AztecsHow wrong would i be to say that the aztec decimation was based on the number of human sacrifices done in Tenochitlan?

4 Answers

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I may be off course here, but since the original question says Aztec "decimation" and not "domination" I interpreted this to mean that it was human sacrifice that helped wipe out the Aztecs. I think you could argue that the bloodthirsty need for human sacrifice might have led the Aztecs to their destruction because they took extra risks in order to get as many human sacrifices as they could, such as expanding into warfare in more and more distant places to get the human sacrifices they needed.
rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Post 2 is spot on. However, the one way you might argue this would be to point out that by the fifteenth century AD, the Aztecs ruled over the surrounding peoples by force and terror, which found its ultimate expression in the human sacrifices you mention. In fact, some Aztec wars were fought with gaining captives for sacrifice as a major, if not exclusive, goal. When the conquistadores arrived, they found willing allies among the subject peoples of the Aztecs, for obvious reasons.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Are you trying to argue that the Aztecs "dominated" their subjects because of the human sacrifice?  Or are you trying to say that the Aztecs themselves were "decimated" (had their population greatly reduced) by these sacrifices?

Either way, I don't think you can say this.  The sacrifices were typically people taken in battle with other people, not Aztecs.  To the extent that the Aztec population dropped, it was largely because of diseases brought by the Spaniards, not because of sacrifices.

excellency's profile pic

excellency | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Litteacher8 thank you for accepting my point, this question was posed as a result of my recent knowledge that over 80,000 aztecs were sacrificed in tenochitlan