Toltec Civilization Essay

3840 words - 15 pages

this paper was to prove toltecs were civilized, but i went off in a couple of places she thought that, since the toltecs practiced human sacrifice, they are uncivilized. important for sensitive teachersToltec CivilizationThe Priest stood atop the temple of the Sun, looking down on his people gatheredfor this event. With one swift movement, he raised the sacrificial obsidian dagger andplunged it into the young man's chest, tearing out his heart. He then placed the heart onthe waiting chac-mool, smiled, and anounced the beginning of celebration.The Toltecs were one of the first 'Nahuatl' speaking cultures to colonize centralMexico. It is unclear whether they came from the North or the South, but, popular theoryis that they came from the North (Southern America). The tribe first settled a smalldistance west of what is now Mexico City. There, they built the largest city ever inMexico, even dwarfing today's Mexico City (von Hagen, Sun, pp. 20, 29)! The Toltecsruled over this town from 200 B.C to 900 A.D (Sabloff, p. 112). Then, something forcedthem to leave; climate change, foreigners, a war, nobody knows.The Toltecs then migrated about 50 miles North. There, they settled and began tobuild the town called Tula (Gruzinski, p. 14). They resided there until 1100 A.D (Sabloff,p. 112). In around 987 A.D or so, the Toltec priest- king Quezalcoatl (who was actually agod. There are also records of a man named Topiltzin who apparently followed the samecourse as Quetzalcoatl. It was unclear who was who, or if they were the same person.)was forced to flee with a few of his followers (Gruzinski, p. 14). He fled to the Yucatanpeninsula, where the Mayas resided. He then proceeded to build a gigantic city calledChichen Itza (von Hagen, Maya, p 39).Here, we switch to Mayan history, which discusses the leadership of a man calledKukulcan, which means 'feathered-serpent,' or Quetzalcoatl (von Hagen, Sun, p. 332).He ruled over this culture for some time, then he decided to leave. Again, there is noevidence saying why he left. On the year 1-Reed( a Toltec measure of time), he set sailWest in the Atlantic ocean, with the prophesy that he would return on the recurrence ofthat date (von Hagen, Sun, p. 28).Meanwhile, back in Tula, things were disintegrating in the Toltec culture. Theirsociety was becoming progressively warlike, as was evidenced in their art. They begancorrupting political power and becoming greedy for money. They raped the villagers withtaxes using the gods as their athority (Townsend, p. 49-50). This brought about a civilwar which thouroughly destroyed the Toltecs (Gruzinski, p.15).Yes, the Toltec people definitely practiced human sacrifice. Immediately, onethinks what the Spaniards thought when they observed the Aztecs performing the sameritual 600 years later: 'Savages!'In this paper, I will try to convince you why you should not consider the Toltecssavages, but consider them the epitome of civilization. If I am to prove this to you, wemust have an...

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