Download Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle, and Sacrifice in Aztec by Caroline Dodds Pennock PDF

By Caroline Dodds Pennock

ISBN-10: 0230003303

ISBN-13: 9780230003309

The heritage of the Aztecs has been haunted by way of the spectre of human sacrifice. As bloody monks and brutal warriors, the Aztecs have peopled the pages of background, fable and fiction, their brilliant violence dominating perceptions in their tradition and casting a veil over their specified lifestyle. Reinvesting the Aztecs with a humanity often denied to them, and exploring their non secular violence as a understandable part of lifestyles and life, Caroline Dodds Pennock integrates a clean interpretation of gender with an cutting edge research of the typical lifetime of the Aztecs. This used to be a tradition of contradictions and issues, yet in among the grand ritual we will be able to locate the non-public and personal, the trivia of lifestyles which make the area of those outstanding humans immediately widespread. regardless of their violent bloodshed, the Aztecs have been a compassionate and expressive those who lived and labored in cooperative gendered partnership.

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Additional resources for Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle, and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture (Early Modern History: Society and Culture)

Sample text

8 From these belligerent beginnings arose the Aztec culture encountered by Cortés and the conquistadors in 1519. Around a quarter of a million people were packed into the 13 square kilometres of the island city of Tenochtitlan, a crowded metropolis which was the heart of a broad network of subject and allied cities. Only two centuries after their expulsion from Tizaapan, the Aztecs had risen through a combination of force, fear and respect to become a potent political force centred on a sophisticated urban civilization.

Seized by these gory apparitions, the victim was stretched backwards over a stone altar, each limb extended by a priest so that the back was arched and the chest stretched taut and raised high toward the heavens. A fifth priest struck open the chest with an obsidian knife, excised the heart with knife and hands and raised the fertile offering to the heavens, displaying to the gods the sacrificial fruit. The formal procedure of oblation varied according to occasion and location, but the cutting out of the heart on a stone formed the peak of the ritual on all but a few rare occasions.

Introduction 13 by considering the question of death. Death was fundamental to Aztec understandings of themselves and their situation, and this study must, therefore, address such preoccupations, essential as they were to determining both individual and collective identity. Questions of death also reveal issues of life and individual Aztecs found enduring shared notions of gender in the fatal rituals which were central to their existence. As in life, gender distinctions were critical, and in the domain of death, the discrimination between the sexes was explicit, even while the complementarity of masculine and feminine roles was demonstrated.

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Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle, and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture (Early Modern History: Society and Culture) by Caroline Dodds Pennock

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