City of Sacrifice

City of Sacrifice : The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization

By (author) David Carrasco


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In City of Sacrifice, Carrasco confronts fiercely provocative questions about violence and civilization. He chronicles the fascinating story of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, investigating Aztec religious practices and demonstrating that religious violence was integral to urbanization: the city itself was a temple to the gods. If ritual violence against humans was a profound necessity for the Aztecs in their capital city, is it central to the construcion of socialord and the authority of city states? Ultimately, it asks the question: Is civilization built on violence?

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 136 x 204.7 x 16mm | 320g
  • 08 Dec 2000
  • Beacon Press
  • Boston, MA
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0807046434
  • 9780807046432
  • 978,987

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Author Information

David L. Carrasco is professor of history of religions at Princeton University. Author and editor of many books, he is editor in chief of the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures." He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Review quote

A brilliant, provocative, timely, and eternal book.... We know that power, whatever its origin-sacred, natural, ethnic, contractual, or democratic-is an expression of violence. David Carrasco now demonstrates a shattering, unsentimental truth: civilizations themselves are born and maintained by violence. --Carlos Fuentes

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