Talk:Aztec Empire

Active discussions

Editing Aztec Triple AllianceEdit

Fellow Editors: I have been working on keeping this article focused on the Aztec Triple Alliance and not include scraps of material more appropriate to the Aztec, Tenochtitlan or the Spanish conquest of Mexico articles.

Yes, in the later years particularly, the Aztecs were the Triple Alliance, but this article really should not mirror the Aztec article.

I removed the following sentences for the reasons stated:

  • "After establishing power in the Valley of Mexico, the Triple Alliance's control spread through the use of Flowery wars, which captured prisoners for sacrifice." This is unsupported IMHO. It seems more correct to say that their influence spread thru old-fashioned war (period). Certainly the Flower Wars were a feature of Aztec warfare, but not the (primary) method that the Aztecs used to spread their influence.
  • "As a founding member of the alliance, Texcoco had a lot of privileges and provided the Aztec with their most cultivated citizens". Also unsupported. Texcoco supplied their most cultivated citizens? Also the phrase "a lot of" is too fuzzy and unencyclopedic.
  • "As the Aztec absorbed all Nahua cities, that left only Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo as a source for captives for sacrifice. Cholula was originally under Huexotzingo, but the Aztec absorbed almost all the territory of Huexotzingo, leaving only Talxcala." If the article needs to address the blow-by-blow of the Aztec empire (Triple Alliance) conquest, we should get a regular chronology going with dates and a narrative flow.

Just wanted to explain my thought processes. Madman 03:51, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Appropriate title?Edit

Is this title really appropriate? Isn't Aztec Empire the most common term, even if it's not technically accurate? Peter Isotalo 14:48, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

This article is about the Triple Alliance and not about the Aztec Empire, even though Aztec Empire redirects here. We could use an article about the Aztec Empire, although as you point out the word "empire" is something of a misnomer.
By the way, very nice article on Aztec cuisine. Congratulations! Madman 21:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the present title is just fine, although a fair bit more could be written on the political background here.--cjllw ʘ TALK 00:52, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

client statesEdit

Shouldn't there be a map with the client states to give a hint on the political power that the aztec empire was? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Lets fix this articleEdit

As an Aztec enthusiast, I find this article to be somewhat lacking in multiple areas. Compare it with the article on the Inca Empire and you'll see it's missing quite a bit. As such, I've decided it needs to be reworked entirely. I've already expanded the infobox, though its far from finished. I also reworked the introduction and added citations. I'm going to be making more changes over the next few months or so. I'll be adding more references to the body (probably to the intro as well) and expanding sections. I want to keep this focused on history and political structure. Aztec culture should be delegated to the primary Aztec article.

Still, I need help. My resources are rather limited; I've got a couple of books and the internet. If we can get a couple of people working on this on and off we can turn this into something accurate and informative. For starters, does anybody have a source on the land area? It looks like 200,000 sq km is the number that keeps getting thrown around the internet, but I have no idea where this figure originally came from. I realize that any number is going to be a rough estimate at best, but for general education purposes it would definitely help to have something rooted in an historical study. Snickeringshadow (talk) 13:18, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Update - So I've got the infobox to a point where I'm happy with it. For the term "Aztec", I'm using Smith's definition of the word to refer to Nahua-speaking people rather than the Mexica specifically, though I've made note of alternate interpretations in the etymology section. I haven't even touched the main body yet; I never seem to edit this in a place where I have access to good sources. Still need a source on land area. Snickeringshadow (talk) 11:43, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
You are doing good work. Regarding your questions: The Aztec imperial form was not a territorial empire so land area is rather irrelevant, I think we should leave that field empty. For sources I recommend "The Tenochca Empire of Ancient Mexico: The Triple Alliance of Tenochtitlan, Tetzcoco, and Tlacopan" by Pedro Carrasco and Rudolf van Zantwijk's the Aztec arrangement to supplement Smith. And particularly Frances Berdan's "Aztec Imperial Strategies" would be useful for building the article.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:57, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I don't have access to many sources as I'm overseas right now and cut off from my university library. As far as the area goes, I've deleted it for now, but I do think it could be useful. Just because they had an indirect role in managing the empire doesn't mean they didn't occupy space. If we have a map depicting the empire, providing an area measurement to accompany it seems only logical. Still, without a source it's pointless to have. Snickeringshadow (talk) 12:59, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually it does mean that there is no way to measure the space over which some sort of political control was exercised. The Aztec empire was much looser in structure than most empires. Michael E Smith has published very useful articles about the relations between center and periphery (and therefore territory) in the Aztec empire. Many of them are available from his website.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:56, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I've read Smith's articles, as well as explanations on the differences between territorial and hegemonic empires. I know the difficulty of forming an accurate land area estimate for any empire let alone hegemonic ones. I simply thought that for general education purposes it might be useful to provide a rough estimate (even a range of possible estimates) to show the relative scale we're talking about. If you don't think it's a good idea we'll leave it out. Besides, I can't find a source for it anyways. Snickeringshadow (talk) 06:51, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
If you find a reliable source I don't mind including it - but I don´t consider finding one to be a priority in the improvement of the article. I think the map gives a rough idea of the extent.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:46, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Update – Thanks in large part to the work of User:Ndaco on Aztec Government, I think this article is more or less complete now. More could still be added, but anything beyond the major sections we have now is probably more appropriate to the main Aztec article. Snickeringshadow (talk) 21:07, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Aztec, not MexicaEdit

