General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 29 Nov 2020/5 Flower
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Our In-House Team

Question for February 2008

How big was the Aztec army? Asked by Oak Farm Junior School. Chosen and answered by Our In-House Team.

Aztec battleline - illustration by Adam Hook
Aztec battleline - illustration by Adam Hook (Click on image to enlarge)

Seriously big! Professor John Pohl, an expert on this subject, calls the Aztecs ‘the greatest military empire that the western hemisphere had ever known’, and the figures speak for themselves...

By the time of the Spanish Conquest, the Aztecs could maintain in the field - for months, even years on end if needs be - armies running to several hundred thousand soldiers, of whom at least 100,000 would be porters accompanying the troops, each carrying as much as 50 pounds in material. One figure that all experts agree on is that during the siege of Coixtlahuaca (southern state of Oaxaca) in 1458 a Triple Alliance army (led by the Aztecs) numbering 300,000 marched 500 miles south frokm the Valley of Mexico to defeat and kill Atonal, the lord of Coixtlahuaca, (who had earlier made the fatal mistake of executing a group of 160 Aztec merchants...) In 1506, just 15 years before the Conquest, a Triple Alliance army of 400,000 men attacked the Mixtec coastal kingdom of Tututepec and burnt the city.

Find out about how the Aztec army was organised by following the link below...

(Illustration courtesy of Osprey Publishing)

‘Ask Us’ page on the Aztec army

Our In-House Team has answered 22 questions altogether:

Did the Aztecs have different types of chewing gum to today’s?

Did the Aztecs have a god of snow?

Which parts of the Day of the Dead festival go back to the Aztecs?

Why did they put holes [gaps] in the [upright huehuetl] drums?

Was Snake Woman an Aztec empress?

How big was the Aztec army?

Did they have First Aid?

Which pet was the Aztecs’ favourite?

Why did they call them ‘chinampas’?

Did the Spanish have an interpreter when they conquered the Aztecs?

Which was the Aztecs’ most fearsome weapon?

Why was the Sun God called Tonatiuh?

Did they send post (mail)?

Did they have the same seasons as we do?

What did they do with the shells of armadillos after eating the meat?

Why didn’t Aztec houses have doors?

Which was the biggest group [job sector] in Aztec society?

Why is it better to support loads on the forehead and not on the shoulders?

When children were punished, how long were they held over smoking chillies for?

What was the Aztecs’ greatest fear?

Why did the Aztecs believe gold was the poo of the Sun God?

Is it a dragon in the Wind sign on the Sunstone?

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