Aztecs Human Sacrifice Significance

Topics: Human sacrifice, Mesoamerica, Aztec Pages: 2 (600 words) Published: March 7, 2013
The history of a society is never easy and it comes with both a dark side and a light side. This is certainly true for the Aztecs, in the years around 1350 to 1519, by the time Cortes arrived, the Aztecs had an empire that controlled the lives of over 10,000,000 people. The Aztecs came to this peak came due to the practice of human sacrifice. Historians should emphasize on Aztec human sacrifice because it provides a wider view of Aztec society and culture than agriculture.

Human sacrifice was a major part of Aztec religion; it provided the basis of their religion. The Aztecs were polytheistic and believed that their gods sacrificed themselves for human kind so they thought it was necessary to repay them with a human sacrifice (Doc. D). The Aztecs thought as the gods as an important part of their life, and they even had people dressed up as gods during harvest (Doc. C). And before the human sacrifices the person chosen was dressed up and treated as the represented deity they were being sacrificed for (Doc. E). The Aztecs took sacrifices as an important matter; they thought that the sacrifice represented human kind as well. It is believed that people were not only forced to be sacrificed but sometimes volunteered due to the belief of a rich afterlife (Doc D).

The Aztecs belief in their gods and the belief of nourishing the gods by human sacrifice drove the Aztecs to go outside their borders to find more sacrifices. This was followed by “flower wars” to capture and provide an ongoing supply of “flower” or captured sacrifice victims (Doc. A). These wars were to find more sacrifices but led to a larger Aztec Empire and more control over the surrounding territory. These wars also increased the population from 1 million to 10 million (Doc. A). The Aztec’s society was focused on this task and provided resources to support it. Aztecs used their advanced agriculture to help feed and support the armies that fought (Doc. B). This expansion was due to the need of human...
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