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Aztec History Resources

Below are links to books and websites for those interested in Aztec history.

Web

  • Aztec-History.com – a nice website for those interested in a beginner’s look at Aztec history and culture.
  • www.ballgame.org – a fun, interactive website devoted to Tlachli, the Mesoamerican ritual ball game. Note: website requires Flash 5+ to view.
  • Mexicolore – a rich resource for articles and photographs related to Mexico and its history. They have an entire part of the website devoted to the Aztecs.
  • Google Earth – at first glance this might not look like a history tool, but in fact many archeologists have been using Google Earth to discover previously undiscovered sites. It can be particularly useful when needing to know the layout of ancient cities that are now just ruins, especially if it’s impractical for you to make a trip there in person to make notes. Google Earth is also supplemented with photographs of monuments at the sites added by users. Specific coordinates for sites can be found on Wikipedia For those interested in Aztec/Toltec sites, here are some of interest: Teotihuacan: 19° 41′ 33″ N, 98° 50′ 37.68″ W. Xochicalco: 18° 48′ 14″ N, 99° 17′ 45.3″ W. Tula, Hidalgo: 20° 3′ 0″ N, 99° 21′ 0″ W.
  • Wikipedia – I don’t really recommend Wikipedia as a primary source for information on anything, but one thing it does have is a lush collection of useful photographs and good primary sources can be found in the References section of each entry. I’ve found some of my best research books in that section.

Print

  • The Florentine Codex by Fray Bernardino de Sahagun. A comprehensive study of Mexica (Aztec) culture and life just after the Conquest. The full manuscript is 12 volumes long.
  • Daily Life of the Aztecs by Jacques Soustelle. Looks at the everyday life of the citizens of Tenochititlan before the Conquest.
  • Handbook to Life in the Aztec World by Manuel Aguilar-Moreno. A textbook-like look at Aztec history, society, and culture. It’s a well-rounded book with deep details that are difficult to find elsewhere.
  • The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico by Bernal Diaz del Castillo- the famous account of Cortes’s expedition and conquest of the Aztecs, recorded by the conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo.
  • Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas – A comprehensive look at the Conquest. The appendices and genealogies at the end of the book are particularly useful if you’re interested in the Aztec royal family.