Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(943 words)

In the late 15th century the territory ruled by the Mesoamerican Aztecs extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It was therefore the first large empire that the Spanish conquistadors made contact with in 1519 (Colonial empire, 3; Cultural contact, global). The migration myths of the Mexica, recorded in pictorial Aztec codices and in transcriptions of orally transmitted accounts, reveal the recent history of this Nahuatl-speaking ethnic group of immigrants from the north. The privations of their wanderings under the leaders…

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Grünschloß, Julia, “Aztecs”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 03 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017271>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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