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Ch 2: The Aztec Empire

About This Chapter

Get an overview of the Aztec Empire with this comprehensive history chapter. These fun lessons and quizzes are available whenever you need to review Aztec history for an exam, homework assignment, class project or any other academic need.

The Aztec Empire - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, our expert instructors summarize the most important components of the Aztec Empire. As you work through these simple lessons, you'll study Aztec gods/goddesses and sculptures and codices, as well as important events, people and locations from the empire's history. We've included interactive self-assessments to help you retain the historical terms and concepts you'll study. The chapter is available whenever you need it, and you can study on any Internet-connected device. By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Interpret the mythology of important Aztec gods, including Xolotl, Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca and Xochiquetzal
  • Describe statues/sculptures that depict Coatlicue and Xipe Totec
  • Summarize the history of Aztec codices, including the Codex Mendoza, Florentine Codex, Boturini Codex, Coded Borbonicus and Codex Magliabechiano
  • Understand Bernardino de Sahagun's biography
  • Interpret facts about the Aztec Templo Mayor
  • Evaluate the Aztec Flower War
  • Assess the importance of Chicomoztoc

14 Lessons in Chapter 2: The Aztec Empire
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Aztec God Xolotl: Mythology & History

1. The Aztec God Xolotl: Mythology & History

Aztec mythology never veered too far from the topic of death, and the god Xolotl had a role to play in many of those stories. In this lesson, we'll learn about Xolotl and see what role he had to play in the Aztec religion.

Tlaloc, Aztec God of Rain: Mythology, Facts & Statue

2. Tlaloc, Aztec God of Rain: Mythology, Facts & Statue

In this lesson, we explore Tlaloc, the rain god of the Aztecs. Why did the Aztecs sacrifice children to him and what souls were chosen to dwell in his paradise? The answers, and a look at the greatest monolith in Central America, lie within.

Aztec God Tezcatlipoca: Myth & Facts

3. Aztec God Tezcatlipoca: Myth & Facts

In this lesson, students will learn about the Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca. How many different forms can he take? How did Aztecs honor him? What was his role in creating the world? The answers are all here.

The Mother Goddess Coatlicue: Aztec Myth & Statue

4. The Mother Goddess Coatlicue: Aztec Myth & Statue

This lesson introduces the Aztec goddess Coatlicue, mother to gods, mortals, the stars, and the moon. Within, learn about the myth of how she bore the Aztec god of war and the strange preservation of her statue from Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capitol.

Aztec God Xipe Totec: Mythology & Sculpture

5. Aztec God Xipe Totec: Mythology & Sculpture

This lesson explores the Aztec religion involving Xipe Totec, a god of rebirth, fertility, and sacrifice. We'll look at his place in the Aztec pantheon and rituals and view depictions and sculptures of the god.

The Goddess Xochiquetzal in Aztec Mythology

6. The Goddess Xochiquetzal in Aztec Mythology

In this lesson, you will learn about the Aztec goddess Xochiquetzal. First, you will learn some basics about Xochiquetzal, and then dive into some of the different myths about this interesting goddess in Aztec mythology.

Codex Mendoza: History & Origin

7. Codex Mendoza: History & Origin

This lesson will explore the history of the Codex Mendoza, a 16th century Aztec manuscript that originated in what is now Mexico. It details the history and everyday life of the Aztecs.

Aztec Florentine Codex: Summary & History

8. Aztec Florentine Codex: Summary & History

In this lesson, we examine the 'Florentine Codex', one of the most valuable resources to understand the Aztec people and their culture. Within, you'll learn about the language, illustrations, content, and how it was created.

Aztec Codices: Boturini Codex, Codex Ixtlilxochitl & the Badianus Manuscript

9. Aztec Codices: Boturini Codex, Codex Ixtlilxochitl & the Badianus Manuscript

After the Conquest of Mexico, a lot of Aztec culture was lost. However, a lot also survived in the form of codices. In this lesson, we'll check our three of these codices and see what they tell us about Aztec life.

Religious Aztec Codices: Codex Borbonicus & Codex Magliabechiano

10. Religious Aztec Codices: Codex Borbonicus & Codex Magliabechiano

The preservation of several important Aztec documents has saved Aztec culture from being lost to time. This lesson examines the contents and origins of the Codex Borbonicus and Codex Magliabechiano.

Bernardino de Sahagun: Biography & the Florentine Codex

11. Bernardino de Sahagun: Biography & the Florentine Codex

Bernardino de Sahagun's Florentine Codex is one of the richest historical sources on the language and culture of the Aztecs. This lesson explores Sahagun's life, as well as the creation of the Codex.

Aztec Templo Mayor: History & Facts

12. Aztec Templo Mayor: History & Facts

In this lesson, we'll explore the ruins of the Templo Mayor in Mexico City. We'll learn about the history, architectural characteristics and facts of these ruins, which were once at the heart of the Aztec civilization.

What is an Aztec Flower War?

13. What is an Aztec Flower War?

The Aztecs fought flower wars, but don't let the name fool you; they weren't exactly peaceful. In this lesson, we'll explore this unique tradition and see what it meant to the people of the Aztec Empire.

Chicomoztoc: The Place of the Seven Caves

14. Chicomoztoc: The Place of the Seven Caves

Where did the Aztecs come from? If you asked them, one response you may have gotten was Chicomoztoc. In this lesson, we'll explore the legends around this place and see if it could have actually existed.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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