The Truth of the Aztec Religion

Often when reading the Europeans reports of the Aztecs, they are betrayed as kind people. Until the idea of religion is brought in to play, where the Aztecs are viewed as “horrible and abominable” people. Often the view of what truly happened is lost about the new world, with the Europeans reports. I am interested in researching the Aztec religion and how they worshiped their gods or god. I think it is very fascinating learning more about the religions of the indigenous group’s religion and how it compares to modern-day catholicism. With bringing the idea of sacrificial practices and the idea of cannibalism can’t help but spark my entrance.

Primary Source:
An Image of human sacrifice from the Aztec codex, 16th century from Victors and Vanquished

Secondary Source:
Bošković, Aleksandar. “In the Age of the Fifth Sun: Jacques Soustelle’s Studies of Aztec Religion.” Anthropos, vol. 87, no. 4/6, 1992, pp. 533–537. JSTOR,, Kay A. “The Fleeting Moment: Cosmogony,

Eschatology, and Ethics in Aztec Religion and Society.” The Journal of Religious Ethics, vol. 14, no. 1, 1986, pp. 113–138. JSTOR,

Brumfiel, Elizabeth M. “Aztec Religion and Warfare: Past and Present Perspectives.” Latin American Research Review, vol. 25, no. 2, 1990, pp. 248–259. JSTOR,

HIGGINS, LILY. “Sculpting Nature: An Aztec Rattlesnake in Stone.” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, 2017, pp. 78–83. JSTOR,

BARRERA, JOEL ANDRÉS. “Aztec Civilization: Second Prize, Adler Book Collecting Contest, 1985.” The Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 47, no. 1, 1985, pp. 79–80. JSTOR,

Sanders, William T. American Antiquity, vol. 31, no. 5, 1966, pp. 759–760. JSTOR,

4 thoughts on “The Truth of the Aztec Religion

  1. Andrew S

    This is a very interesting topic. I think because majority of the accounts of the time are European there is some history lost to time about what happened. The Aztec religious practices are very interesting because they seem to vary based on what document is talking about it

  2. Brooks Holcomb

    I think this is a great research topic, because I’ve always wondered about the reality of the Aztec religion in particular, since in a lot of modern and historical descriptions it’s depicted as excessively violent with a lot of focus on the human sacrifice aspects. I definitely would want to learn more about how the religion appeared to indigenous people at the time and how much of its depiction was influenced by colonial propaganda and demonization.

  3. Zachary Milko

    This topic is one that could lead to a lot of interesting discovery. Religion seems to often define a culture and how it developed and Aztec beliefs would be especially intriguing to follow and see how it shaped and defined the culture created in Latin America.

  4. Katie Holt

    Great topic. Make sure you’re looking for some recent secondary sources as well (that will let you look at a variety of perspectives on Aztec religion). The Barrera is a library/alumni magazine piece and not really applicable; the Leon-Portilla is high-quality, but nearly 50 years old. Come see me for help!


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