Aztec Sacrifice

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Definition

The religion of the Aztec civilization which flourished in ancient Mesoamerica (1345-1521 CE) has gained an infamous reputation for bloodthirsty human sacrifice with lurid tales of the beating heart being ripped from the still-conscious victim, decapitation, skinning and dismemberment. All of these things did happen but it is important to remember that for the Aztecs the act of sacrifice - of which human sacrifice was only a part - was a strictly ritualised process which gave the highest possible honour to the gods and was regarded as a necessity to ensure mankind's continued prosperity.

More about: Aztec Sacrifice

Timeline

  • c. 1345 - 1521
    The Aztec civilization flourishes in Mesoamerica.
  • 1351
    New Fire Ceremony celebrated by the Aztecs.
  • 1403
    New Fire Ceremony celebrated by the Aztecs.
  • 1455
    New Fire Ceremony celebrated by the Aztecs.
  • 1487
    The Templo Mayor is completed at Tenochtitlan and inaugurated with the sacrifice of 20,000 captives.
  • 1507
    New Fire Ceremony celebrated by the Aztecs.
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