"The Aztecs are not psychos; the Aztecs were warriors of God."- Eder Saul Lopez
|Weapons||Tecpatl, Maquahuitl, Atlatl & Tlacochtli, Tematlatl|
|Origin||Aztec Empire (now Mexico)|
|Battle Status||Lost vs Zande Warrior|
|Experts||David Lavera (Aztec Descendant/Martial Artist)
Eder Lopez (Aztec Combat Historian)
The Aztec Jaguar, swift moving slayer of the ancient Mexican empire;
VS The Zande Warrior, ferocious barbarian of Central Africa.
Stats[edit | edit source]
- Year - 1500
- Height - 5' 6"
- Weight - 140 lbs
- Armor - Quilted Cotton
- Symbol - Aztec Tempale
Background & History[edit | edit source]
Tribal Mesoamerica[edit | edit source]
The first signs of agriculture within Central America was estimated to be 5000-3000 BC. Corn, chilies, beans, tomatoes, squash and cocoa were the primary crops that thrived in the jungle biome of the region.
Olmecs[edit | edit source]
Estimated to have existed between 1200 BC - 400 BC (with Epi-Olmecs existing until 250 AD): the Olmecs were the first confirmed major civilization in Mesoamerica. Located in southern Veracruz and northern Tabasco (Mexico): this civilization created the first major religions that influenced the region. It was famous for creating artwork featuring giant faces; mostly made of stone or jade.
Zapotec and Mixtec[edit | edit source]
Estimated to have originated in 700 BC until Spanish conquests in 1521 AD (although their golden age is 500 BC - 700 AD): the Zapotecs were one of the most scientifically advanced Mesoamerican civilizations of the Preclassical Era. Located in Oaxaca (Mexico): it was noticeable for being one of the first multi-ethnic civilizations in the region (a unity of three formerly rival kingdoms). They introduced the calendar and the first alphabet to the region. Their capital Monte-Alban lasted 500 BC - 1000 AD.
The Western Zapotec Empire would be conquered by the Mixtec. Mixtec challenged the Zapotec frequently; and the two nations would conquer each other's lands for several centuries; ending their rivalry and unifying only shortly before the Spanish Conquests.
Maya[edit | edit source]
A Proto-Mayan civilization existed since 100 BC: but the Classic Mayan Empire existed between 250 AD - 900 AD. This golden age empire covered modern day Belize, Guatemala and South Eastern Mexico (excluding the Yucatán Peninsula). The Maya developed multiple massive city-states and developed revolutionary astronomy and mathematics: although they didn't recognize fractions, they did have a 20 number system and recognized the number 0 centuries before Europeans did. Mayan calendars were divided into 18 months, each month 20 days long (with 5 'unlucky' extra days). Mayan records that survived confirmed the date of birth and death of individuals to the precise day. They could also calculate dates 63,000,000 years into the future. The Mayan had a blood religion where offerings to the gods were done by self inflicted non-lethal lacerations: but, like the later Aztecs, the Mayans would perform human sacrifices as a more significant offering.
The Toltec Empire influenced the Maya in the 900s, weakening the political power and stability of the Mayans. The Empire shattered into a dark age, further worsened by The Great Famine of 1018-1025 AD. However the League of Mayapan (which did include the Yucatán Peninsula) formed out of the chaos and lasted between 987 - 1461 AD. This League was significantly underpopulated and frail compared to the Mayan Empire. The fragmented states formed after the collapse launched wars against each other; weakening them further and allowing them to be eventually annexed by the Conquistadors in the 1600s.
Teotihuacan[edit | edit source]
Estimated to have existed 100 BC - 550 AD: Teotihuacan was a citystate that attracted immigrants from the majority of Central America: making it very ethnically diverse. At its peak, it was estimated to have a population of at least 100,000. The city was known for having many religious temples. Since it is located in the Valley of Mexico within Mexico State: many mistake it for the similar city of Tenochtitlan that formed about 800 years later.
Toltec[edit | edit source]
Estimated to have existed 900–1168 AD: Toltecs were seen as a Proto-Aztec civilization. Like the Aztecs, the Toltecs were known for their military conquests and war religion and culture; although they did not invest into city building like other empires of the region. They would eventually conquer the majority of southern Mexico (excluding the Mayan, Zapotec and Mixtec) and their emperor Ce Acatl Topiltzin would conquer the Yucatán Peninsula in 930 AD: allowing him to influence the Maya. Toltec influence is estimated to have reached Arizona. However The Great Famine of 1018-1025 AD (which killed 60% of Central America's population) made the Toltecs shrink in size, eventually leading to their capital Tula being burned in about 1150 AD.
