, Acolhua can be called Aztecs but only when stressing their unity with other Nahuatl speaking ethnic groups. The precedents for this usage comes from James Lockhart who uses Aztec about the precolumbian Nahua, the usage has also been adopted by Aztec specialists such as M.E. Smith.
Nahua - to be prototypically used about the colonial and modern Nahua, but also about the precolumbian culture when referring to them in capacity of speakers of the Nahuatl language.
Mexica - to refer to the inhabitants of Mexico: the island. That is the combined group of Tenochca and Tlatelolca. Also to refer to the specific group of migrating chichimeca that eventually settled in Mexico.
Tenochca - to be used when referring only to the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan, but excluding those of Tlatelolco.
Tlatelolca, Tlaxcaltec, Texcoca, Chalca, Xochimilca, Huexotzinca, Chololtec etc. To be used whenever stating something about a specific ethnic group.
(Aztec) Triple Alliance to be used instead of the "Aztec empire" when referring to the expansionist political hegemony centered in the valley of Mexico.

This usage would mean that we could say that the organisation of Altepetl into Calpultin, and the venerance of Tezcatlipoca where typical of the Aztecs. That the situation became difficult for the Nahua with the decree of the royal cedula of 1770. That the Mexica were the dominant group in the triple alliance. That the Tenochca were dependent on the market of the Tlatelolca. And that the Tlaxcaltecs were at war with the triple alliance, and that the Chololtecs paid tribute to it.

Anyone interested please comment at : Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mesoamerica#Aztec_terminology_revisited:_a_proposal instead of here.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 08:36, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


I Think this page needs to talk more about the Aztec Emperors and what each one of them did to help or mess up the Aztec Empire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cisco Aztec (talkcontribs) 04:26, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Each of these so-called Emperors has their own article, and so it would be best to have detailed information there and allow this article to focus on the broader areas. Madman (talk) 22:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)


The ornament of the turquoise double-headed snake has often been interpreted as Quetzalcoatl or one of its forms. I was confused when I saw that it was described as simply a chest-ornament. Does anyone know if there is truth to the idea that this creature is Quetzalcoatl? I have heard it several times HopieG (talk) 18:16, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Not sure, HopieG. Of course, Wikipedia requires references and citations, and we're not allowed to speculate, so we'd have to find some authority who would refer to this particular serpent as Quetzalcoatl before we could label it as such here. Thanks, Madman (talk) 22:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

In order to unify the names of Maya civilization, Inca and Aztec a consensus has been reached on WikiProject History to rename the articles to Maya civilization, Inca civilization and Aztec civilization. If you have any new suggestions, feel free to discuss.--  LYKANTROP  09:38, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

This article doesn't belong to WP:History. If they want to move it it will have to be proposed and discussed here on this page. I can see several reasons why naming it "Aztec civilization" could be said to be misleading. If I remember correctly the age was moved from Aztec civilization to the present location by a consensus - arguments could be found in the talk page history.·Maunus·ƛ· 11:06, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
WikiProject History is "dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to history" so I do not understand where is the problem. I am proposing it and discussing it here at the moment. The article was moved from "Aztecs" to "Aztec" some time ago. Discuss please. Thanks--  LYKANTROP  13:17, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
It would have been a problem if there was a belief amongst WP:History members that decisions made on their project pages by a small group of editors constituted a consensus to move pages without discussing it with the broader community of editors of those articles. Your initial comment made me believe that this was the case, but your explanation now makes me see that it is not. Before any discussion begins I suggest you tag the article and its talkpage with a move request so that all interested editors can be involved in the decisionmaking. I suggest that you also post notifications on the project pages of WP:Aztec, WP:Mesoamerica and WP:Indigenous peoples of the Americas. ·Maunus·ƛ· 13:35, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Allright, good idea! I asked on Talk:Inca, WikiProject Indigenous peoples of North America, WikiProject History (again), WikiProject South America and here. I think that the best place for those two discussions is WikiProject Mesoamerica. So lets discuss both moves there..  LYKANTROP  15:02, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Knowledge of Europe[edit]

