General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 20 Sep 2017/9 Jaguar
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Professor Esther Pasztory

Question for January 2016

What’s the most interesting fact you’ve come across about the Aztecs? Asked by Witham Hall Prep School. Chosen and answered by Professor Esther Pasztory.

Aztec wandering minstrel-poet, Florentine Codex
Aztec wandering minstrel-poet, Florentine Codex (Click on image to enlarge)

The biggest surprise about the Aztecs to me was their poetry. How to reconcile the beautiful and profound poems with the sacrifices and horrific sculptures. It made me realize that the Aztecs were not that different from other people who could be cruel and thoughtful at the same time. The Romans came to mind. It also made me realize that despite their myths that “explained” the universe the Aztecs had doubts and questions about life and death the way we do.

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Scanned from our own copy of the Club Internacional del Libro 3-volume facsimile edition of the Florentine Codex, Madrid, 1994.

Learn more about Aztec song-poems

Professor Esther Pasztory has answered 2 questions altogether:

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever learnt about the Aztecs?

What’s the most interesting fact you’ve come across about the Aztecs?

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