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The Rise of the Aztecs Part II, struggling for independence

5 February 2012 Comments Leave a comment

In The Rise of the Aztecs Part I, we left the Tepanecs immersed in the dilemma. What to do with their newly acquired neighbors known as Mexica-people-from-Aztlan or the Aztecs. The despised newcomers got themselves into a trouble all right, angering their previous patrons of Culhuacan. To flay a princess, of all things! Azcapotzalco’s Tepanecs shook their heads. Clearly the troublesome newcomers had no finesse. No finesse at all.

But those Aztecs were great warriors; there was no argument about that. The Tepanecs began seeing the possibilities.

First they had launched series of raids against their neighbors in trouble, to make them understand which nation around Texcoco Lake was the most powerful to be reckoned with. Just in case it was not clear enough yet.

Then, after humbling the most warlike of their neighbors quite thoroughly, they promptly took them under Azcapotzalco’s protection, against the wrath of Culhuacan.

The small Mexica-Aztec nation was safe for now, but there was a price to pay. The Aztecs were to supply their new patrons with an unlimited amount of warriors whenever demanded. And the Tepanecs didn’t make them wait. While the Aztecs were busy founding their new capital upon the muddy island of the vast Texcoco Lake, the demands began trickling in. The emperor of Azcapotzalco had decided to turn on their historical rival – Culhuacan.

Reinforced by a horde of the warlike new allies, Azcapotzalco’s warriors had pounced on its sister-city, in less than ten summers succeeding in taking over all of their trading routes and depended towns and villages. The surrounding districts and settlements, which had paid a tribute to Culhuacan up to these days, began sending their yearly payments to Azcapotzalco instead.

The Tepanecs’ empire was expanding.

An excerpt from “The Young Jaguar

The heavyset man nodded and relaxed almost visibly. He was getting past his prime, reflected Tecpatl. Of an old this formidable man would not be readable under any circumstances.

The urge to escape the Palace welled. He thought of the spaciousness of his own gardens, of the meal that was sure to contain every delicious snack he had had ever indicated as his favorite, of the ardent, exuberant welcome-home which was sure to await him. He could see her, dressed in the best of her clothes, bathed and groomed, waiting for him, exalted and impatient. Still beautiful, still desirable, still in love with him, still unruly and not fitting, just like fifteen summers ago, when he had met her for the first time.

“You are sure the new Emperor will give you all the commands you desire.” The older man made it a statement.

Tecpatl forced his mind to concentrate. “I hope he will trust me as had his father before him.”

“How long will it take to make Culhuacan crumble?”

“Not very long. Their warriors grew soft. They are not worthy enemy anymore.” Relieved to steer from the dangerous ground of politics, he added: “I’ll be happy to finish them off and re-open the war against the Mayans.”

“Not the Aztecs?”

“Oh, the Aztecs make good warriors. But they are barbarians. They are few and unimportant. Culhuacan is the worthy enemy. They are our equals, our peers.”

The face of the elder man remained still but something in the depths of the narrow eyes changed. “You do wise staying away from the palace affairs. You are a warrior and you better keep it that way…”

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4 Comments to “The Rise of the Aztecs Part II, struggling for independence”

  1. Antoinette Ouellette

    Watching the path taken by father then the son makes the story compelling.Politics was as much of a minefield of personalities then as now.Sukaru is still battling to be recognized and you find yourself reliving the battles for equality that still exist.It took me on a trip to the past in a manner that left me wanting to learn more and more of the culture that we are still in awe of! Engrossing and entertaining at the same time ..!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Antoinette 🙂

      I agree, politics makes it much more interesting and people were always people, 500 years ago or 50.
      The settings are changing, the customs, the traditions, but the people remain the same with their basic needs and desires 🙂

  2. Wonderful SITE! the GREAT SPEAKER himself would be proud! I think Mexico should revive a constitutional monarchy with an Aztec Royal family reigning from Tenochtitlan (go BACK to the old name & start to mix some Nahuatl vocabulary into the Spanish) Imagine a Mexica ‘honors’ list, where the Emperor grants worthy citizens the coveted ‘tzin’ before their name— a prefix designating noble families…..And the thing is, Mxico could do this. there MUST be a pretender to the throne there someplace….. Oh, and the obsidian dagger/cursor is brilliant!

    • Hi Billy,

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      I agree wholeheartedly and ready to vote for your proposal, lol. I, for one, would welcome this change of government 😀
      Although the new government/Emperor/Tlatoani might not like the way my books are presenting the great Tenochtitlan at the times it was anything but great (so no, not counting on the Revered Speaker and his council including my books in the school system history lessons :D)

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