The Aztec Human Sacrifices Essay

1175 Words5 Pages
The Aztec civilization was a very complex society that was feared and known well for their various gory sacrifices done to please their many gods in their polytheistic religion. The much feared civilization began by the exile of one of the two Toltec leaders, which lead to the decline of the Toltec state that was later replaced by Mexica, or the Aztecs. According to the Aztecs, the land chosen to build their main city was chosen by the portrayal of an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its mouth. Through military might, the Aztecs managed to become the most powerful civilization in the mid-fourteenth century. They maintained their power through military might and the fear they caused other civilizations because of the human…show more content…
The selfless act the gods committed led to one of the major reasons for human sacrifices which was that since the gods gave up their own life for the creation of the new world, that the Aztecs had to somehow respect and honor their action. They did this by creating an eighteen month calendar, which dedicated each month to a certain god. The Aztecs used scared and solar calendars to tell time and when all the possible combinations had been used, usually every fifty-two years, the Aztecs would go through a twelve-day period before the cycle started again (Benson 506). There were many different methods the Aztecs used to sacrifice their victims but most sacrifices centered on the method of heart extraction. The victims were, “thrust onto the stone, where a temple priest cut through their chest wall with a ritual flint knife,” and the heart was, “[offered] to the sun for vitality and nourishment,” (“Aztec Human Sacrifices”). There was also the act of burning the victim alive in the sacrificial fire but before they reached death they were taken out and their heart would be taken out (Callery 33). Victims were not the only ones that were sacrificed; priests also conducted a method of sacrifice called bloodletting. The priest would begin by punctuating his tongue or any other body part and then proceeding to letting blood flow out (“Aztec Human Sacrifices”). A torture method of the Aztecs that might be
Open Document