The Aztecs / Edition 3

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Richard Townsend gives the complete history of the Aztec civilization’s rise from humble nomads to empire builders.
Within a hundred years, the Aztecs established the largest empire in Mesoamerican history, and at Tenochtitlan built a vast, shimmering city in a lake, a Venice of the New World. The book ends with a dramatic narrative of the Spanish conquest, as seen from the Aztec viewpoint.

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Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review
“Black-and-white and a handful of color photographs illustrate this excellent reference, thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds and particularly recommended for public and college library collections.”
Library Journal
While studies of Aztec art, architecture, and religion have appeared at regular intervals, general textbooks have been infrequent. Thus, this comprehensive, exceedingly well-researched volume has merit, especially since it seeks to instruct rather than argue. The author's engaging prose breathes new life into even the most overworked topic--for example, the tale of Cortes's march to Tenochtitlan, repeated countless times, yet told here with novel freshness. Townsend, curator of the Art Institute of Chicago's department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, draws on new information and analyses from many fields of original research to create a strong competitor for Brian Fagan's excellent survey ( The Aztecs , Freeman, 1984), the most recent general text. Highly recommended for the general reader as the best available introduction to a complex subject.-- William S. Dancey, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
From Barnes & Noble
A rounded portrait of the largest empire in Mesoamerican history, integrating military, economic, & symbolic approaches to reconcile contradictory aspects of their culture--ranging from everyday activities to espionage & from the making of chocolate to battle tactics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500287910
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 9/16/2009
  • Series: Ancient Peoples and Places Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 929,864
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard F. Townsend, a noted expert on pre-Columbian culture, is Curator of the Department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has conducted extensive research at Aztec sites.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Pt. 1 Coronation At Tenochtitlan

1 Motecuhzoma II Takes Power 18

Pt. 2 Urban Traditions, Tribal Peoples

2 An Ancient Heritage 32

3 Birth of an Empire 63

Pt. 3 The Imperial Project

4 New Strategies 78

5 The Great Expansion 91

Pt. 4 Aztec Religion and World View

6 The Aztec Symbolic World 112

Pt. 5 Aztec People and the Cycle of Life

7 The Family and Education 162

8 Farmers, Traders, and Artisans 171

9 Priests, Scribes, and Warriors 203

Pt. 6 The Conquest of Mexico

10 The Arrival of the Strangers 220

11 The Fall of the Aztec Empire 232

Epilog 238

Annual Ceremonies of the Aztecs 242

Notes to the Text 246

Further Reading 247

Sources of Illustrations 252

Index 253

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