I cancelled the sentence because it's impossible: Aztecs didn't know Europe. They even didn't know it existed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I think you've misunderstood. The phrase "Aztec informants" mentioned in that sentence refers to 16thC Nahua informants who Sahagun and other Spanish chroniclers interviewed to obtain info about their culture. Accounts like Sahagun's were compiled decades after the conquest, so the local people certainly did know about Europeans by that time.
However, it's not clear to me which section in the Florentine Codex that piece is located, or whether it reflects it accurately. It needs a specific reference. --cjllw ʘ TALK 06:28, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia 0.7 clean up[edit]

Hi, Somebody's gotta fix all the errors in this article! Cortez is Cortes, not Cortez! I'm hoping to clean up the WP:ETHNIC articles included in Wikipedia 0.7 (listed here). I'm gonna ask for a few of them to be rmvd from the list, and then try to improve the rest... This article is on the list, and I'm friends with some WP:MESO folks, so this article is as good a place as any to start. Anybody else interested? Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 04:57, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I have long had it on my to-do list. Literally. I'll help out as much as my time permits me. Before you go ahead please check out this discussion: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mesoamerica#Aztec_terminology_revisited:_a_proposal·Maunus·ƛ· 04:59, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I'll do my best to follow the terminology guidelines, and hope that you'll graciously correct any errors I may make. Later Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 06:13, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Good luck, Ling. As I've discussed with CJLL, it's easier to write a whole new article and get it flagged as Good than it is to straighten out most existing ones. This one certainly needs to be cleaned-up and I'll likewise help when I can. If you want to assign me a section, for example, I could work on that. Madman (talk) 11:50, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

(Undent) Hey I think Maunus just requested that Quetzalcoatl, Aztec mythology, Aztec, and Aztec calendar be rmvd from the 0.7 disc, recommending Aztec religion and Tezcatlipoca in their stead. That kinda rmvs my current drive to improve the article, as well... Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 11:57, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I must admit that I don't know much about this 0.7 project and that I acted completely unilaterally. But I just had to respond that those articles were not very well chosen. The Aztec article has by consensus been decided to become a disambiguation page - making Aztec culture and Aztec empire the new main articles for Aztec. I think one of those should be added instead and that making the split and building up the new articles should be what we do in this improvement drive. As for quetzalcoatl and aztec mythology those articles have so severe problems that I just thought choosing other similar ones might be better. Feel free to disagree with my comments on the 0.7 page or to disregard them. However I would very much like to colaborate with you on improving the aztec related content following thre guideline we have decided on in Project Mesoamerica.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:40, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm always happy to jump in. Just point me to the article to work together on. :-) But I'm also doing many things now; I'm trying to AWB sweep the entire 30,000+ articles in Wikipedia 0.7. I've also got issues at Oprah Winfrey and List of Basques to attend to.... many things to do ;-) Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 05:03, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Verification of removals[edit]


I've just found out that 2 paragraphs of the Cuisine section have been deleted since the end of june :

  • A study by Ortiz de Montellano[1]shows a mean life expectancy of 37 (±3) years for the population of Mesoamerica. After the Spanish conquest, some foods were outlawed, particularly amaranth because of its central role in religious rituals. There was less diversity of food, which led to chronic malnutrition in the general population.

  • The only domesticated animals known to the Aztecs were dogs and turkeys which were also both consumed. The Mesoamerican, as well as the modern, domesticated turkey is a descendant of the Wild Turkey of the Americas, rather than the Ocellated Turkey which is found in far southern Mexico. Mesoamerican cultures relied on the turkey (Mexican Spanish guajolote, from Nahuatl huexolotl) as a major source of protein (meat and eggs), and utilized its feathers extensively for decorative purposes. The turkey was associated with their trickster god Tezcatlipoca,[2] perhaps because of humorous aspects of its behavior. Turkeys were taken to Europe by the Spanish, where they also became popular as a domesticated animal.

  1. ^ Medicina, Nutrición y Salud Aztecas, 1997
  2. ^ "Ancient North & Central American History of the Wild Turkey". Retrieved 2007-12-21. 

Has any explanation been given to these removals?

