Chapter

The Aztec Era

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/9780520077348.003.0009
The Aztec Era

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Most arms and armor used by the Aztecs were available to other groups, indicating the presence of a Mesoamerica-wide military industry. Aztecs were a relatively backward people by Mesoamerican standards when they entered the Valley of Mexico. Aztec society was divided into nobles and commoners, but with many variations. The Aztec army traveled quickly throughout the expanse of its empire with an ease unrivaled in Mesoamerica. The Aztecs had made some inroads in the Maya area. The Quiches' military success has been attributed to their lineage system, but this did not inevitably result in societal unity. The Spaniards brought new military technologies against the Aztecs, but they were so few and the Aztecs so adaptable in their responses that most of this technology was not decisive. The Spanish conquest effectively brought large-scale indigenous warfare to an end.

Keywords: Aztecs; military industry; Valley of Mexico; Quiches; Mesoamerica; Spanish conquest; warfare

Chapter.  12010 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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