The Mexica specifically referred to the ethnic group of Tenochtitlan. The other two city-states of the alliance were ethnically Acolhua and Tlapanec (edit: Tepanec). Using the phrase "Mexica Triple Alliance" is erroneous because it implies that all three cities were ethnically Mexica. Similarly, the native Nahuatl name recently posted "Mexica Excan Tlatoloyantli" translates as "Mexica Kingdom of Three Places". Again, this implies that the Mexica were the only members of the alliance. Also, a google search for this phrase only shows this wikipedia page and articles that have clearly copied this wikipedia page. I wouldn't mind including it if a reputable outside source pointed to the phrase as an indigenous description, but I'm skeptical.

Aztec, while incorrect from an indigenous standpoint, is more accurate than Mexica to describe the alliance as a whole. Also, the phrase "Aztec Empire" needs to be included somewhere in the opening paragraph because that's the term most people are familiar with. I provided an etymology section in the article to explain this issue, and we can expand it to clarify the various terms used by different authors. Snickeringshadow ([[User talk:Snickeringshadow| — Preceding unsigned comment added by Penelope37 (talkcontribs) 03:11, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

talk]]) 10:42, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

You are partially correct. The ethnic groups in the alliance were Mexica, Acolhua an Tepanec (not Tlapanec wiçhich is an entirely different oto-manguean speaking ethnic group.) It is correct that Aztec is better as a general description for the alliance since all of the three ethnic groups considered them selves to have originally migrated form Aztlan. The word Mexica Excan Tlatoloyantli is not an actual Nahuatl word and is not attested in any sources.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:53, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah. You're right, of course. I don't know why I said "Tlapanec". That was simply a typing mistake. Snickeringshadow (talk) 06:31, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
May I know the source for ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· text "since all of the three ethnic groups considered them selves to have originally migrated form Aztlan"? Never heard of this. Also the correct term is "Empire of the Triple Alliance" that's what is used in Mexican literature as the three allies didn't share anything but the language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaletzin (talkcontribs) 08:18, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
This is the English wikipedia and we go by the common name in English language literature. If you have never heard that the Tenochca-MExica, Tlatelolca, Acolhua and Tepanecah considered themseleves to have a shared origin in Aztlan then there is a serious portion of the literature that you should acquaint yourself with. For a starter I'd suggest Michael E Smith's paper "The Aztlan Migrations of the Nahuatl Chronicles> Myth or History", I disagree with his conclusion but his overview of the primary sources is fine.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:02, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Mexicapan. Native name of the Aztec Triple AllianceEdit

Snickeringshadow's statement is false and backwards. The term Aztec refers specifically to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan, while Mexica was used in the national scene. The Empire ruled was known as Mexicapan to its inhabitants. That is the official native name. Excan Tlatoloyantli was used in reference to the core of the empire.

hint, simply being common vernacular in America does not grant it precedence over both its modern and ancient name in Mexico. A true archaeologist refers to ancient civilizations by their used names, without the agenda of perpetuating mistaken or misused lingo, despite its commonality. The other name may be included as the search heading, however the correct name must not be removed, fueling ignorance.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Penelope37 (talkcontribs) 03:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Mexicapan is not and was not the native name of the triple alliance. There is no native name for the Triple alliance, or for the empire, recorded in any historical sources. Mexicapan is a common placename in Mexico meaning "Place of Mexica". Wikipedia follows the usage of reliable secondary sources, i.e. what most archaeologists and hiostorians use. They do not use Mexicapan as a native name for the triple alliance.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:48, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Also, I've provided citations from a reliable source explaining the use of Mexica and Aztec in the etymology section of the article. You're free to present alternate interpretations, but it should be supported by reliable sources. Snickeringshadow (talk) 06:45, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Major RewriteEdit