El Comandante (talk) 15:53, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Looking back seems this was done by this anon's edit, a piece of unexplained deletion/likely vandalism that slipped through. Unfortunate, but given barely a day goes by without some pointless defacement of the article, something hard to avoid completely.
They could probably be reinserted, but would rather see them reworked. The 3 sentences in the 1st para don't really follow one another. In the 2nd para, we could do with much better and reliable sources than the wildturkeyzone website.--cjllw ʘ TALK 00:51, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that it's a strange way to implement the Be bold guideline, but I don't know enough the customs of the english wikipedia to assess if it's normal or not. El Comandante (talk) 18:41, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Epidemic and death[edit]

I didn't know of another place to put my suggestion to improve this article, so I'm writing it here for someone knowledgeable about this page to consider including in their next update. I occasionally come to Wikipedia to check up on a quick topic, but I don't edit anything, hence my post.

I just saw a National Geographic TV special on the epidemics that swept through the Aztec Empire during the 16th century. Contrary to what I believed, the experts explained that the Aztecs did not die from smallpox (or other disease brought over from Europe) but rather from Hantavirus, a very virulent and deadly virus, that coincidentally happened to strike at the same time as the Spanish were arriving. They described and showed what seemed to be convincing evidence from a group of scholars. I noticed that your article contains only the reference to smallpox and thought you might consider this alternative helpful in improving the article.

There are several episodes airing until Nov 20, 2008 should you be interested and read my post in time.

I found some links on Google about this topic, but a layman's focused book written on the subject of the epidemics and including the Hantavirus-Aztec infection would be the most convincing that this is not just fringe or exclusively scholarly thinking. (The specific discussion about Hantavirus in the book is contained in the reviews section of the page.)

Hope you found this helpful and thanks for all the great work. (talk) 11:49, 15 November 2008 (UTC)Charles

hello i would like to know what was the aztecs population like ? thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The First Aztecs were like what? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

See also

--Pawyilee (talk) 11:16, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


Now I understand what it happens to this cheap work, for not consulting specialists .. even the simple elemental facts, like "THE LAST EMPEROR CUITLAHUAC" HAHA .. SIC AND RESIC !! .. Yre really something .. making hollywood movie tales?. Wikipedia .. becoming weakipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siniestra (talkcontribs) 01:15, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

The Aztecs are not a Hollywood fairytale and it was not based on National Geographics. CPGirlAJ (talk) 22:03, 26 October 2011 (UTC)


Hey, somebody, sorry about this big mess on the article but could you please delete it after you read it? The guy's name is Cortes, not Cortez! Somebody fix it! I can't, because I don't have the special permissions. Again, sorry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

If you don't have a Wikipedia account, you can create one for free. You don't even need to provide an email account. If you want to change parts of an article you can change it, but not without an account. CPGirlAJ (talk) 21:49, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

New vector maps[edit]


The french graphic lab have just created 2 interesting vector maps : File:Basin of Mexico 1519 map-en.svg and File:Aztec Empire 1519 map-fr.svg (not completely finished nor translated to english yet).

We tried to use reliable and recent sources, that are indicated in the description page of these files.

I hope it will be helpful for the english Wikipedia too.

El Comandante (talk) 22:44, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Very nice maps they are too! I'm sure they will be of great use. Regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 22:46, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Excellent maps!·Maunus·ƛ· 09:26, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I have initiated the long planned cleanup and rewrite of the Aztec article. For those who wish to follow my plans I am working primarily on a rewrite at User:Maunus/Aztec. I have chosen this model since the article needs a complete restructuring. Contributions in my sandbox are welcome.·Maunus·ƛ· 09:57, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Request for permission to edit[edit]


Please grant me authority to edit this page. I found several items irrelvant as well as unincluded items Themes- Religions and complex beliefs

Importance of sacrificing:Italic text

Aztecs treated sacrificing as a part of their beliefs though Spaniards were disgusted as they regarded it as ‘’barbaric’’. Blood was seen as an essential and ubiquitous liquid to all, people were expected to sacrifice their blood. They saw how earth-gods provided crops while sky-gods sent rain. According to their beliefs, they must feed their gods through the process of sacrificing. They believed that the sacrifices would strengthen their Gods.
What are the tools/procedures used it sacrifice?

