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AZTMES


171


AZYMES


■n-ith cloth and ornaments. To the idols human victims were sacrificed in various ways, and, rela- tively, in large numbers, although it is scarcely possible that more than hundreds — not thousands as reported — should have been slaughtered aimuallj'. The victims were obtained in warfare, and also formed part of the tribute imposed upon conquered tribes. Aside from these cruel executions, the Shamans subjected their own persons to not less cruel tortures and to severe penance.

A certain education was given to the male youth in special buildings connected with the houses of worship and called TelpuchcaUi (Houses of the Youth). That education consisted in the rehearsal of ancient songs and the use of weapons. For counting, and for the preservation of historic mem- ories, as also for tribute, pictographs, executed on a thin paste of maguey fibre spread over delicate pieces of tanned hide, were sometimes used. These paintings could indicate numbers (by dots and sjrni- bols), names (figures related to the meaning of the word), dates (dots and signs), and events (one or more human figures in action). Besides, they had two distinct calendars, the origin of which seems very ancient. Their great cycle was of fifty-two years subdivided into four periods, of thirteen years each. The years were named Tochtli (Rabbit), Acatl (Reed). Tecpatl (Flint), and Calli (House), and these four names wore repeated thirteen times in ihe great cycle. The month consisted of twenty days, named and figured after the same method. They had also a ritual calendar, of twenty periods of thirteen days each, and for ceremonial purposes only. Their numeration went from one to twenty, from twenty to four hundred, eight thousand being the highest figure having a symbol {Xiquipilli, a bag, or sack). Their knowledge of heavenly bodies was limited; they knew the bissextile, and used a rude correction, but had no astronomical instruments. Neither had they any conception of the angle as a means of


measuring. Dress and adornment were elaborate, in official functions; otherwise, the costume was simple, of cotton, with sandals and without trousers. The head was bare, except in the case of chiefs and some of the Shamans. Ornaments were of gold, silver, and bright stones, mostly turquoi-ses, the stones being esteemed for colour or brilliancy only. Gold was obtained as tribute, also silver. They knew how


to fuse the metals by means of the blowpipe. They used copper and an accidental bronze, but no iron. Obsidian played an important part, being the mate- rial for edged tools and mirrors. They had no metallic currency, gold and silver were only for cere- monial and personal decoration.

The buildings of Tenochtitlan were of adobe (sun- dried bricks). Tlie houses were mostly low, but ■wide; the places of worship small and dingy chapels, erectad on the tops of huge artificial mounds of earth encased in stone work. These mounds (ico-calli, houses of the gods, or spirits) occupied the centre of the settlement, and contained some sculptures remarkable for size and elaborateness. The teo-caUi were also citadels to the otherwise unprotected pueblos. The several causeways built from Tenoch- titlan to the mainland, were very creditable achieve- ments. Tenure of lands was communal, without pri- vate o^Tiership, each clan holding a certain area, distributed for use among its members. .Agricultural implements were primitive. Land-tillage was of secondary importance to a tribe essentially lacus- trine, and which relied chiefly u]5on warfare for its subsistence. Together with their confederates of Tezcuco and Tlacopan, the ancient Mexicans, or Aztecs, lived by preying upon other tribes, either plundering or levying tribute. They had no thought of founding a state or nationality. Commerce was carried on, even with tribes that were hostile, and it sometimes gave a welcome pretext for aggression. Of domestic quadrupeds they had only a species of indigenous dog. Like all Indian towns, Tenochtitlan had a large central market-place (tianquiz), the ex- tent and resources of which have been con-siderably exaggerated, as well as most otiier features of so-called Indian civilization.

Of more recent works, Robertson, History of America, and Prescott. History of the Conquest of Mexico, are most widely known and have a large number of editions, but they should be consulted critically. As an accumulation of ref- erences to original ."sources, Hcbert H, Bancroft. Native Races of the Pacific States (New York, 1875 1, and History of the Pacific states are very valuable. Eye-witnesses of the con- quest liKe Hernando Cortes. Cartas de Relacidn, and the sources in Ramusio are of great importance, but should be treated with circumspection as interested reporters. Im- portant al-so are Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo v \'aldes, Historia general y moral de las lndias,\\\ (1853); FRANrisro L(5pez de Gomara, Conquista de Mexico, Segunda Parte de la Cronica general de las Indias (1554). Besides, for the status of the Aztecs, or Mexicans, and their degree of ctJture, the works of ecclesiastics and missionaries: the books of Moto- linia; (^er6nimo de Mendieta, Historia eclesidstica indiajia,. also of Juan de Torquemada, Monarquia indiana (1729),. are of first rank. Camargo, Historia de Tlaxcala (Mexico^ 1892); Zurita and Po.mar, Nueva coleccion de Documentor para la Historia de Mexico (Mexico, 1891); and Sahagdn, Historia general de lai Cosasde Nueva Espana (Mexico, 1828), deserve careful attention. Lastly we refer to Father Diego- DcR.\N, Historia de los indios de Nueva Espafta (Mexico, 1867); to Tezozomoc, Cronica mexicana (Mexico, 1878); and to the so-called CMice Ramirez, written by the Jesuit Juan DE Tobar, and printed in (he same volume as the work of Tezozomoc. Fernando de Aeba, 1 xtlilxochitl , Relaciones historicas and his Historia de los Chichimecas, antiguos Reyes de Tezcuco (both in Lord Kingsborough's Antiquities of Mexico) also belong to the same period, the sixteenth century, and were also puVjlished much later. In the eighteenth cen- tuiy, Vetia t Echeverri.\ wrote a compendious Historia antigw. de Mexico (Mexico, 1836). and Clavigero his well- known Storia del Messico, of which many editions and trans- lations have appeared. The voluminous collections entitled: Colcccithi de documentos incditos del Archivo de Indias, and Coleccion de documentos para la historia de Esparto, contain many documents of great interest. All these sources should be treated with great critical caution and made use of from a specifically ethnological standpoint. They are all valuable, but suffer from the failings of the knowledge of their times and from the inevitable shortcomings of the personal ele- ment. Literature on the Nahuatl or Mexican (.\ztec) lan- guage begins very snon after the introduction of the printing press in Mexico, that is, after 1533-36.

Ad. F. B.i.VDELIER.

Azymes (Gr. i^fwi, without leaven; Heb. mag- folh), unfermented cakes used by the Jews in their various sacrifices and religious rites (Ex., xxix, 2, 23; Num., vi, 15, 17, 19; Lev., ii, 4; vi, 16-17; vii, 12; viii, 2, 26), as commanded by the Law (Ex.,