The Aztecs held the belief that Huitzilopochtli, their sun deity, required daily sustenance (tlaxcaltiliztli) in the form of human blood and hearts, and that it was their responsibility, as ″people of the sun,″ to give Huitzilopochtli with this food.
The Aztecs believed in a number of prominent gods who towered above the other gods and goddesses in terms of their influence and strength. Huitzilopochtli, commonly known as Huitzilopochtl, was not only the patron god of the Mexica people but also one of the most powerful gods in Aztec religion. In addition, he was the deity of the sun, battle, and the sacrifice of humans.
The Aztecs were forced to provide Huitzilopochtli human hearts and blood in order to maintain the sun’s path through the sky and to ensure that they would continue to breathe. Near the Templo Mayor, archaeologists uncovered more than 650 skulls and hundreds of pieces.
Huitzilopochtli is shown several times in the Aztec codices, which are books written on bark paper. Huitzilopochtli, who was both the deity of the sun and the god of battle, desired blood. In the absence of human sacrifice, the sun would not be able to make its daily ascent into the sky, and the Aztecs would experience increasing levels of military defeat.
The Aztecs held the belief that their gods need human blood in order to remain alive and be powerful enough to ward off the forces of evil. As a result, human sacrifice played a significant part in their religion. Therefore, they would periodically sacrifice large numbers of people in order to appease their gods.
The Aztecs were known to appease their deities through the practice of human sacrifice in the hopes of receiving favors and bounties in return, such as a good crop. Those who were offered as sacrifices were not particularly moral individuals. People who owed blood debts or were known to be criminals were among them.
The Aztec Empire kept its hold on the region by either going to war or constantly threatening to do so with its neighbors. The Aztecs waged war for two principal reasons: the first was to expand their territory and amass tribute, and the second was to capture enemies and use them as victims in religious sacrifices.
Who exactly was this Huitzilopochtli guy? The supreme being of the Aztec people and the god of the sun.
It was recently estimated by Woodrow Borah, an expert on the demographics of ancient Mexico who works at the University of California, Berkeley, that the Aztecs slaughtered a total of 250,000 individuals per year.
The Aztecs believed that the human sacrifice was the most important part of their rites.
During the time that they were in power, the Aztecs farmed vast tracts of land. Corn, beans, and squash were the three most important foods in their diet. They added chiles and tomatoes to these ingredients. They also gathered a species of crayfish-like critter called an acocil, which is common in Lake Texcoco, as well as a type of algae called spirulina, which they baked into cakes.
The Aztecs demanded that their subjects pay tribute, worship huitzopochti, and vow allegiance to their king; yet, other than that, their way of life remained unchanged. The people who were subjugated by the Aztecs never considered themselves to be actual Aztecs, and they yearned for their independence despite making it simple for the Aztecs to rule.
In Aztec cosmology, the deity of the sun, Huitzilopochtli, was engaged in a continuous battle against the darkness; if the darkness triumphed, it was believed that the world would come to an end. The Aztecs were forced to provide Huitzilopochtli human hearts and blood in order to maintain the sun’s path through the sky and to ensure that they would continue to breathe.
The Aztecs had the belief that the sun was the origin of life and worshiped it as a deity named Tonatiuh. They also considered Tonatiuh to be the most significant god. Tonatiuh was a good source of heat and nutrition, but in exchange he required blood sacrifices. More particularly, blood taken from humans.