“Human G-d. Slaves were an additional common group

“Human Sacrifice in Aztec Culture.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Aztec_culture#The_Role_of_Sacrifice_in_Aztec_Culture.

History.com Staff. “Did the Aztecs Really Practice Human Sacrifice?” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 30 July 2012, www.history.com/news/ask-history/did-the-aztecs-really-practice-human-sacrifice.

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Cartwright, Mark. “Aztec Sacrifice.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 02 Sep 2013. Web. 29 Nov 2017.

Works Cited


Self-sacrifice was also rather common; individuals would offer maguey thorns, tainted with their own blood from their tongues, genitals, or earlobes. Mesoamerican culture almost revolved around the use of blood. Other types of sacrifice involved the submission of other animals such as butterflies, snakes, and deer. Another thing that was commonly given to the g-ds was precious objects such as foodstuffs and valuable metals, jade and shells which could be formally buried.

Most sacrificial victims were captive warriors. This is because those who had fought the most heroically or were the most attractive were considered the finest candidates for sacrifice and more likely to satisfy the g-ds. Another source of sacrificial victims was the ritual ball-games where the losing captain or even the entire team forfeited their lives when they lost. Children could be sacrificed as well. It was thought that the tears of the child victims would make it rain so ceremonies were held on sacred mountains to honor Tlaloc, the rain G-d. Slaves were an additional common group from which sacrificial victims were chosen. Some reasons for this is so they could accompany their king in his afterlife or they might be chosen by tradesmen to guarantee success in business.

Aztecs believed nourishment of their G-ds was essential for life to carry on. One example of this were their ceremonies to guarantee Tezcatlipoca, the sun god, was well “fed” so that he had the power to elevate the sun every morning. From alternative point of view, sacrifices were a reimbursement to the g-ds for the misconduct among mankind in Aztec mythology. In one story, Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl seized bones from the Underworld and with them created the first humans so that sacrifices were an essential apology to the g-ds.

in Mesoamerica The Aztec civilization which flourished between 1345 and 1521 CE has received a disreputable rank for bloodthirsty human sacrifice with stories of beating hearts being ripped from the still-conscious victims, dismemberment, skinning, and decapitation. Even though all of these things did occur it is essential to recollect that for the Aztecs the act of sacrifice offered the highest possible honor to the g-ds and was needed to ensure mankind’s survival. The first civilization to practice human sacrifice in Mesoamerica was most likely the Olmec civilization which held rituals on top of their sacred pyramids. The Maya, Toltecs, and other civilizations did continue to exercise sacrifice at this time. The Aztecs did, however, take sacrifice to an unparalleled scale, although, that scale was unquestionably embellished by the Spaniards to validate their cruel conduct toward the Mesoamerican people.

This subject intrigued me because when we learned about this in elementary and middle school I never believed my teachers. I also couldn’t think of a reason anyone would do this as a religious thing because most religions think everyone is a son or daughter of G-d and murder is thus forbidden against.

Why did the Aztecs practice human Sacrifice?

The Significance of Sacrifice

28 November 2017

AP World History

Mr. Stoner

Jake Rubin


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