Human Sacrifice In The Aztec Culture
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When the words “Human Sacrifice” come to your mind, what do you think? To me I think it is abnormal and horrific. Most people could agree with me, but others not so much. Human sacrifice is really popular in the Aztec culture. The Aztecs were the Native Americans who took over Northern Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest, during the 14th through the16th century. The Aztecs were fearless warriors and pragmatic builders. When it came to their religious beliefs, they were very specific in whom they believed in. They had many ways to thank and praise their gods, and one of those ways was through Human Sacrifice. Now there are many different ways to remember the Aztecs, such as their amazing agriculture. But if we had to choose between those two topics, human sacrifice is more intriguing. Historians should emphasize human sacrifice in the Aztec culture because there was an enormous sale that cannot be ignored, the connections to religion, and also the most important factor, the human connection.
To begin with, there was an enormous scale of deaths. Most of the sacrifices were prisoners of war. According to source Friar Diego Duran, there was two thousand three hundred men that were killed (Doc D). We don’t exactly know how many were sacrificed over the years, there’s no exact number. There was a possibility that they sacrificed thousands each year. There was an estimate of 20,000 a year. Also, there was a connection to religion. The Aztec sacrifices were an important factor of the Aztec religion. The Aztecs sacrificed all these men for their gods, but most importantly the sun god named Huitzilopochtli. Those who were of higher status in the religious community were expected to give the most blood during the Aztec rituals. Most illustrations of the Aztec sacrifices were made by catholic priests who were over exaggerating on how the rituals actually happened.
No one knows exactly what happened in these rituals, unless they were apart of them. Most of the sacrifices were all somewhat connected to Aztec gods, each one with a different reason of human blood. The most important reason why we should emphasize human sacrifice is the human connection. To know what really happened in these rituals, you would have to be someone performing the ritual or be the one who is being sacrificed. According to the Aztec teenager Friar Bernardino de Sahagun interviewed, the Aztecs believed if they were going to sacrifice someone, they were going to sacrifice the best of the people for their god (Doc E). The enemy warrior was treated like a god because he was going to die (Doc E). Some sacrifices were live to the public for everyone to see, even the young children.
Finally, there are many reasons why historians should emphasize human sacrifice in the Aztec culture and those reasons are the human scale/ deaths, the religion and human connections. We all think of human sacrifice to just be human sacrifice and nothing else. The Aztecs had reasons for everything that they did and believed in. Many other people wouldn’t understand why they did the things that they did but it didn’t matter because that was their culture and their ways of life. There are methods to everything in life, and the Aztecs methods to life just happen to be through human sacrifice.