Bonds Of Blood

Bonds Of Blood

by Caroline Dodds Pennock
     
 

The history of the Aztecs has been haunted by the spectre of human sacrifice. As bloody priests and brutal warriors, the Aztecs have peopled the pages of history, myth and fiction, their spectacular violence dominating perceptions of their culture and casting a veil over their unique way of life. Reinvesting the Aztecs with a humanity frequently denied to them, and

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Overview

The history of the Aztecs has been haunted by the spectre of human sacrifice. As bloody priests and brutal warriors, the Aztecs have peopled the pages of history, myth and fiction, their spectacular violence dominating perceptions of their culture and casting a veil over their unique way of life. Reinvesting the Aztecs with a humanity frequently denied to them, and exploring their religious violence as a comprehensible element of life and existence, Caroline Dodds Pennock integrates a fresh interpretation of gender with an innovative study of the everyday life of the Aztecs. This was a culture of contradictions and complications, but in amongst the grand ritual we can find the personal and private, the minutiae of life which make the world of these extraordinary people instantly familiar. Despite their violent bloodshed, the Aztecs were a compassionate and expressive people who lived and worked in cooperative gendered partnership.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This study, beautifully written and organized, is a fresh approach to both the problems of understanding Aztec human sacrifice, a problem as old as the first European viewers of this society in the sixteenth century, and of characterizing Aztec gender relations, which was introduced as a field of study in the latter half of the twentieth century. With exhaustive research Caroline Dodds Pennock ties together these two strains of enquiry in a tour-de-force argument that resolves many seeming contradictions and allows the modern Westerner to enter Aztec society with less apprehension. While making sense of Aztec thought, even more valuable is her humanization of the Aztecs through the publication of the few texts that reveal intimate and individual aspects of behaviour and interpretation of well-known formulaic pronouncements as moving expressions of human emotion. This last is a difficult feat to accomplish for a culture that is usually presented as overwhelmingly communal, public, and unfeeling." -- Emily Umberger, Arizona State University

*Winner of the Royal Historical Society Gladstone Book Prize 2008*

The judges said of Dr Dodds Pennock’s book: ‘Her analysis of the rich but problematic evidence is unfailingly rigorous, supplemented by insights drawn from modern anthropological and sociological studies, and from gender theory. Both theoretical and methodological sophistication, however, are worn lightly. What emerges is a vivid and convincing reconstruction of a society whose harsh view of life and death was tempered by the experience of warmth, and even joy, achieved through human relationships and the routines of everyday life.’

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230003309
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Series:
Early Modern History: Society and Culture Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

Emily Umberger
"This study, beautifully written and organized, is a fresh approach to both the problems of understanding Aztec human sacrifice, a problem as old as the first European viewers of this society in the sixteenth century, and of characterizing Aztec gender relations, which was introduced as a field of study in the latter half of the twentieth century. With exhaustive research Caroline Dodds Pennock ties together these two strains of enquiry in a tour-de-force argument that resolves many seeming contradictions and allows the modern Westerner to enter Aztec society with less apprehension. While making sense of Aztec thought, even more valuable is her humanization of the Aztecs through the publication of the few texts that reveal intimate and individual aspects of behaviour and interpretation of well-known formulaic pronouncements as moving expressions of human emotion. This last is a difficult feat to accomplish for a culture that is usually presented as overwhelmingly communal, public, and unfeeling."--(Emily Umberger, Arizona State University)

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