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Comparison Between Aztec and Egyptians

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Name: John Doe

Institution: College

Lecturer: Dusty O. Lady

Date: April 5, 2011

Comparison between Aztec and Egyptians

In central Mexico, there lived a community using the Nahuatl language, the Aztecs. They occupied large sections of Mesoamerica during the 14th-16th centuries in a period which was called late post classic in the chronology of Mesoamerican. The Aztec formed some alliances with other Mexican communities to come up with an Aztec empire. They entered the Mexico valley as semi-nomads and found that the area was already settled. So in good human fashion they subjugated the people occupying the land, and took over as the ruling class. They settled at first on Chapultepec which is a hill located in the west part of Texcoco lake in the year 1248.

Egyptians are an ethnic group who geographically reside on the northeastern portion of the African continent on the South Mediterranean sea. Their identity is associated with geography. The community is concentrated at the lower side of the Nile valley where land is fertile and conducive for cultivation. The land stretches from first cataract on the Nile, up to Mediterranean Sea, and is bordered by a desert on both sides, east and west. This geography is a main reason behind the development of the type of civilization we call Egyptian. Egyptians use variety of Arabic language called masri and a minority who use sa'idi Arabic in the upper side of Egypt. An estimated 90% of Egyptian people are Muslim while 10% comprise of Christians.

This essay will try to compare the civilizations of both the Aztec and Egyptian societies. The disciplines which will be briefly reviewed will include: art, religion, music, socioeconomic strategies, political policy, and architecture.

The Aztec civilization in Mexico began by most accounts somewhere in the 12th century, about 4500 years after the civilization in Egypt. The Aztecs migrated to the Mexico's central basin from the north and dislodged the indigenous peoples residing there. Those of the Aztec community who were displaced sought refuge in the small islands of Lake Texcoco, where they founded the Tenochtitlan town in 1325 which is today the Mexico City. This area, which is sometimes seen as similar to Venice, experienced some problems which led to the end of their civilization.

Among the problems are complex cosmologies or systems of beliefs, which found it difficult to tolerate others. This belief may have helped install a theology that allowed them to subjugate weaker people in with the pretense of saving the universe. During the wars of expansion, thousands of enemy troops were captured and massacred by the Aztecs. The territories which were conquered were heavily taxed in the name of tribute and this led to lack of food supply and discontent. Slavery resulted where individuals sold themselves or their loved ones or even children to settle their debts. These wars also garnered captives, and in most cases these unfortunates were executed in the name Quetzalcoatl, as sacrifices on the altar. The class which was in power appeared elitist and male minded, and did not allow upward social mobility. This was so because the main objective of the Aztec state revolved around engagement in war, and acquiring captives for sacrifice. Their organizational structure was out shined by HUEI TLATOANI who was viewed as being semi-divine.

Similarly, the Egyptian rulers were believed to have received the gift of immortality from their deities. The ruler of Aztec was believed to have lived with splendor which was great and pleasure palaces together with personal side show of residence with deformed persons and monstrosities.

The religion of the Aztecs is complicated and confusing due to a belief that humanity came as a result of violence. They also thought that death was crucial for life, and to continue in this, and in other worlds, human sacrifices needed to be made. In line with this belief, many human sacrifices, including the disturbing sacrifice of children, were conducted on a scope unrivaled in world history. The reflection of this is shown in the art and archeology of the day. They crafted sculptures of fearful images involving decapitation, wrath and sorrow. They built pyramids to honor the gods that



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