City of Sacrifice: Violence From the Aztec Empire to the by David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit

By David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit

At an excavation of the good Aztec Temple in Mexico urban, amid carvings of skulls and a dismembered warrior goddess, David Carrasco stood ahead of a box choked with the embellished bones of babies and kids. It was once the positioning of an incredible human sacrifice, and for Carrasco the heart of fiercely provocative questions: If ritual violence opposed to people was once a profound necessity for the Aztecs of their capital urban, is it significant to the development of social order and the authority of urban states? Is civilization equipped on violence? In urban of Sacrifice, Carrasco chronicles the interesting tale of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, investigating Aztec non secular practices and demonstrating that non secular violence used to be imperative to urbanization; town itself was once a temple to the gods. That Mexico urban, the most important urban on the earth, was once equipped at the ruins of Tenochtitlan, is some degree Carrasco poignantly considers in his comparability of city existence from antiquity to modernity. Majestic in scope, urban of Sacrifice illuminates not just the wealthy heritage of an incredible Meso american urban but in addition the inseparability of 2 passionate human impulses: urbanization and non secular engagement. It has a lot to inform us approximately many popular occasions in our personal time, from suicide bombings in Tel Aviv to rape and homicide within the Balkans.

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Extra resources for City of Sacrifice: Violence From the Aztec Empire to the Modern Americas

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After household goods were destroyed and all fires extinguished, the populace waited in the darkness and watched in anticipation for the new fire to be lit on the chest of a sacrificed warrior. This fire was then taken down the mountain to the center of the city and placed in the shrine of Huitzilopochtli, from whence it was then distributed to all parts of the empire. This path of the New Fire indicates that the Mexica were redistributing their cosmo-magical power, in the form of a fire generated out of the sacrifice, from the capital (the main center of all redistribution) to the periphery.

In what I consider to be one of the most succinct statements of the paramount importance of studying urban settlements as a means of understanding religion and culture, Wheatley writes, It is the city which has been, and to a large extent still is, the style center in the traditional world, disseminating social, political, technical, religious and aesthetic values, and functioning as an organizing principle conditioning the manner and quality of life in the countryside. Those who focus their regional studies on peasant society to the exclusion of urban forms areas I have stated elsewhereas deluded as Plato's prisoners (or in another sense, Beckett's who mistake flickering shadows on a wall for reality.

When informants of the Franciscan priest Bernardino de Sahagún reported their version of the fall of Tenochtitlan decades after the event, they displayed the persistence of their cosmo-magical thought and its tie to their city in a vivid and pathosfilled manner. Their valuable reports show that, as in the foundation of Tenochtitlan so in its fiery end, omens communicated a divine destiny. Just as the city was promised by divine forces, so was its end. And this linkage between omens and the tableaus and tours of Mexica history cannot be overestimated.

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