General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 24 Mar 2019/13 Lizard
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Dr. John F. Schwaller

Question for January 2008

Why didn’t the Aztecs ask their gods to save them? Asked by Codicote CE Primary School. Chosen and answered by Dr. John F. Schwaller.

The clash of two worlds...
The clash of two worlds... (Click on image to enlarge)

There are two answers to this question. The first answer is: From what we know of the conquest, we think that the Aztecs probably did ask their gods to intervene. The second answer, however, asks some questions about the Aztec gods. Aztec gods, of which there were very many, dozens in fact, were thought of as having specialties. Ehecatl, for example, was a god of wind. Tlaloc was a god of rain and moisture. The Aztec approach to these divinities was one of mutual support. The Aztecs offered sacrifices of one sort or another to the gods, and the gods fulfilled their function, of providing rain or seeing that the crops grew. So, in all likelihood, they did ask some of their gods to intervene. While the Aztecs might have lost on the battlefield, they certainly survived the war. There were millions of Aztecs living in central Mexico after the conquest.

Illustration: part of a folding screen mural by Roberto Cueva del Río (photo by Ian Mursell)

Dr. John F. Schwaller has answered 7 questions altogether:

Why did the Aztecs only use wheels for toys and not for transport?

Do we only get food words or are there other English words derived from the Aztec language?

How many words were there in the Aztec language?

Why didn’t the Aztecs ask their gods to save them?

Is Náhuatl taught in Mexican schools today?

Why is the emperor called Montezuma [in England] and not Moctezuma?

Did the Aztecs say a prayer before eating?

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