I have rewritten the bulk of this article to be more coherent and factually correct. I also added citations where there were none before. I still need to touch up the section on the Spanish Conquest, which I'll probably get to this week. Otherwise I think this is a very good description of Aztec history. Of course, this is just the beginning. We'll need sections on government and political structure as well. That, however, is a job for another day and perhaps another editor. I'm exhausted and going to bed. Snickeringshadow (talk) 20:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Also, does anybody know a way to consolidate citations better? I have several citations in this text that reference the same page in the same book. It would make the reference section a lot easier to read. Snickeringshadow (talk) 21:04, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I figured it out with some helpful input from User:Simon Burchell. Thanks. Snickeringshadow (talk) 19:22, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Merge with Aztec Government?Edit

There's a really great article on the government of the Aztec Empire. Seeing as how this article has no sections on government structure, do you think it would be a good idea to merge that article into this one? I can't really think of a reason for these to be separate articles. Snickeringshadow (talk) 19:17, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

  • So I didn't want to do this unilaterally, but nobody's responded. I went ahead and merged the articles. Feel free to say something if you think it was the wrong call. Snickeringshadow (talk) 01:57, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I for one approve.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:03, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Feedback neededEdit

So, I've incorporated the article written by User:Ndaco on Aztec Government. I've also rewritten the section on the conquest and made a bunch of minor changes as well. As it sits, I'm fairly happy with this article as a whole. I'm sure it could use more, but I'm reluctant to add more until I hear from somebody else. If anybody would like to look this over and post some feedback, I could really use a second pair of eyes. What needs fixing? What's redundant/should be cut? And what needs to be expanded or further explained? Snickeringshadow (talk) 04:46, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


I've changed the map inserted by Giggette by this one because hers isn't supported by any reliable source :

  1. I've found no source supporting this map on La Historia con Mapas ; moreover, this one shows no Aztec territory between Mitla and Soconusco/Xoconochco.
  2. Britannica : what's the article/link?
  3. internet sources : blogs and other unreliable sources (no pair-reviewing, no quotation of the author nor the publication of the map, no explanation of the primary sources of the map)

Moreover, the recent, specialized and detailed sources about Aztec empire show no Aztec territory between Teozapotlan and Xoconochco : Berdan & Smith 1996, Berdan & Smith 2013.

Important information for admins and stewards : Giggette is trying to impose her map on all Wikipedias, now that she understands she won't impose her POV by an edit war on Commons. She knows that her map is undocumented and contradicted by very reliable and recent sources, but she just wants to impose her POV pushing. El Comandante (talk) 09:50, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

I support the removal.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:27, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
And now Giggette is trying to impose her POV by restoring her map, with no argument and no discussion, only saying Maximum Extension. That's not a valid answer to my arguments, so I restored the map based on quoted recent and specialized publications. El Comandante (talk) 17:18, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Excan Tlatoloyan's originEdit


« Excan Tlatoloyan », the nahuatl name for what Ixtlilxochitl called « imperio de las tres cabezas » and what modern historian call « Triple Alliance » at least since Clavijero, didn't begin with the alliance between Mexico-Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan after their war against Azcapotzalco, but during the toltec era, with the alliance between Tula, Culhuacan and Otompan, according to Chimalpahin (see Alfredo López Austin & Leonardo López Luján, El pasado indígena, 2001, p. 233).

