Ancient Aztecs by Karen Latchana Kenney

By Karen Latchana Kenney

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The Codex Mendoza is one important codex created 20 years after the Spanish conquest. It was commissioned by the first Spanish Viceroy of the conquered empire, between the years 1535 and 1550. It contains three sections. The first section details an account of the rulers of Tenochtitlán. The second section lists the tributes given to the capital from more than 400 towns. The third section recorded Aztec life. One page of the codex, right, shows how spies were used to gather information about an enemy city.

It contains three sections. The first section details an account of the rulers of Tenochtitlán. The second section lists the tributes given to the capital from more than 400 towns. The third section recorded Aztec life. One page of the codex, right, shows how spies were used to gather information about an enemy city. The spies are at the top of the page, shown visiting all parts of the city. The middle shows the Aztec official with a shield and arrows behind him. He is speaking with the people he will later defeat in battle.

Most Aztecs had little furniture inside their homes. They slept on mats on the floor or on dirt platforms and had a chest in which to store clothing. Nobles may have had curtains around their sleeping areas and murals painted on the walls. Montezuma had more furniture. He sat in a wooden chair and used a dining table. RELIGIOUS STRUCTURES Temples were very important religious structures within Aztec cities. Made from stone, some temples sat on platforms atop large pyramids with steep stairs leading up to the temples.

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