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By Jacques Soustelle

The Aztecs have been fierce, honorable, death-obsessed, and profoundly spiritual. A famed student inspires the lifetime of this advanced tradition at the eve of its extinction, while the Spanish arrived and conquered them--imprisoning Montezuma and strangling Atahualpa. "It is, with out query, the main amazing, the clearest and such a lot readable portrayal of Aztec lifestyles to be had in any language."--The Observer.

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And while he started to consume, a wood door all adorned with gold was once installed entrance of him, in order that he shouldn't be obvious consuming. ' In passing, one might become aware of the valuable Díaz' trouble at this element, for he had evidently by no means obvious a display at domestic, in Spain. it's also transparent from this description that even one of the nice males there has been no dining-room: nutrition have been eaten wherever in any respect. therefore offered, or relatively hence with out furnishings, those homes should have seemed bare and chilly, with their flooring of overwhelmed earth or flags and their whitewashed partitions. it's possible, although, that the partitions of the richer homes have been adorned with frescoes or have been hung with colored fabric or skins. while site visitors have been invited, the interior of the home was once ornamented with plants and branches. For heating there have been wooden fires -- the significance of wooden as a gasoline is emphasized via the widespread point out of it in literature -- or braziers: they weren't quite very effective equipment of heating, and even if the Mexican weather doesn't run to extremes of chilly, the Aztecs should have shivered on their mats on these wintry weather nights whilst the temperature fell unexpectedly. but the Aztecs have been happier than the Romans, whose process of heating was once now not far better; for a minimum of they have been certain of having the ability to get hot back within the solar, while the day was once come, for the wintry weather is the dry season in Mexico. As for the lights, it was once no much less primitive: resinous torches of pine-wood (ocotl) have been used interior, and out of doors hyperlinks and large braziers piled with resinous wooden served for public lighting fixtures while situations -- a non secular rite, for instance -- referred to as for it. nine in the midst of each residence, relatively the main unassuming, there has been the fireside, the picture and the incarnation of the 'Old God' the god of fireplace. the 3 stones among which the logs have been burnt or upon which the pots rested had hence a sacred personality: the mysterious strength of the god was once inside them, and an individual who indignant the hearth by way of strolling at the hearth-stones was once guaranteed to die very quickly. 10 -123- fireplace used to be held particularly veneration by way of the retailers: in the course of the evening sooner than the departure of a caravan they'd assemble on the condo of 1 in their quantity, and status ahead of his fireplace they'd sacrifice birds, burn incense and throw magic figures reduce out of paper into the flames. On their go back they gave the hearth its proportion of the ceremonial dinner with which they celebrated the lucky end result in their voyage. eleven the luxurious of the good homes didn't live of their furnishing, whose simplicity has been defined, nor of their convenience, which used to be rarely larger than that of the easiest dwellings, yet within the dimension and variety of their rooms and maybe even extra within the sort and splendour in their gardens. The palace of king Nezaualcoyotl at Texcoco used to be a rectangle greater than 1000 yards lengthy through a few 8 hundred vast. 12 a part of this house was once occupied through public structures -- council chambers, courts, places of work, armouries -and half by way of inner most -- the king's residences, the harem, the flats meant for the sovereigns of Mexico and Tlacopan: in all they amounted to greater than 300 rooms.

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