El Comandante (talk) 16:12, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Before you, other people on Wikipedia have put "Excan Tlatoloyan" for the indigenous name of the Aztec empire. If Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl used this name in Nahuatl, I think we can use it. But we need to find a primary source that uses it. I've only seen this name used by writers associated with the nationalist movement in Mexico, and I think this is not enough. For the second part of your post, I have not read anything about an alliance between Tula, Culhuacan, and Otompan. I do not I have the book you use, but I believe you when you say that the writer claims this. But where did he find this information? There are many examples of the Aztecs changing their history to support their right to rule the people of Mexico. I think it's possible that this is a myth that was made for this reason. And even if there was a similar alliance between Tula, Culhuacan, and Otompan, there isn't a direct continuity between that and the Triple Alliance between Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. How can there be? Tenochtitlan was founded after Tula fell. Snickeringshadow (talk) 22:29, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Here's a reliable secondary source : Pedro Carrasco. El Comandante (talk) 08:12, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
And Otompan was founded after Tenochtitlan rose to power. I have never seen the phrase "Excan tlahtoloyan" used in any source not affiliated with Mexican nationalists.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:45, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Here's the exact quotation : « En la Cuenca, la antigüedad de la excan tlatoloyan va mucho más allá del siglo XV. Aunque está muy difundida la idea de que surgió tras la guerra contra Azcapotzalco, en 1430, debe insistirse en que su existencia se remonta cuando menos a la época tolteca. Domingo Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuanitzin menciona, aunque en forma muy vaga, una remota alianza entre Tolla, Culhuacan y Otompan. Con el tiempo, Tollan fue sustituida por Coatlinchan, y ésta por Texcoco ; Culhuacan tuvo como única heredera a Mexico-Tenochtitlan ; el lugar de Otompan fue ocupado primero por Azcapotzalco y después por Tlacopan ».
El Comandante (talk) 22:17, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
That is quite likely a mythological reference more than an historical one, regardless of what Chimalpahin wrote those figures dont add up, and it is much more likely that it was just part of the strategy of deriving authority through historical ties with the Toltecs. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Alfredo López Austin & Leonardo López Luján are very famous and influential mesoamericanists. Whatever Wikipedia users can think and argue about what they published, I believe that this article should quote their reliable reference work El pasado indígena, at least to respect the NPOV policy... El Comandante (talk) 05:52, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I once attended a very good talk with Lopez Lujan, and the map he used of the Aztec empire was the wikipedia map I made with the colors corresponding to the conquests of different Tlatohqueh (the one on which Giggette has based her orthographic projection map). They are very influential mesoamericanists, that is true, but there is no way we can use that word as the name of the triple alliance based just on Chimalpahin. But we should mention Carrasco and Lopez Austin/Lopez Lujans mention of Chimalpahins usage.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:05, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I was not asking for something else than quote the POV of reliable secondary sources such as López Austin, López Luján and Carrasco's publications. El Comandante (talk) 20:59, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Too bad, nobody here seems to consider useful to quote the POV of Chimalpahin like prominent specialists do. El Comandante (talk) 21:31, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I'd forgotten about this discussion. I think quoting Chimalpahin is fine, but it shouldn't be given as "the" nahuatl translation of the concept. But we can surely mention that he translated it like that. I wonder why he used "tlahtoloyan" (places where there is speech) instead of "tlahtohcahyoh" "kingdoms".User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:26, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Chimalpahin used excan tlahtolloc, litteraly "there is government in three parts" according to Pedro Carrasco. El Comandante (talk) 16:10, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Almost one year past, and still nothing about these informations in the english-speaking Wikipedia, because of the error of renaming this article Aztec Empire... What a shame that curious readers must read the spanish article es:Triple Alianza (México) (or in other languages) to access to some informations about this subject! El Comandante (talk) 16:10, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Orthographic projection territorial extensionEdit

