Mankind: The Story of All of Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aztec Legend

The Aztecs have no iron tools or horses. They don’t use the wheel. Yet they construct pyramids — some larger than the Egyptian pyramids—and map stars with accuracy unmatched in Europe. They build one of Mankind’s greatest cities, Tenochtitlan, Mexico. Capital of the Aztecs, this metropolis is larger than London, Paris, or Rome.

At its center, where the sky, earth and underworld meet, stands a huge temple dedicated to blood.

The greatest act of piety or faith in the Aztec world is human sacrifice. The more important the person, the more favorable the Gods will be to the sacrifice. Aztec priests sacrifice thousands of men, women and children each year, more than any other culture in human history.

The Aztecs are philosophical about death. Death gives meaning to life, and the idea of death makes the here and now sweeter and more beautiful.

In return for the sacrifices, they believe the Gods will provide a bountiful harvest, especially of a crop so productive it provides more calories per acre than any other: corn.

Over 6000 years, farmers have genetically modified a weed into the most versatile food on earth. Corn is complex with 50% more genes than a human being. Corn fuels the mighty Aztec Empire.

1518—Legendary Aztec warrior Tlahuicole fights to the death.