Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Introduction The Aztecs were the last of the three greatest Mesoamerican empires. The empire started from a group of warriors who conquered other natives and established the great empire. Before 1519, the empire exceedingly flourished…
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They made statues representing their gods. Some of the gods were made from seeds and vegetables joined by blood from human hearts. Cortes reported this in his letter citing “after they are made they offer them more hearts and anointed their faces with blood” (Andrea and Overfield 463). The sacrifices involved anointing these idols with sacrificial blood. The market place formed an important part of their culture. Cortes, who led the Spanish forces that conquered the Aztecs, reported, “This city has many squares where trading is done, and markets are held continuously” (Andrea and Overfield 462) Cortes continued to expound on the expanse of the market and the range of merchandise. He indicated that he could not report all of them saying “but they are so many and so varied” (Andrea and Overfield 463). The Spaniards conquered the Aztecs in 1521, after which they introduced Christianity to the inhabitants of the fallen empire. However, despite the introduction of Christianity, their transformation was not complete as they continued with some of their cultural practices. Andrea and Overfield presented an excerpt from the writings of Duran. Duran served as a priest from 1556 until his death in 1588. One of the ways that the priest noted remained unchanged was attendance to the market places. The markets, as previously indicated, formed a chief part of the Aztec culture. The markets were operational throughout, and people were compelled by law to attend the market fairs. Duran observed that the custom of attending markets after a number of days continued among the people. He wrote, “The markets were so inviting, pleasurable, appealing, and gratifying to these people that great crowds attended, and still attend…” (Andrea and Overfield 405). He further noted that when the market days were on Sundays, no one attended the mass. He noted, “Occasionally, this falls on Sunday, and no one hears the mass in the area of the town where the market is held” (Andrea and Overfield 405). This attachment to the market place was so strong that it was placed first before Christianity. Duran presented this in what he thought was the most probable reply from a woman choosing between heaven and the market. He perceived the woman would say, “Allow me to go to the market first, and then I will go to heaven” (Andrea and Overfield 405). Duran identified three ways through which a person could receive honor in Aztec. These included soldiery, religion and trade. Soldiery was the first and the main way, while trade was the least admired. Nevertheless, it presented a credible way of attaining honor. Traders who traded in expensive wares and acquired wealth received recognition like brave soldiers. Duran reported that “and so they were considered among the magnates of the land, just as the valorous soldier” (Andrea and Overfield 404). Thus, the market presented one way that was accessible to most of the people. Duran noted that this attachment to the market as a way to acquire status did not end with the introduction of Christianity by the Spaniards. He noted of how merchants saved up to twenty years and prepared expensive parties, which consumed all their savings. Duran added, “This could not be wrong except that for their celebration they await the day on which the god was honored” (Andrea and Overfield 405). This indicated the unchanged connection between trade and honor in the people’s life. Additionally, attending markets presented a form of
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