Originally this map File:Aztec Empire (orthographic projection).svg was created by the user keepscases, describing the maximum extension of the Aztec territory according many sources, maps, sites (verified visually on the image description), but on 11 February 2010 the user Sémhur modified it by user request El Comandante, the user who claims this, these users argue that was modified according to the map File:Provincias tributarias de la Triple Alianza (s. XVI).svg (Provinces tributary of the Triple Alliance s. XVI.), without any prior discussion because the user keepscases was blocked. Now, although I've been insulted by both, I just replaced the map as it was originally shown on Wikipedia without any inconvenience by another file. However, I have been asking in COMMONS the page or any image that affirms, and so far I have not seen anything to verify. --Giggette (talk) 18:18, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Not anything to verify? And what about Atlas del México prehispánico by María del Carmen Solanes Carraro & Enrique Vela Ramírez, special edition n°5 of Arqueología Mexicana, 2000-07-05, Editorial Raíces, México? And what about Berdan & Smith 1996 and Berdan & Smith 2013? It's very clear that according to all these reliable sources there were NOT any aztec territory between Teozapotlan and Xoconochco. Your map, that claims the opposite, is based on nothing but unreliable sources (authors unknown, methodology unknown, date unknown) published on unreliable supports (a blog is NOT pair reviewed).El Comandante (talk) 22:58, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I did not create that map. Keepscases (talk) 00:35, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
One problem is whether it is even possible to talk meaningfully about "Aztec territory" since the Aztec empire was not a territorial empire, but a hegemonic one. That is exactly why Smith's map is organized into provinces with intermediary buffer zones. I actually think that Giggettes map is probably not all that bad, because it does give a reasonable idea of the extent of Aztec political control even if it doesn't show exactly the relations between the different polities that were under different kinds of Aztec hegemiony.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:57, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Sure that "Aztec territory" is not a valid scientific notion. I only use this Giggette's expression so that she can understand what we are talking about. But you're wrong when you say that her map gives "a reasonable idea of Aztec political control" : according to what source? According to Smith, there is absolutely no document that proves that there was any tributary or client state of Mexica or any "Aztec" power between Teozapotlan and Xoconochco. So how a map that pretend the opposite, without any source to support it, would be more "reasonable" than the one that is seriously documented??? El Comandante (talk) 06:12, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Ross Hassigs maps include that area because of the fact that Aztec armies passed through the area, and I think that is probably the source on which Giggettes map is based. I know that I based this similar map [[File:Aztecexpansion.png]] on Hassig when I made it some 8 years ago. (note that i am not claiming that my map is very accurate either)·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 11:49, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I think I have to back El Comandante here. That region between Teozapotlan and Xoconochco was under the influence of the Zapotec city of Tehuantepec, which was a major enemy of the Aztecs. Yes, Aztec armies moved across that land, but unless the local city-state paid tribute to or otherwise provided support for the Triple Alliance, I don't think it has any business being on the map. Snickeringshadow (talk) 21:53, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it was under the influence of the Zapotec but before of the raising of the Aztecs, that region between Teozapotlan and Xoconochco is recognized as "El Paso Mareño" (Mareño crossing), isthmus of Tehuantepec. --Giggette (talk) 22:08, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Do you have a source that claims "El Paso Mareño" was part of the Aztec empire? Snickeringshadow (talk) 22:32, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Of course not, nowadays is recognized as "El Paso Mareño", but during the Aztec empire that region between Teotzapotlan and Xoconochco was recognized as "Huaxyacac". --Giggette (talk) 23:45, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Of course, it's not so simple. Please see Ross Hassig's map about Moctezuma II's conquests in Huaxyacac. There are no Pacific coast territories.
Moreover, what about the fact that the map you support adds to your Britannica reference map, without any explanation, territories such as San Lorenzo and even parts of contemporary El Salvador?
El Comandante (talk) 05:40, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Huaxyacac referred only to the Valley of Oaxaca, and was run as an Aztec tributary province by the city of Cuilapan. The Pacific Coast of Oaxaca was controlled by the Mixtec kingdom of Tututepec (Yucu Dzaa). The isthmus was largely controlled by Tehuantepec. Both of those were independent. I'm sorry, but this just isn't accurate. If you want to argue this, find a source that supports it. Snickeringshadow (talk) 23:17, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
This map [1] was vandalized by Sémhur using the source "File:Provincias tributarias de la Triple Alianza (s. XVI).svg" from the Atlas del México prehispánico (created by Yavidaxiu who recently said that the map is not the same as the reference here, section dedicated to pre-Hispanic cultures pp. 64-75), now El Comandante is saying that this map is based by Berdan & Smith 1996, but this map IS NOT exactly the same as the author, and finally El Comandante is insulting me as we can see here in this discussion on COMMONS, (even an administrator noticed it there) and also he's attacking me of "POV pushing" just because I replaced your vandalism since 11 February 2010. Otherwise, the original map File:Aztec Empire ME (orthographic projection).svg was reuploaded with another name according to references that support it as: Aztec & Maya Regions, Aztec article on Encyclopædia Britannica 1994 (Image 17 of 27), La Historia con Mapas, The Aztec Empire by Ian Mladjov at the University of Michigan, Ross Hassigs, Web's maps : [2], [3], l[4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]...
So now, what do you prefer?
  1. File:Aztec Empire (orthographic projection).svg changed by Sémhur
  2. File:Aztec Empire ME (orthographic projection).svg original reuploaded
--Giggette (talk) 20:23, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
About Giggette's map sources, please read that discussion. And about what Yavidaxiu said, Giggette is lying : he didn't said that the map is not the same as the one from Arqueología Mexicana, but that he just didn't copied it, for not violating copyrights, but that he created his map respecting the informations published in Arqueología Mexicana. El Comandante (talk) 21:39, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Giggette has frequently had problems producing sources in support of her claims. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:40, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
  • If someone is able and willing to make a more detailed and accurate map of the Aztec empire and the conquests of the different regions by different rules that would be immensely useful for the article.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:42, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok, actually Yavidaxius map which I hadnt seen is extremely good and should definitely be the one we work from here. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:28, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
It means that you support Sémhur orthographic map based on Yavidaxiu's map, right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by El Comandante (talkcontribs) 05:55, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm currently comparing maps from my books. I have had a previous run-in with Gigette and am trying to put it aside:

