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Content created: 2008-08-21

The Aztecs: A Tributary Empire

David K. Jordan


  1. Introduction
  2. Mexico: The Layout
  3. The Word Aztec
  4. Mexico Before the Aztecs: Teotihuácan
  5. Mexico Before the Aztecs: The Toltecs
  6. Enter the Mexica
  7. Mexica Life
  8. Calpólli
  9. Becoming Aztecs: Instant Aristocracy
  10. Chimap-popóca: How Being Cute Changed History
  11. Tlacahélel, the Woman Snake
  12. Tlacahélel's Early Policies (1430-1455)
  13. Tlacahélel's Later Policies (1455-1500)
  14. Nourishing the Sun and "Flowery Wars"
  15. Tlacahélel's Sumptuary Laws
  16. Teaching Kids To Kill
  17. Debunking Where Debunking Is Due
  18. The Templo Mayor
  19. The Fall of Tenochtítlan
  20. Conclusion: Tribute & Tributary Empires
  21. Critical Appendix I: Our Sources
  22. Critical Appendix II: Classical Náhuatl, the Aztec Language
  23. Bibliography

I am most grateful to many students and colleagues who have offered comments and corrections on this essay over the years, and especially to Dr. Nancy Friedlander for her thoughtful views and eagle-eyed proof-reading.

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