Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations






Toltec State

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In VIII – IX centuries Chichimecas began arriving in central Mexico – the barbarians who were at the lower level of development than the peoples conquered by them. Toltecs were also the newcomers Chichimecas and they came from somewhere of the north, from the place where now the Mexican state of Jalisco and Zacatecas. However, where exactly they came from no one knows and only the legends say that “they came from the depths of the plains, between the rocks.”

Leader Mixcoatl led a group of wandering Toltecs-Chichimecas. His name means “Cloud Serpent” or the Milky Way. Under his leadership, the Toltecs left Chicomoztoc (mythical starting point) and went to Cholula. As they walked in Cholula, Mixcoatl conquered Culuacan and married a noble woman Chimalman (probably she was the daughter of the ruler of Culuacan). Thus, there was assimilation of alien peoples with civilizations, which happened already before their arrival (and not only so did the Toltecs). According to the codice of Chimalpopoca, Mixcoatl conquered Teotihuacan and the surrounding area and made Culuacan the first capital of the Toltec.

From the union and Mixcoatl and Chimalman was born Ce Acatl (One Reed) Topiltzin (Prince) Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent). But Quetzalcoatl did not see his father – he was killed by his colleagues.

Quetzalcoatl spent his childhood in the city Tepoztlan near major cultural and ceremonial center Xochicalco. Became adult, he was requested of and with the help of remaining faithful to his father’s nobility, by a fierce political struggle he acquired the power Culuacan. Then, he moved in 980 AD the capital of the Toltec from Culuacan – first for a short time to Tulancingo, and then to Tula Shicocotitlan, or Tollan (now Hidalgo). Tula became the center of the Toltec world and unites in a single confederation the several tribes and the old towns (Cuauchinanco, Cuaunauac, Cuaupan, Huastenek). The city is rapidly developing and becomes the most beautiful, rich and technically advanced in the Valley of Mexico, then on his wealth remains a legend of the Aztecs. The new capital arises military-religious art, examples of which addressed extant temple Tlauizcalpantecutli (“Lord of the dawn”), Venus. To the temple led platform with three long rows of columns strict connecting with carved beams, between which in a special recess burned an eternal flame.

After becoming the ruler of the Toltecs, Quetzalcoatl begins a series of reforms: political – in order to enhance the concentration of power in their hands, and religious, in which he forbade the sacrifice of people and resolves to sacrifice butterflies, snakes and birds to the god Quetzalcoatl,. At the same time he tries to make the god Quetzalcoatl god number one (and sometimes even the sole) of the Toltec pantheon.

However, his reforms have not applauded by many priests of the gods, and above all the priests of the cult Tezcatlipoca (“smoking mirror”). The most blood-thirsty and in constant need of human blood as a sacrifice. Followers of Tezcatlipoca organized Quetzalcoatl discredit in the eyes of the people, trying different ways to remove him from his post as ruler of the Toltecs. They did it, and in 987 AD Topiltzin was expelled from Tula.

It is believed (but historians are not sure for this) that in 987 AD leader of the Toltec Quetzalcoatl Ce Acatl Topiltzin (or, in Mayan, Kukulcan) appears in the Mayan city of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula and occupies it. The arrival of the Toltec leader was not a peaceful event: in the inscriptions of Chichena we saw the invasion of the invaders that overthrew the dynasty of the Maya. From the figures and inscriptions in the Temple of Warriors can learn that the Toltecs, first won the naval battle against the Maya, and then defeated them in battle on land in any city (perhaps in Chichen Itza). By winning, the Toltecs had enslaved their enemies, and their leaders had been sacrificed to the sun god. Toltec have given Chichen Itza a second life, and at least a century, the Toltecs from Chichen Itza kept in touch with the Toltecs of Tula. Based in Chichen Itza, the Toltec and allied with the tribes soon extended its influence over much of the Yucatan Peninsula. But at the beginning of the XIII century – by the three cities (Itzmal, Mayapan and Uxmal) in the decisive battle the Chichen Itza troops were defeated. The era of the Toltecs on the Yucatan Peninsula was over.

After the expulsion of Quetzalcoatl from Tula, the power passes into the hands of Matlacxochitl, and then to Nahuiotzin, Matlacoatzin, etc. Totally Toltec dynasty has ten rulers.

The last ruler of the Toltecs was Huemac. He ruled about 76 years. In his reign occurred a lot of ills, including seven years of famine.

In 1156 or 1168 aged Huemac move the capital to Chapultepec (now park in the west of Mexico City) and commits ritual suicide.

The Capital – Tollan – continued to prosper until by a 1200 AD (when the Toltecs could not resist another invasion of Chichimecas) has not been destroyed and burned down by a new wave of wild Chichimecas who came from the north. After that, the Valley of Mexico had the following balance of forces: in Culuacan lived the colhua toltecs, in other cities – the representatives of tribes that migrated later.


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