  • p11 of The Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec & Maya (ed. Charles Phillips) supports El Commandante's version
  • p191 of Mexico from the Olmecs to the Aztecs by Michael Coe and Rex Koontz supports El Commandante's version
  • p159 of The Aztecs by Michael E. Smith supports El Commandante's version.
  • pp8-9 of The Aztecs by Richard F. Townsend resembles El Commandante's version except it has the extent of Aztec dominance extending along the whole of Soconusco into the western portion of the Pacific plain of Guatemala.
  • The introductory map of the British Museum's Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler supports El Comandante's version.
  • p173 of Nigel Davies' The Ancient Kingdoms of Mexico lies somewhere between the two maps, but isn't particularly detailed.
  • p91 of The Great Temple of the Aztecs by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma lies somewhere between the two maps.
  • The introductory map of the Royal Academy of Art's Aztecs is very similar to El Comandante's map except it has zones of control extending along the entire Soconusco and also further westwards along the Mexican Pacific coast.

The following didn't have any decent maps of Aztec dominance at all:

  • Peter Tsouras' Warlords of the Ancient Americas: Central America (which in spite of its title is actually dedicated to Aztec warfare) doesn't have maps that are detailed enough to support either version.
  • The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas Volume II Mesoamerica didn't have a map of Aztec dominance.
  • Prehistoric Mesoamerica by Richard Adams
  • The Art of Mesoamerica by Mary Ellen Miller

Hope this helps, Simon Burchell (talk) 06:53, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

It certainly does Simon. Great work!·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:55, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Requested moveEdit

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved per consensus. Bbb23 (talk) 01:54, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Aztec Triple AllianceAztec Empire – Per WP:COMMONNAME. Based on the stats below, this appears to be the more common term in scholarly and popular sources alike. As it's neither ambiguous nor inaccurate, this is a move we can make in good conscience. See also this decisive Ngram. --Relisted. -- tariqabjotu 17:36, 29 June 2013 (UTC) --BDD (talk) 18:31, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Source "aztec triple alliance" -wikipedia "aztec empire" -wikipedia
Google 118,000 480,000
Google Books 6430 91,700
Google Scholar 184 6520
  • Support "Empire" seems like a much more likely search term and a better description of this entity. --MelanieN (talk) 20:23, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose These search results are neither effective or fair. For instance, The Aztec Empire hits include examples that are well beyond the scope and time period of the current article. The current article is for a very specific 100 year period of the Aztec Empire (civilization?). If the intent if this action is to also expand the article's scope than I won't oppose but that does not appear to be the intent here. The better question would be whether Aztec should be moved to Aztec Empire.--Labattblueboy (talk) 05:49, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Probably not. Aztec describes a people or ethnic group. Even on Wikipedia, where we use "Aztec Empire" we seem to be referring to this entity. See, for example, Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. --BDD (talk) 20:45, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
  • No preference I don't have a preference. Maybe with future expansions and improvements of aztec related content it will become clear which title is better, or whether maybe we need separate articles on both topics.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:44, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. "Aztec Triple Alliance" is certainly not common usage, as you can see from this ngram. I suspect that the vast majority of readers who search for "Aztec" have the imperial period in mind, so this article structure needs to be rethought. Kauffner (talk) 22:32, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. "Aztec Triple Alliance" and "Aztec Empire" are both equally arbitrary labels applied by modern historians. Since the latter is more common, I say we stick with that one. Snickeringshadow (talk) 21:13, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose : not always the same subject! Excan Tlatoloyan (the nahuatl name for Triple Alliance) and its translation into Triple Alliance are used in some famous sources to name alliances previous to the Aztec Empire (see #Excan Tlatoloyan's origin). It is a fact that anyone can verify. Even if two Wikipedia users said they don't trust these sources, they can't deny that these sources are specialized and famous ones. Moreover, most specialists don't use the expression Aztec Triple Alliance, but just Triple Alliance, that's why Google results for Aztec Triple Alliance are so few. El Comandante (talk) 15:18, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Any estimates on the population of the Empire? Abductive (reasoning) 02:24, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Map name.Edit