Flint knife: equipped with a mosaic handle, used to sacrifice people to Gods. Altar: Aztecs sacrifice victims on them. Great Temples were established in Tenochtitlan, their capital city. Human and animal sacrifices were carried out at the two shrines on the top of the building, some 30 meters from the ground!

If prisoners are captured in a battle, they would be taken to temples for sacrifice by the priests*.Their beating heart would then be removed after using a sharp knife to open his chest. Sacrificing may be worst for some as the remains of the poor victims were eaten as a holy meal. Arms and legs were fed while the torso was fed to animals in a noble zoo, the Aztecs practiced cannibalism.
Victims of sacrifice are…?Italic text
Prisoners-of-war and slaves were most often sacrificed! Some 50,000 were sacrificed each year! Women were victims too. Horribly, children were offered to the gods too in the belief that their tears would guarantee a good rainfall for crops in the fields. Especially, once archaeologists uncovered bones and skulls of 42 children who proved to be fragile and weak before death, inside the Great Temple in a heap! Could it be that Aztecs only leave the strong and fit to survive? Numerous gods? Complex religions?

The Aztecs had numerous gods and main gods of conquered cities were added, their gods were constantly adding. They saw it as increasing the power of their empire. They were outlawed by Spaniards due to the fact that they were totally opposed to how the Aztec belief worked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aztec project (talkcontribs) 06:10, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Which sources are you going to use for your edits?·Maunus·ƛ· 07:28, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. SpigotMap 21:21, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Worldmuseumofman, 25 June 2010[edit]


I wish to make a suggestion for an external link to for a display of "Aztec Tools and Weapons"

Worldmuseumofman (talk) 03:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

 Done--Forty twoYou talkin' to me? 08:00, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

POV: Vision of an eagle[edit]

This is stated in the article as fact:

In 1323, the Mexicas were shown a vision of an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus, eating a snake. This vision indicated that this was the location where they were to build their home. In any event, the Mexicas eventually arrived on a small swampy island in Lake Texcoco where they founded the town of Tenochtitlan in 1325. In 1376, the Mexicas elected their first Huey Tlatoani, Acamapichtli, who was living in Texcoco at the time.

What the heck? Does that kind of thing happen in real life? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 15 November 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}}

add a religion (talk) 04:18, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Already done Please note that there is not only a section in this article titled "Mythology and religion" (currently section 3.5 in the Table of Contents), that section provides a link to the more in-depth articles Aztec religion and Aztec mythology. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:04, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

First sentence[edit]

The first sentence says "was one of two Nahua states" but I see no place in the article here precisely two states are named.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

This was a fairly recent edit and is uncited - I assume that the other state would be Tlaxcala, but this really needs clarifying and a citation, in any case Tenochtitlan was the dominant city, so I've restored the previous text. In any case, the previous version of the text does not preclude there being two, or more, states. Simon Burchell (talk) 11:50, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

The Aztec Kings/Rulers[edit]

Is there a article where it talks about all of the Aztecs kings/rulers? If there isn't, I think you should create an article like that. CPGirlAJ (talk) 22:05, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

There are lists for the individual city-states of the Aztec Triple Alliance: List of Tenochtitlan rulers, List of rulers of Texcoco and List of Tlatelolco rulers. jonkerz ♠talk 16:27, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

File:AztecSerpent.JPG Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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This is Bot placed notification, another user has nominated/tagged the image --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 21:57, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

not capitalist because land and labor were not commodities?[edit]

Michael Smith is hardly an expert in capitalism, and basis of this claim does not make sense, since commoditisation of land and labor is not a defining characteristic of capitalism. Could capital equipment like tools, machines, boats, nets, looms, etc be privately owned and sold, would be more defining. Why mention capitalism at all when the markets are so regulated and tribute plays such a big part that it is unclear whether classification as a market economy is justified. The mention of capitalism seems gratuitious. -- (talk) 09:10, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I've removed the comparison with capuitalism which I agree is kind of gratuitous. I've kept the mention that land and laboer was not commodified.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:59, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

On Cannibalism[edit]

