Download City of Sacrifice: Violence From the Aztec Empire to the by David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit PDF

By David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit

At an excavation of the good Aztec Temple in Mexico urban, amid carvings of skulls and a dismembered warrior goddess, David Carrasco stood earlier than a box jam-packed with the embellished bones of babies and youngsters. It used to be the positioning of a huge human sacrifice, and for Carrasco the guts of fiercely provocative questions: If ritual violence opposed to people was once a profound necessity for the Aztecs of their capital urban, is it important to the development of social order and the authority of urban states? Is civilization equipped on violence? In urban of Sacrifice, Carrasco chronicles the interesting tale of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, investigating Aztec spiritual practices and demonstrating that non secular violence was once necessary to urbanization; town itself used to be a temple to the gods. That Mexico urban, the most important urban in the world, was once equipped at the ruins of Tenochtitlan, is some degree Carrasco poignantly considers in his comparability of city existence from antiquity to modernity. Majestic in scope, urban of Sacrifice illuminates not just the wealthy background of a big Meso american urban but in addition the inseparability of 2 passionate human impulses: urbanization and spiritual engagement. It has a lot to inform us approximately many general occasions in our personal time, from suicide bombings in Tel Aviv to rape and homicide within the Balkans.

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Example text

The point here is to emphasize that the symbols of cities need to be explored for the dynamics of their centripetal and centrifugal power and not only for their power to denote and fix locations in space. The magnetic abilities of ceremonial complexes, like the one pictured in the Mendoza, are twins to the centrifugal, extensive needs of urban settlements to saturate the spaces, minds, technology, and symbol systems of other communities and geographies with their styles, messages, and authority.

Oh Giver of Life! war comes near. . . . Proud of itself Is the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan Here no one fears to die in war This is our glory This is Your Command Oh Giver of Life Have this in mind, oh princes Who would conquer Tenochtitlan? Who could shake the foundation of heaven? 45 Before commenting on the key phrase, the city as "foundation of heaven," it is important to note the parallels between the clues from the frontispiece of the Codex Mendoza and the couplets, difrasismos, and images in these stanzas.

The Periphery and the New Fire The frontispiece image yields still more clues and pointers about the city that became a symbol of so many Aztec myths and institutions. Focusing again on the marginal calendar count, which falls one short of the fifty-two-year cycle, or xiuhmolpilli (bundle of reeds), we note that one calendar date, 2 Reed, in the bottom right-hand corner, draws special emphasis. A fire-drill glyph rises from the year-sign, attached by a single thread, showing that this was the year of the famous New Fire Ceremony, one of the most profound and inclusive ceremonies of the Mexica world.

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