In the rise of the Aztecs they arrived in the Valley of Mexico and established a capital at Tenochtitlán, which is now Mexico City. The Aztecs believed in many gods and their religion was based on a belief between the forces of good and evil. This struggle had created and destroyed four worlds, or suns. So the people now believed that they were now living in the time of the fifth sun. Aztec religion had a significant influence on their art and architecture.
Map of the Aztec Empire
Gods of the Aztecs
Ometeotl: He was the supreme god who represented the all-powerful forces of the heavens.
Huitzilopochtli: He was the god of sun and of war. He was important to Aztec warriors as they expanded control over neighboring peoples.
Quetzalcoatl: He had a more direct impact on the lives of the people.
Beliefs of Aztecs
The Aztecs believed in many gods and that representatives of Quetzalcoatl had returned. The people believed they were now living in the time of the fifth sun. They also believed they could delay the final destruction of their world by appeasing the sun god Huitzilopochtli.
Architecture of the Aztects
The Aztecs constructed temples, buildings and houses. The Aztecs built roadways of stone, the farmers built chinampas which are swampy islands crisscrossed by canals that provided water for their crops. They also built Tenochtitlán which is the place of the prickly pear cactus.
The population of the Aztec consisted of commoners, indentured workers, and slaves. Indentured workers were landless laborers who contracted to work on the nobles estates. The slaves worked in the households of the wealthy. Also male and female slaves were sold in the markets and most people were commoners and many commoners were famers.
The Education of the Aztec Boys and Girls
The Aztec children were educated in the skills and values they needed in their society. Boys went to school at the age of 15 and learned to be warriors. Girls were taught at home, learning to cook, shop, take care of children, and weave.