The statement about cannibalism does not make any sense as a rider to the previous sentence: "The sheer logistics associated with sacrificing 84,000 victims would be overwhelming, and historians and archaeologists agree that 2,000 is a more likely figure. A similar consensus has developed on reports of cannibalism among the Aztecs." What is this supposed to mean? That claims of cannibalism among the Aztecs are exaggerated? If that is the case, it makes no sense in an article that makes a mere passing reference to cannibalism, "In his book, Capitan Bernal Díaz del Castillo provides his account of the Conquest of Mexico, in which he describes the events leading up to the conquest of Mexico including accounts of the human sacrifices and cannibalism that he witnessed first hand." Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 20:06, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Sheer impossibility!!!![edit]

Should "sacrificed ... by Ahuitzotl ... himself", not read something like **on the orders of** or **in hommage to** or something? "in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed 84,400 prisoners over the course of four days, reportedly by Ahuitzotl, the Great Speaker himself." Presuming that this guy also sept, ate, rested, etc and killed for 8 hours a day, this works out to killing 44 people a MINUTE, one every 1.3 seconds!!!! He must have had a real deadly stare!!!! I am also curious as to why would the emperor do the dirty work himself? Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 21:24, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Meanwhile, I came across this, Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 21:25, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Physical characteristics[edit]

I removed the recently inserted section on physical charcteristics because it was based on some very problematic assumptions that contradict both current knowledge and approaches to the study of the Aztecs. 1. since there is no well defined criteria of what Aztec means and who is or was an Aztec that means that there is no basis for describing Aztec appearances. 2. even if the aztecs were a well defined ethnic group they would not have been phenotypically homogeneous or phenotypically distinct from surrounding ethnic groups. 3. the assumption that ethnicity correlates well with physical phenotype is a relic of the racial anthropology of the 1930s - it has no place in contemporary approaches to the study of ethnic groups. 4. it was based on a problematic unreliable source (a children's book) and the anonymous conqueror a 15th century eyewitness source, which of course is a subjective impression. The two sources even contradict eachother as one calls the Aztecs short and the other tall.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:09, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico.[edit]

Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico.PDF that I just cited has more details in support of an indigenous cause that could be included, but I'll wait for other editors to read it and chime in. I first read of this alternate explanation in the works of Charles C. Mann, and was reminded of it by current outbreaks of diseases aggravated by similar drought conditions north of the Mexican border. --Pawyilee (talk) 10:57, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

That is definitely a reliable source. The author's credentials are good, his arguments made sense and the paper has been cited by more recent scholarly papers.--Ephert (talk) 11:12, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
It is an interesting theory but fairly speculative. But the summary here misrepresents the papers conclusions: it specifically says that a hantavirus is unlikely and that an arenavirus is a more likely cause for cocoliztli. It also says that what left the indigenous population susceptible to viral diseases was the generally poor health conditions caused by slavery like conditions under the encomienda - an important part to include because indigenous disease eplanations are often used to excuse Spanish conquest as unresponsible for the population decline. The material also doesn't really fit in this article since this article is specifically about the Aztecs, not about the general causes of the 16th century population decline. I would suggest adding the material (rewritten to reflect the conclusions of the cited article) to the article Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, where it seems to fit better. The section in this article should describe the effects of the depopulation on the desintegration of the Aztec political organization, not speculate about the causes.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:11, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Good call. In fact, it's already there. --Pawyilee (talk) 17:38, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Aztec Food[edit]

My name is Le9911. I am studying this topic in school and if anyone knows what food they ate please use this talk page to contact me as it will be helpfull in my studies. Thankyou.lwhite 12:05, 30 September 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Le9911 (talkcontribs)

We have an article on Aztec cuisine.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

aztecs liked to eat corn — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jjhoran (talkcontribs) 20:21, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Last Aztec Couple[edit]

That image of the last full-blooded Aztec couple cannot be taken seriously. Apart from the fact that there are still full blooded people of Aztec descent (and they look nothing like those in the picture), the source is a revisionist, Afro-centric website . It really needs to be removed.§ Ausíhar (talk) 05:19, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct; I've removed it. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:20, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Revisionist history here; total lack of mention of the Maya peoples[edit]

