Aztec And Spanish Religion Comparison Essay Research

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Aztec And Spanish Religion Comparison Essay, Research Paper Compare and contrast essay DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AZTEC AND SPANISH RELIGIONS When studying the “Age of Discovery”, one always thinks of Columbus first. Since Columbus was identified with being an employee of what is now known as Spain, we often focus on Spanish exploration as a starting point for the “age of discovery”. One of Spain’s most notorious conquests involved Mexico and a people known as the Aztecs. The Aztecs, like many other Indians, were thought to be heathens that needed to be conquered and converted. The focus of this paper is not on the conquest of Mexico, but rather a study of the religion that was conquered as well as the religion doing the conquering. The Spanish and Aztec religions will

be examined in three areas : gods, priests, and the military connection. There were few similarities between the Aztec and Spanish religions, but the areas that are similar might be shocking. GODS The Aztecs were a tribe that migrated from the north, possibly the Rocky mountains, the Great Basin, and California. “Most probably they were initially a primitive conquering tribe who settled on the shore of the Texcoco lake in the Valley of Mexico at the beginning of the fourteenth century”. As the Aztecs conquered their neighbors in the Valley, they began to assimilate the religions of those tribes into their own culture. The two main tribes the Aztecs seemed to have sculpted their religion from were the Toltecs and the Teotihuacan. Due to these factors the Aztecs had a multitude

of supreme deities. The most powerful and most frequently worshipped god was Huitzlopochtli. Huitzlopochtli was the god of war and guardian of Tenochtitlan. Huitzlopochtli’s temple was the main pyramid in the center of Tenochtitlan and the site of numerous human sacrifices. The next two gods were probably of equal importance. Quetzalcoatl was the serpent god and god of civilization and learning. Quetzalcoatl is also the name of a legendary priest-ruler, the title of high priest, and a royal title. Quetzalcoatl is believed to have been acquired from the Toltec tribe where as a god and legend he originated. Tlaloc was the rain god and he shared the platform of his temple with Huitzilopochtli. Tlaloc was very important to the Aztecs due to the fact that their civilization was

based on agriculture. The god of corn was Centeotl. It might sound odd to have a corn god, but corn was the Aztecs staple food. Coatlicue was she of the serpent skirt. Ettecatl was the god of wind. Huehueteotl was the old deity also associated with fire. Fire was given great respect being that it was a priestly duty to maintain the fires in the temples. Mictlantecuhtle was the god of the dead. Ometecuttlti and his wife, Omecihuatl, created all life in the world. The god of night and sorcery was Tezcatlipoca. The prayers of this god were associated with royalty. The sun god and primary source of life was Tonatiuh. Tonatiuh was of importance when sacrifices were made to him during coronation rites. Aztec cities were built in the east west path of the sun. Tonantzin was among the

many names for the female earth deity. Xilonen was a principle deity representing maize. Xipetotec was the god of springtime and regrowth. The Aztec gods represented the most important things in Aztec life. The Spanish religion was Catholicism which preaches only one supreme god being our lord Jesus Christ. It might be debatable that Catholicism worships more than one god if you analyze the trinity, being the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Catholics and Christians of other denominations would argue this point till they are blue in the face explaining that the trinity is one being. Another way Catholics could be seen as polytheists is in their worship of the Virgin Mary and the saints. Mary, according to Christians, is the mother of Jesus who was conceived by immaculate