WHO INFLUENCED THE AZTEC?
The Aztec Empire was a civilization in central Mexico that thrived in the time before the arrival of European explorers during the Age of Exploration. Throughout its history as a civilization the Aztec Empire expanded across much of central Mexico and other surrounding areas, to become that most dominant and powerful people in the region. However, the Aztec were simply one of many different powerful civilizations in the long history of Mesoamerica. Thus, to fully understand the Aztec Empire and its significance it is also important to understand the earlier societies that ultimately inspired and influenced the Aztec.
Different aspects of the Aztec Empire were not necessarily unique to the Aztec people. For instance, several different elements were common throughout most Mesoamerican societies in the time before the arrival of Europeans in the early 16th century. More specifically, the political and economic systems of the Aztec had a long tradition from earlier societies. For example, the role of the huey tlatoani and the system of tribute were common throughout the history of the area. As well, religious practices such as the wide array of Aztec gods and the tradition of human sacrifice were both rooted in earlier Mesoamerican history. For example, historians have uncovered evidence of human sacrifice from much earlier time periods in Mesoamerica. As well, there is evidence of the celebration of Quetzalcoatl (Aztec God) by the Teotihuacan people near the 1st century AD.
As a result, historians have identified several different Mesoamerican societies that they believe influence the Aztec people in terms of their political, economic and religious practices. These include: Olmec, Toltec and Teotihuacan. Click on the links of each society in order to read more about their history and influence on the Aztec Empire.