The map at the top is Maximum extent. There's an edit war to change it to Maximum embrace. This is a stupid edit war. Maximum extent is the best name but maximum embrace isn't going to work at all. If there's any actual need to change it would probably be a good Idea to come here and talk about it. His a crazy proposal for naming the map, "Territorial map".-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 10:40, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand why the "maximum embracing" line has to be there at all. On first thought it seemed to have something to do with hardcore hugging. :) — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 12:56, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Who is the user who is changing this? I've changed it to "maximum extent". Simon Burchell (talk) 13:29, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Contradictory mapsEdit

These two maps show different "maximum extent" areas. Either the one that's wrong should be deleted or the discrepancy between them should be explained.

Map of the expansion of the empire, showing the areas conquered by the Aztec rulers.
The maximal extent of the Aztec Empire, according to María del Carmen Solanes Carraro and Enrique Vela Ramírez. (talk) 16:43, 25 October 2017 (UTC)


The so called "Aztec vexilloid" appears to have been taken from the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, where said design is depicted enough times to believe that it represents something real indeed. The problem is that the Lienzo de Tlaxcala was created "to emphasise the role of Tlaxcala’s rulers and warriors in the Spanish conquest of Mexico and thereby secure exemptions from tribute, together with other royal favours not usually accorded to native polities in New Spain." (Source) And if one looks the illustrations of the Lienzo, the soldiers wearing these vexilloids are always fighting on the Spanish's side and never against them. So how do we know that vexilloid is Aztec and not Tlaxcallan?--Menah the Great (talk) 23:05, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

I concur. Like many historical graphics on Wikipedia, especially of the pre-Columbian Americas, there is no source provided of this vexilloid. Since there is no evidence of this depicting the Aztec government and more evidence of it being a Tlaxcala design, I think it would be best to remove this image from the article. --TangoFett (talk) 21:45, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

Merge History of the Aztecs with Aztec or Aztec Empire?Edit

Please discuss this proposal at Talk:History_of_the_Aztecs#Merge_article_with_Aztec_or_Aztec_Empire? Johnbod (talk) 19:01, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

Reliability of the Spanish Conquest subsectionEdit

The majority of the Spanish Conquest subsection is sourced by primary Spanish sources. The subsection already reads like a somewhat unlikely turn of events, but the numbers (which are from primary sources) are quite incredible. 600 Spanish soldiers with mostly swords and shields ending up leading an army of 100,000 natives? I think we need more modern secondary sources. Prinsgezinde (talk) 17:06, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Mexica, not AztecEdit

Reading all the talks, I feel in the need to educate a few users. This is a translation of the Mexican Archeology Magazine that explains the whole thing a little:

"The Mexicas are the inhabitants of Mexico. Tenochcas are those who inhabited Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolcas those of Tlatelolco. Thus, it is accurate to say Mexicas when one refers to the natives of those cities, and it is not so much to refer to other contemporary groups (in the Postclassic) even those who share a mythical origin, a geographical scope (the Cuenca from Mexico) or a language (Nahuatl). Immediate neighbors of the Mexicas were Tepanecas, Xochimilcas, Acolhuas, etc., and a little beyond Tlaxcaltecas, Tlahuicas, Cholultecas, etc., and presumably they would not be very calm about being called Mexicas, as those with whom they frequently confronted.

Azteca is thus an erroneous word if one refers to the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco, but it can be moderately useful if it is used to refer to the Nahua-speaking groups of Central Mexico in the Late Postclassic period, including the Mexicans, while continuing to recognize that each of these had their own ethnic and cultural identity. We recommend the article by Miguel León-Portilla (2000) to the reader about the origin of the word "Aztec" and the relevance of its use."

You can read the article (in spanish) here. Itexplains all better than me:

--Ají Picante (talk) 00:51, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

Return to "Aztec Empire" page.