The Aztec people pursued genocide against the Mayans in a most horrible way, why is this not mentioned? The Mayans are only worth a footnote here?!?!? The only thing that stopped the genocide was when they finally met an enemy even stronger, with weapons several orders of magnitude stronger than their own, and this enemy then divided up their territory and imposed new systems of government upon them. (Hey, that happened in Europe, too!) Zaphraud (talk) 05:09, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but that's simply not true. What are your sources for that claim? Simon Burchell (talk) 11:29, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 3 August 2013[edit]

Many thanks for doing this so swiftly! All good wishes. IanIanmursell (talk) 09:12, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Please note that the URL for the first external link listed on this page ('Aztecs at Mexicolore') is now out of date and we would be most grateful if you could change it. The Mexicolore site now has permalinks, with a new URL for the Aztecs homepage, which is Thank you. Ian Mursell, Director, Mexicolore, London. Please verify the new URL by following it to check it. The site remains a prime source of information on the Aztecs for young and old. If you have any queries, I can be contacted via the Mexicolore contact page. Ianmursell (talk) 14:41, 3 August 2013 (UTC) Ianmursell (talk) 14:41, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for alerting us to the change.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:12, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

the aztecs ate rocks and they tasted like steak — Preceding unsigned comment added by Breath123 (talkcontribs) 22:42, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

The Aztec Civilization NOT the Aztec Empire[edit]

Aztecs did not create an Empire. Incas in the other hand did. The difference is that and Empire, (just like the Roman Empire) is created by taking and adding land after a conquest to their land. Aztecs did not do that. They did not take land away from other groups after a war. They asked for a tribute but did not ruled or take their land away. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bdelrocio (talkcontribs) 20:07, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes they did. Their type of empire was called a hegemonic empire, as opposed to the territorial empire that you seem to be thinking of. Also the notion that they didnt directly rule over conquered states was often tenuous. They frequently forced conquered rulers to send their children as hostages to Tenochtitlan and to marry daughters or sisters of the Aztec ruler, they also often resettled members of their own group to conquered territory. And they had fortifications in buffer provinces. And it was certainly not a very wise decision to refuse paying tribute unless you were willing to defend your lands and lives. You should read some of Michael E Smith's work which compares the Aztec empire with other empires world wide. To conclude one may say that in the description "Aztec empire" it is the "aztec" part and not the "empire" part that is most problematic for contemporary scholars.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:04, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Add to Agriculture section[edit]

Could someone please add to the agriculture section of the article? It states the different types of agriculture that existed, but they are not described or hyperlinked.

Thanks guys,

Ryan5685 (talk) 00:14, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 October 2014[edit]

can i please edid (talk) 14:17, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Not done This is not the right page to request additional user rights.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request. - Arjayay (talk) 15:00, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 April 2015[edit] (talk) 22:02, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Stickee (talk) 23:13, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Changing Aztec to Mexica[edit]

Maunus, you've uploaded two of the affected images. Does this change make sense to you? --NeilN talk to me 00:44, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

No, this is not the general usage, just the usage of some modern day "Mexica" cultural activists. Specifically Sta. Cecilia Acatitlan was not "Mexica" but more likely Tepanec. The Fejervary Mayer is probably from Veracruz which would most likely make it Nonoalca. But the convention and general usage is to refer to the general precolumbian post-Classic central Mexican cultural complex as "Aztec" since it is usually not meaningful or possible to distinguish between individual "ethnic groups" among the Nahua and related groups in that period.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much for your input. --NeilN talk to me 02:17, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Year of establishment[edit]

