Rise of the Aztecs 1111-1521
Aztlan • Mythical homeland of the Aztecs • Means land of the white herons • located on an island in a lake in west or northwestern Mexico--possibly Nayarit • Aztecs leave around 1111 a.d. in a southern migration • Led by their main God--Huitzilopochtli
Huitzilopochtli • Aztec God of the Sun and War • Gave them a new name: Mexica • Tells them of the prophesy--to build a city “where an eagle was seen sitting on a cactus, holding a snake in its mouth.” • Arrive in Valley of Mexico around 1235-begin Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan • Founded by the Aztecs around 1235 • 1344 or 1355 Tribe split into two • One group under chief Tenoch founded the southern capital--Tenochtitlan • One group formed Tlatelolco.
Aztec turning points • 1367-served as mercenaries for Atzcapotzalco ruled by Tezozomoc • 1375-received their first ruler fom Tezozomoc--Acamapichtli
Acamapichtli • First Aztec ruler--1375-1395 • Established the ruling nobility or dynastic rulers • All subsequent rulers related to Acamapichtli • Began the Aztec course as an empire-established the Aztec militaristic tradition
Tlacaelel • Chief advisor to several Aztec rulers • Rewrote Aztec histories--depicting the Aztecs as people of destiny, destined for greatness • Aztecs develop a mystic-vision of themselves
Tlacaelel • Reinstituted the Xochiyaoyotl--Flower Wars • Established the triple alliance • an alliance of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan • To share in tribute collection, political domination and to gain captives for sacrifice.
Tizoc • Aztec ruler from 1481-1486 • May have been poisoned by a conspiracy led by Tlacaelel due to indecisive and ineffective leadership
Motecuhzoma II • Ruled from 1502-1520 • Believed in legend of Quetzalcoatl • Beset by omens during the early 16th century • Considered a weak leader that surrendered to Cortez • Died under controversial circumstances
Cuitlahuac • Ruled the Mexica in 1520 • Died of the first smallpox epidemic-the most potent weapon of the conquest.
Cuahutemoc • Ruled the Mexica from 1520-1525 • Considered a symbol of heroism and bravery due to his resistance to the Spanish • Rallied the Mexica against the Spanish • Executed and quartered by the Spaniards in 1525 in central America or southern Mexico