Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture [NOOK Book]

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 ...

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Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture

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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.

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What People Are Saying

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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Product Details

Meet the Author

CAROLINE DODDS PENNOCK is a Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Leicester, UK. She was previously a Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and is the author of a number of articles on Aztec and Atlantic History.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures

List of Tables

Introduction 1

1 Living with Death 14

2 Birth and Blood 41

3 Growing Up 66

4 Tying the Knot 89

5 Marriage and Partnership 103

6 Outside the Norm 133

7 Aging and Mortality 155

Conclusion 178

Glossary 183

Notes 185

Index 219

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