Currently, Aztec is a member of Category:States and territories established in 1325 (and I think it should be with Category:1325 establishments) but 1325 seems to be the year that Tenochtitlan was founded not necessary the people. Presuming a people can be founded in some way, would 1323 and the start of the vision be the better place to say that the Aztec people was sort of founded (with the state/populated place of Tenochtitlan being 1325)? Or should we just go with 14th-century broadly? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 23:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm not an expert on the Aztec, but by my reading there is no singular event that defines the beginning of the Aztec people or culture (unlike the events of 1520-21, including the smallpox epidemic, that led to the destruction of Tenochtitlan and rapidly to the end of the empire and most of its people). The establishment of Tenochtitlan was unquestionably a key event in the development of the Aztec empire, but I'd argue that the people who became the Aztec existed well prior to this and there should neither be no specific date of "establishment" for the Aztec, and that, yes, the other category is probably inappropriate here also (it is entirely appropriate at Tenochtitlan). Dwpaul Talk 23:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd still lean towards the year of the alleged vision as I imagine that, if we were discussing a religion, that would be it's starting point. I'm leaning against any state or territory category as it wasn't a state or a territory (Tenochtitlan and the empire areas should have those). On the other hand, according to Aztlán#Legend, the if we were looking at when the people (again, they don't even consider themselves a singular people really) started their migration down towards Tenochtitlan, the starting point would possibly be back in 1054 but that isn't sourced. According to History_of_the_Aztecs#Arrival_in_the_Valley_of_Mexico, the first settlement was Chapultepec around 1248. Look at es:Mexica, for what that's worth, there's no year at all included. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 03:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think it makes sense to have a "founded" parameter. This is about a broad cultural tradition, or an ethnic group, not something that it makes sense to say has an establishment or a founding event.04:46, 23 May 2015 (UTC)·maunus · snunɐɯ·

Someone fix this[edit]

This sentence under the pictures of the Mexican seal and flag is all fucked up. "The action that originates the founding of Tenochtitlan according to a legend as depicted on Mexico's two of its national symbols" It should probably say 'as depicted on two of Mexico's national symbols' or something. Just, you know, it needs fixin'. (talk) 13:37, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. --NeilN talk to me 13:45, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 October 2015[edit]

Please link the word derived from "macehualtin" to the following page <> to encourage further connective research TabithaChasse (talk) 03:01, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

 Done Another editor has done so. General Ization Talk 04:07, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 November 2016[edit]

The first sentence could have neater syntax. Please Change to "The Aztecs were an ethnic group native to central Mexico.

Hkbee1984 (talk) 15:36, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

That would be wrong. They were a group of ethnic groups.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:37, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Title and Scope[edit]

The current title is problematic because it doesn't adequately define its scope - the definition claims that the article is about an "Aztec people", but it is not clear what such a people would be: it is not just Nahua people since generally the term Aztec refers specifically to those Nahua people who participated in creating the Aztec state - and also often to non-Nahua people who lived in the state. So basically we need separate articles for the following topics all of which are somehow compounded into this article: 1. Aztec empire or Aztec state. 2. Aztec civilization or Aztec culture (if we understand Aztec culture to be a part of a wider Central Mexican or Mesoamerican post-classical Civilization). 3. Aztec peoples (including the varoius ethnic groups mentioned as Aztecah in the ethnohistorical migration sources).

I would suggest renaming this article "Aztec culture" and defining it as "Aztec culture was a Mesoamerican culture which flourished in Central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300-1521, during the time in which a triple alliance of the Mexihcah, Texcocah and Tepanecah establised" the Aztec empire."·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:44, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Sounds sensible. Simon Burchell (talk) 16:01, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

We already have an article on the Aztec Empire. Dimadick (talk) 18:01, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Hey I'm working on this site for a college assignment to add new information about the Aztec's civilization — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramon027 (talkcontribs) 17:38, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Great, it certainly needs improvement. Let us know if you need help or advice with formatting or sources.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:46, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 May 2017[edit]

whats the fox say — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Heads of Women and Children at Templo Mayor[edit]

According to BBC and Reuters as well as other news sources, archaeologists at Tenochtitlan's Templo Mayor have uncovered a large tzompantli which contains many heads of women and children. This finding seems to undermine the claim that human sacrifice by Aztecs was only of enemy warriors. I hope a Wikipedia editor can find a way of incorporating these new facts in the section on human sacrifice, which does not seem to me to allow that women and children would have been sacrificed. (talk) 18:21, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't think anyone has made that claim, it is well documented that women and children were also sacrificed in certain ritual contexts. That does not mean that the majority of sacrificial victims were probably war captives.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:20, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Agreed about the facts! But there are academics giving interviews and writing papers, even archaeologists, making claims like this: "The people who were killed were men who fought in various battles." [2] Clearly, this is incorrect and yet, there it is. (talk) 13:28, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Do scholars agree that cannibalism was part of ritual observance? "Yes", it seems...[edit]