Mexica / Aztec[edit | edit source]
Due to the intentional destruction of Aztec history launched by the Spanish Empire, much of Aztec and pre-Aztec history has been lost. However archiologists theorize that Tenochtitlan was founded circa 1325AD. According to tradition; the city was to be founded when the settlers found an eagle eating a snake. This event occurred in the center of Lake Texcoco on a cactus on a tiny island of rocks. Despite this, the settlers created the city on the water. The city grew rapidly due to high volumes of immigrants from neighboring tribes and empires; though the extent of this migration is up to debate.
There is evidence to suggest that Tenochtitlan was originally settled by the Nicarao people, not the Aztecs. However the Nicarao people faced a dark age that forced the population out of Mexico and into Nicaragua in about 1200 AD.
Tenochtitlan quickly rose to power thanks to an alliance with neighboring citystates; Texcoco and Tlacopan. However the Aztecs would face fierce competition from their rivals the Tarascan Empire (1300 AD - 1530 AD in Michoacán, Mexico) and the Tlaxcala/Nahua Republic (1348 AD - 1520 AD in Tlaxcala, Mexico).
Jaguars were an elite military order in Aztec society. The life of Aztec warriors was one of constant battle, as the primary purpose of this continual warfare was to take prisoners to be sacrificed to the gods.
At the age of 17, young Aztec men became warriors and entered formal military training. To achieve adult status, a boy had to capture his first prisoner. After capturing four enemies, he was eligible to become a Jaguar. The Jaguars, along with the similar Eagle warriors, were the only elite military unit that did not restrict membership to solely the nobility, as commoners who had proven themselves in battle were also permitted.
Jaguar warriors can be promoted to the highest rank of Eagle warrior after performing a blood ritual.
During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, an explorer and navigator named Hernan Cortes invaded the Aztec Empire. Despite his small army and the fact that Cortes directly ignored the Spanish Kingdom (even almost being executed for such treason) he managed to win the favor of Spain by conquering modern day Mexico (including the Aztecs). He did this by using superior Renaissance technology, allying himself with American tribes who opposed the Aztecs (primarily the Tlaxcala) and using disease as a biological weapon of mass destruction.
Spanish Mexico[edit | edit source]
The Viceroyalty of New Spain was declared in 1519. As with most of Spanish America: the natives were either enslaved, fled to rural areas in secrecy or intermarried with Europeans to increase their social class: creating the Mestizo race (which today make up 50-90% of the population, depending on how the census defines what a Mestizo is.)
The colony fell on September 27, 1821 when the Spainish Empire was weakened during Napoleon's decolonization of the Americas and the Napoleonic Wars.
The modern state of Mexico is one of the most powerful states in Latin America. However the nation has a long history of corruption, emigration, income inequality and civil war that has left it overshadowed by their neighbor the USA.
Before 1500AD the Aztec Empire measured 15 million in population. Today the Aztec capital city Tenochtitlan has been renamed Mexico City. Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world today.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
|Long-Range||Atlatl & Tlacochtli 86|
|Special Weapons||Tematlatl 11|
Armor[edit | edit source]
The Aztec Jaguars wore a breastplate made from ebony. It was highly suitable for Aztec warfare because it protected against most of the simple stone weapons the Aztecs frequently encountered without being excessively heavy in the tropical climate of Central America.
The Jaguars also carried a round animal-hide shield decorated with feathers.
The jaguars also had costumes made out of wood and jaguar hide, which made them resemble the aztec god Tepeyollotl.
Another common armor, as seen in the episode, was made of thick cotton filled with rock salts. This was strong enough to prevent the penetration of light javelins and arrows.
