Maya And Aztecs Compare And Contrast Essay

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Maya & Aztec Compare and Contrast Essay The Maya and Aztec civilizations were both indigenous people that flourished in Mesoamerica during different periods of time. Maya 's classic period is dated from 250 to 900 AD, which was considered to be the peak of their civilization. They covered much of the Yucatan Peninsula and were centered in what is now known as Guatemala. The Aztecs dominated from 1325 AD to 1521 AD, in what is now modern day Mexico. Although they shared cultural similarities such as their social structure, they also had their differences in military and religious rituals. The Aztec Empire was ruled by an emperor known as the Huey Tlatcani, guest speaker, and had absolute power. The Huey Tlatcani was believed to have been…show more content…
They were militaristic people, always ready to wage war on neighboring regions to earn and demand respect. The emperor, being a powerful king, was the one who would declare war. When Aztecs went to war it was to capture prisoners and pay tribute to their gods. Many young Aztec boys believed becoming a warrior was a glorified position and would enlist with great pride. Aztec warriors lived by the sword, and died for it. Capturing a prisoner was part of the initiation of becoming a warrior. The more prisoners the warriors caught, the more they were rewarded with land, and social rank. Similarly, Maya warriors could also move upward in rank and class through service in the military. The difference between the Aztec and the Maya military was that the Aztec military was led by their powerful emperor, whereas each Maya city-state had their own military which was led by a military leader, the halach uinic. The military leader not only controlled the city-states government but also had religious control over them. Maya city-states would fight one other for destruction of rival states, for dominance and to capture prisoners for sacrificing. The capturing of high-ranking officials were considered a priority and sacrificed immediately as supreme offerings to the gods, whereas commoners were forced into slavery, publicly humiliated, and weren 't sacrificed until one was needed. The Aztecs and the Mayas both…show more content…
The Aztecs believed they owed the gods everything for creating them and the world around them, therefore the gods needed to be fed or nourished daily. To honor their gods and show their gratitude they performed human sacrifices by offering hearts and blood. In doing so, they believed human sacrifices would ensure their existence to the world, and in turn help them in their after life. Aztecs also saw these rituals as a way to send a political message to control their own citizens and instill fear in their foreign neighbors. These sacrifices were performed by a specialized priest at the great temple, the Huey Teocalli, at the very top of the pyramid for all to witness. The heart was cut out while the victim was still alive. The still beating heart would then be burned in offering to the chosen god. Afterward, the body was thrown down the stairs of the pyramid where the head was then cut off and placed on a skull rack, known as a Tzompantli, displayed for all to see. (Ancient History
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