Hi Wikipedia editors, it looks like the section on human sacrifice is trying to distract the reader from authoritative answers to the question, "did the Aztecs eat people?" The paragraph mentions the 1970s scholarship which relied entirely on contemporary Spanish accounts, and then Wikipedia says that more recent scholarship kind of debunked those accounts. As for current scholarship, such as David Carrasco's book City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization (1999), this is what wikipedia says: "Today many scholars point to ideological explanations of the practice, noting how the public spectacle of sacrificing warriors from conquered states was a major display of political power, supporting the claim of the ruling classes to divine authority." This sentence is ambiguous about what portion of the Spanish accounts is still being debated... is the debate in whether cannibalism was practiced at all? how often cannibalism was practiced? whether cannibalism was practiced only by elites vs by anybody with access to the religious feasts? ...or do scholars agree upon the other facts so constantly that there's only room for debate regarding cannibalism's utility in theology vs politics? Current scholar Barry L. Isaac says in "Cannibalism among Aztecs and Their Neighbors: Analysis of the 1577-1586 'Relaciones Geográficas' for Nueva España and Nueva Galicia Provinces." ... "... the determined doubter is unlikely ever to accept ethnohistorical data in proof of cannibalism as an empirical phenomenon."(p.220) [3] But is wikipedia in the business of acting as a determined doubter when it comes to ethnohistorical data which is acknowledged both sides of a given debate? (talk) 14:50, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't think there is any legitimate doubt that they did, I will tweak the section.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:13, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I suggest adding a reference to Barry Isaac's work to solidify current scholarship on this controversial subject. (talk) 16:18, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I added references to both his articles on the topic.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:48, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 July 2017[edit]

There is a spelling error:

Done jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 23:00, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

Trade and distribution[edit]

Diorama model of the Aztec market at Tlatelolco

Products were distributed through a network of markets, some markest specialized in a single commodity...

It should read "some MARKETS specialized" instead of "some MARKEST specialzed". (talk) 22:56, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Typo in Colonial Indigenous Governors section[edit]

It says Esteban de Guzmán (1554-1457), so the 1457 should be changed to 1557. Stuartb76 (talk) 20:21, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Fixed. General Ization Talk 00:10, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 September 2017[edit]

Please I have amazing info I have just discovered and i cant share it here yet or people will hunt me down for this information. THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW Jpb1298 (talk) 19:30, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. General Ization Talk 19:35, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Linking to Aztec society article[edit]

I was wondering if it would be a good idea to link this article to the Aztec society article? Throughout this article I noticed the phrase "Aztec society" mentioned a lot, I'm just unsure of the best place to provide the link would be. Any thoughts or recommendations? Tdbdh4 (talk) 23:22, 9 November 2017 (UTC)


I would add some info regarding the Aztec peoples. From migration history, the first Aztecs began to arrive in Mexico from the north, sometime around the year 1000AD. For, they had been living in the area of Midwest US. On the east side of the Mississippi. From Wisconsin in the North, to Tennessee in the South. As said, this is from migration histories. For the Aztecs can be traced all the way back to the "mixed multitude" of the time of Israel's leaving Egypt. They first settled in Turkey at Troy. They lost a war around 1200 BC, and had to migrate. They settled in Eastern Europe for some 600 years, until the Assyrians begin to enter the area, after their defeat at the hands of the Babylonians. The mixed multitude then migrated all the way to the New World, settling first in East Canada. In the area where Montreal is today. There was a migration of the first "native Americans around 325 AD. This is what forced them to move to the Midwest USA. They built all of the "mounds", and the names of Cairo, Ind, and Memphis, TN came from their history. Then around 1000 AD a second migration of "native Americans" came from the East. This forced the first migrants to move west. Causing the mixed multitude to pack up. And, thus they came to Mexico. Which area had first been settled by their early Egyptian ancestors around 1000 AD. Or, the Mayans.

Ray E. Daly <> — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 16 December 2017 (UTC)