Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

The Mythology of Tenochtitlan

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

In its prime, Tenochtitlan was one of the biggest, richest, and most powerful cities in the world. From its founding in 1325 to its capture by the Spanish in 1521, Tenochtitlan served as the political, economic, and religious nerve center of the Aztec empire. Experts believe that around 200,000 people lived there. It also played an important role in the Aztec cultural identity and mindset, due to its presence in Aztec creation mythology.

The Aztecs believed that they emerged from the earth through seven caves. At that time, they settled in an area called Aztlán. This was the mythical origin place of the people, and its name means "the place of herons." After living in Aztlán, they migrated south looking for a sign indicating where they should resettle.

According to Aztec legend, the Sun God and patron deity of the Aztecs, Huitzilopochtli, led his people out of Aztlán to find a new place to settle and call home. His sister, Malinalxochitl, had come along, but Huitzilopochtli abandoned her along the journey. Angered by Huitzilopochtli's desertion, she later sent her son, Copil, on a mission to exact revenge. Ultimately, Huitzilopochtli killed Copil after a battle and cast his heart into Lake Texcoco. He then ordered the Aztecs to search for the lake containing Copil's heart and build their city atop it. Their sign would be an eagle perched on a cactus, eating a snake.

As Huitzilopochtli guided the Aztecs further south, they eventually came upon a lake with an island. On this island sat an eagle on a cactus, eating a snake. This sight fulfilled the prophecy for the Aztecs, and so they decided to erect a temple there. This structure eventually grew into the entire great city of Tenochtitlán. The image of the eagle and the snake is pictured to this day on the Mexican flag.

According to the known historical data, the Aztecs did migrate from the northernmost part of Mexico to the central plateau. However, the precise location of the area called Aztlán is still unknown. There is also debate as to whether it was a place of paradise or peril, as sources conflict on the subject.

The city of Tenochtitlán was built though the wealth that the Aztecs gained from conquering various civilizations. The name Tenochtitlán comes from the Nahuatl (indigenous language of the Aztecs) words for "rock" and "prickly pear" and means, "among the prickly pears [growing among] rocks."

Construction of the city began almost immediately. All of the structures and important areas were laid out on a grid. The city contained aqueducts, geniously networked streets and canals. In the center of the city lay the Sacred Precinct, and it was where religious ceremonies took place. The Sacred Precinct alone could hold about 8,000 people and it contained aviaries, gardens and zoos.

Aside from the stories about their god Huitzilopochtli and his assistance guiding them south, the Aztecs had many other myths and legends that were integral to their culture. In fact, they recognized over 100 deities and supernatural creatures. Because Tenochtitlán was such an epicenter of Aztec civilization, it is interesting to learn that the site and its founding was central in one of their earliest myths.

Ecela's Spanish language schools include cultural backgrounds such as the above as you study Spanish abroad.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

 
0
 
0
 
Rate this Article
 vote(s)
Feedback
Print
Re-Publish

Article Tags:

Spanish Language Schools

,

Study Spanish Abroad

,

Learn Spanish Abroad

Teenage rebellion is easier to tolerate in book or film form. Take a look back at some of the most well known and loved "coming of age" stories set in boarding schools.

By: Harvey McEwan l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 445

An important thing you have to consider before working out is having a pair of great training shoes. You cannot immediately undergo any physical training wearing inappropriate footwear. If you do so,

By: Steve Hill l Recreation & Sports l July 10, 2012 lViews: 349

Granite is one natural stone that is used for several purposes from dimension stone to countertops to sculptures. The use of granite for building the temples and monuments was initiated millions

By: Steve L Patterson l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 298

Up to 65,000 H-1B visas for new employment may be issued each fiscal year (FY) for professional workers, including medical providers. In general, a person who already has an H-1B and applies for

By: Ann Badmus l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 309

Beside coin shooting, gold detecting or the many other things you can do with your metal detector. There is a large group of people who take their metal detector out looking for old stuff. Not just

By: Candy L Lindsey l Recreation & Sports l July 07, 2012 lViews: 293

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking l July 06, 2012 lViews: 439

Dragons have played more than a ornamental role in the mythologies of the world, not simply being that captors of damsels. In many cultures they are at the heart of mythology being there from the

By: Alex Tayrienl Reference & Educationl April 14, 2012 lViews: 135

Learning styles are the ways a person takes in, stores, and retrieves information. Understanding how your students process information will allow you to select training methods to ensure their

By: Celia Webbl Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 125

Hopefully, this will be an ongoing effort and not "a fly on the wall project. You will be offered a series of tips that are workable. If you are very serious, stay tuned for some hair raising ideas

By: Alfred B Porter Jrl Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 152

Although Peru is an amazing country with many things to recommend it, it is also plagued by poverty. Lima, Cusco, and other cities are home to thousands of street children, who have nowhere else to

By: Kenneth M Ingrahaml Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 142

The Sandinistas are members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN. This political party had a huge impact on the history of Nicaragua, and their influence continues to be felt today.

By: Kenneth M Ingrahaml Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 133

Well, that absolutely depends on the day and time of the exam. How much time do you have? If you have a week before an exam then, you a lot of time to get yourself under control. Now, if the exam is

By: Alfred B Porter Jrl Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 189

Wherever you learn Spanish, you will find that the locals speak with their own particular accent and local vocabulary. If you learn Spanish in Argentina--especially Buenos Aires--you will hear plenty

By: Kenneth M Ingrahaml Reference & Education > Languagesl April 13, 2012 lViews: 116

Although Peru is an amazing country with many things to recommend it, it is also plagued by poverty. Lima, Cusco, and other cities are home to thousands of street children, who have nowhere else to

By: Kenneth M Ingrahaml Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 142

The Sandinistas are members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN. This political party had a huge impact on the history of Nicaragua, and their influence continues to be felt today.

By: Kenneth M Ingrahaml Reference & Educationl April 13, 2012 lViews: 133

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus