Time and Sacrifice in the Aztec Cosmos

Time and Sacrifice in the Aztec Cosmos

Hardback Religion in North America

By (author) Kay Almere Read

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  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 24mm | 640g
  • Publication date: 1 July 1998
  • Publication City/Country: Bloomington, IN
  • ISBN 10: 0253334004
  • ISBN 13: 9780253334008
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

This introduction to the imaginative world of the Mexica (or Aztec) explores sacrifice in the richly textured life of 16th-century Mexico. Kay Almere Read describes a universe in which every object was timed by a given lifespan and in which sacrifice was the mechanism by which time functioned. This book makes a convincing case for what sacrifice meant religiously and for how it came to be that human sacrifice of staggering proportions could be accepted, matter-of-factly, by the Mexica people.

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Author information

Kay Read is associate professor of comparative religions in the Religious Studies Department at DePaul University. She is the author of a number of articles on pre-Conquest religious traditions and is currently working on both a book on Mexica rulership and ethics and an encyclopedia of mesoamerican mythology.

Back cover copy

This introduction to the Mexica (or Aztec) cosmos explores sacrifice as both the foundation for and an ethical response to existence in the richly textured world of sixteenth-century Mexico. Drawing on archaeological remains, sculptures, pictorial and calendrical codices, and original translations of Nahuatl poetry and folktales, Kay Almere Read describes a world in which every being was allotted a specific lifetime and where sacrifice was the mechanism by which time functioned. This book presents a convincing interpretation of what sacrifice meant in the religious life of the Mexica people - and how human sacrifice of staggering proportions could be accepted.