Battle [edit | edit source]
The battle starts with an Aztec Jaguar and Zande Warrior each making their way to the top of rocky hills. The Aztec Jaguar sets his Maquahuital by a rock, and then climbs to the top of the hill. The two warriors eye each other, waiting for the other to strike. The Zande Warrior yells out a battle cry which echos throughout the area. This prompts the Aztec Jaguar to raise his Atlatl and Tlacochtli Arrow. The Jaguar sets up another Tlacochtli and throws it, missing the Zande Warrior again. He fires a poison-tipped arrow in retaliation and hits the Aztec Jaguar. The Aztec Jaguar sees the Zande Warrior rush towards him and pulls out the arrow from his cotton armor. He gets down from his hill and prepares his Tematlatl. He swings it around and hurls a rock at the Zande Warrior, but misses him yet again. The Zande Warrior pulls out his Kpinga and throws it at the Aztec Jaguar. It strikes his leg and forces him to the ground. He gets up and begins to flee from the Zande Warrior. He runs behind a rock and picks up his Maquahuitl. As the Zande Warrior catches up to him, the Aztec Jaguar swings the Maquahuitl, cutting through the Zande's shield like butter. He swings again and knocks off the Zande Warrior's headdress. He swings a third time, and slashes the chest. The Zande Warrior pulls out his Makraka and knocks the Maquahuitl out of the Aztec's hands. He swings the Makraka at him, but it gets logded in the Aztec's helmet. He struggles to free his weapon, but the Aztec Jaguar quickly reacts by slashing across the Zande's hip with his Tecpatl knife. The Zande Warrior falls to the ground and begins rolling down the hill. The Aztec Jaguar picks up his Maquahuitl and begins chasing the Zande Warrior, who is now back on his feet. The Zande Warrior rushes back to the top of his hill and runs back to the Makrigga Spear he put down earlier. The Aztec Warrior catches up and prepares to swing his Maquahuitl, but the Zande Warrior quickly turns around and thrusts the spear into the Jaguar's stomach. The Aztec stops in his tracks as blood leaks from his mouth. The Zande pulls out the spear, yanking out a chunk of the Aztec's intestines, killing him. The Aztec falls back and off the hill, dropping into the field below. The Zande Warrior pumps his fists into the air, yelling in victory.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Military ranks within the Aztec Army 
- The Mexica tribe was believed to be the Aztec tribe that founded the Aztec Empire. This is why the region is now named 'Mexico'. The word Aztec is a term created by Europeans, most Aztecs called themselves Mexicas.
- In 1500 AD; the city of Tenochtitlan was larger than Rome or London and had superior sanitation than European cities.
- Aztec medical technology was more advanced than European medical technology.
- Chocolate beans were used as currency by the Aztecs and chocolate itself was a drink used only by the nobility. Chocolate remained luxurious for several centuries later and George Washington paid his soldiers in chocolate when real currency was unavailable. Montezuma drank chocolate from a golden cup and drank multiple cups of chocolate on a daily basis. Chocolate drinks existed as far back as 1500 BCE. Chocolate was so divine that myth describes the dragon god Quetzalcoatl as the origin of chocolate: giving it to humans as a gift.
- The Aztec military's greatest victory was La Noche Triste (the night of tears) when they defeated the Spanish. Cortes attempted to conquer the capital city by taking Moctezuma II hostage and making him a puppet but Montezuma was killed and the mob led a revolution and formed a new Aztec army against the Conquistadors.
- Chihuahuas are native to Mexican civilizations. Hernan Cortes claimed that the Aztecs raised the dog for meat.
- Aztecs believed in multiple afterlives, but all lasted only 4 years before the soul either entered heaven or was reincarnated into an animal. For warriors, in a manner similar to Vikings, their afterlife was to engage in a war among side their gods.
- The Eagle Warrior was a similar yet technically different status of warrior in the Aztec Empire, however Eagle-Jaguar Warriors did exist.
- One of the Aztec's greatest enemies was the citystate of Tlaxcala. The Aztecs easily overpowered the city but never conquered it; instead used it as an endless source for human sacrifices. Hernan Cortes exploited this rivalry by joining Tlaxcala's war. If Cortes didn't ally himself with the Aztec's enemies he would clearly be too outnumbered to wage a successful war: even with biological warfare and gunpowder.
- The Day of the Dead is a Syncretic Catholic religious holiday specifically unique to Mexico: as it is a Catholic continuation of Aztec death festivals.
- Aztecs, Mayans and Incans under the Spanish Empire were conscripted so that the Spanish could maintain a large overseas army without relying on European reinforcements. Some Native Americans were sent as far as the Philippines.
- The Aztec Jaguar appears in the Ivan the Terrible vs. Hernán Cortés episode, falling victim to Cortés and his men. Cortés tries to know where the Aztec hide their gold.
- In addition to religious ceremonies, it has been theorized by some that Aztec sacrifices also served the purpose of collecting human flesh for consumption. Many sacrificial rituals had a cannibalistic element; once a captive was killed, the warrior who had brought them in was given the best meat, while the rest would be cooked in a stew and served to the masses. The Aztecs were perhaps the only settled civilization in history to practice cannibalism on a regular basis.