Chapter

The Approach to War

Ross Hassig

in War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1992 | ISBN: 9780520077348
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912281 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520077348.003.0001
The Approach to War

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This book discusses Mesoamerica's military past. It also explores the role of war in Mesoamerican societies. It then places military matters in a broader social and historical context to show their role in individual societies and in creating and maintaining Mesoamerica as a culture area, thereby providing the indispensable basis for linking and integrating much of the region. There are three major ways to structure a book such as this: thematic, evidentiary, and chronological. The thematic approach focuses on separate topics in isolation, such as arms and armor or tactics, which highlight specific developments, but at the cost of an overall view of societies. The evidentiary approach builds from the strongest data, beginning with the best documented Mesoamerican society—the Aztecs—whose military practices can be discussed with relative certainty, and then modifies this information and interprets earlier cultures in light of it. The chronological approach emphasizes sequential development.

Keywords: war; Mesoamerica; military practices; Mesoamerican societies; arms; armor; Aztecs

Chapter.  2982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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