Jump to Navigation


The dominant people of Mesoamerica from the 15th to the early 16th centuries. They were farmers who migrated into the valley of Mexico in about 1200, settling at Tenochtitlan in 1325. The Aztec state was founded by Itzcoatl in 1428. In alliance with the neighboring city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan, the Aztecs had conquered most of central Mexico by 1500. Their empire reached its greatest extent under Moctezuma II (r.1502-20) only to be destroyed by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes (1519-21). A driving force behind Aztec conquests was the need for prisoners to sacrifice in religious rituals. Aztec society was hierarchical and class-based. Its civilization was derived from earlier Mexican civilizations, including the Toltec.

About Us | Contact Us | Advertising | Subscriptions | Newsletter | RSS Feeds | Ebooks | Podcast | Submitting an Article
Copyright 2012 History Today Ltd. All rights reserved.