Civilization of the New World. Part 1

Civilization of the New World

No question the issue of local origin of civilizations of Mexico, Central America and Peru, although a number of previous ideas proved wrong. The ancestors of the peoples who inhabited these regions and cultures they have created independently of each other, called almost every civilized nation of antiquity or a blanket, and put forward arbitrary, even spectacular, with the intention to show the theory that civilization was born on American soil by Asian and European influences. These theories were put forward, mainly people who had only a general idea of the environment in which there was a native American civilization. They were amazed by external similarities clearly exist between American and Asian peoples, traditions and art forms that are no longer apparent to Americanists, distinguishing them only similarities that inevitably arise in the activities of the people living in similar environments and similar social and religious conditions.

Mayan Yucatan peninsula can be considered as the most highly developed people, who inhabited the Americas before the arrival of Europeans, and we usually try to assure that it is their culture has its roots in Asia. No need to detail disprove this theory, as it has been skillfully made by Mr. Payne in the "New World called America" (London, 1892-1899). But you can see that the most reliable evidence of purely local origin of American civilization lies in the unique nature of American Art, which was doubtless the result of many centuries of isolation. Tongue of the people of America, the system account and the timing also bear no resemblance to the other systems, European or Asian. And we can be sure that if a civilized people in America came from Asia, it would have remained an indelible mark on all the things that are closely linked to the life of the people, as well as in the arts, as they are in the same extent the product of a culture, as was the ability to build temples.

Evidence in the animal and plant world

In this context, it is impossible not to notice the evidence in favor of self-development, which can be reduced if we consider agriculture America. Almost all domesticated animals and cultivated edible plants found on this continent during its discovery by Europeans, was quite different from what was known in the Old World. Corn, cocoa, tobacco, potatoes, and a group of useful plants were unknown to the conquerors, the Europeans, and the absence of such familiar animals, such as horses, cows and sheep, in addition to many smaller animals, is eloquent proof of the long-term isolation in which there was the American continent after the initial settlement by man.

The origin of man in the Americas

Asian origin may be, of course, for the Native Americans, but it is, without a doubt, has its roots back in those distant Cenozoic era when people are far away from the animal, and its language is either not formed, or, at best, was formed partially. Certainly, there have been more recent immigrants, but they probably came across the Bering Strait, and not by a land bridge connecting Asia and America, in which the first settlers came here. In more recent geological period, the North American continent in general was higher than at present, and it is connected with Asia wide isthmus. During this long period of exalted continent vast coastal plain, which is now submerged under the water, stretching from the U.S. to the Asian coast, providing an easy migration path to a representative of the human race, from which may have occurred both Mongolian branch. But this type of people, far gone from animals, such as, no doubt, it was not brought a refined art or culture. And if they found any similarity between the forms of art or by the constitution of their descendants in Asia and America, it emerged through the influence of a long-standing common origin, and not to any more recent influx of Asian civilization to the American coast.

Stories about the ties with Asia

A few stories about the relationship with America Asia — alas! — Easily dispelled. Boring thing — be forced to destroy the dreams of others. How much more exciting would be the history of the Americas, Asia had sowed the seeds of its own original civilization on the western continent, which then became a younger and far east, brighter and Golden East! But America summoned almost as strong interest and when it comes to the miracle of her astonishing evolution of civilizations, the progress of the new colors, a separate peace.

The idea that the Chinese annals "Fu-san," a reference to America, has been interpreted by Klaproth as misleading. He proved that there had in mind one of the Japanese islands. It is not impossible that the Chinese and Japanese ships could be classified by wind or current to the shores of America, but the fact that they come to the shore until the edges deliberately, absolutely incredible. Mexican historian Gomara says that the expedition of Coronado in 1542, saw the Pacific coast some ships, noses which were decorated with gold and silver, and which were loaded with goods. They suggested that this Chinese ships, "because those signs were informed that they were in the way thirty days." But, as with most of these interesting stories, this tale is devoid of factual basis, since mention of this incident can not be found in the original report of the expedition, which was published in 1838 in a series of travel-Terno compan.

Legends of the links with Europe

We will see that legends — they can be called almost a legend — the ancient links between Europe and America a little more than satisfy us than those that tell of its ancient ties with Asia. We can not take into account the saga of the discovery of America by the ancient Scandinavians, although that in no case is not a simple tradition, and go to the legend, in which the factual basis is weaker and more share of legends. We learn that when the Norsemen were expelled Irish monks who settled in Iceland, the fugitives crossed to the "Great Ireland," by which, according to many scholars of antiquity of the old school, the author of this myth meant America. In the Irish "Book of Lismore" describes the journey of St. Brendan, an Irish abbot Kluaynfertskogo, on an island in the ocean, which Providence had intended saints for life. It gives a vivid description of a seven-year voyage in the waters west of the ocean and tells of the many discoveries, among which figure fiery mountain and endless island, which he left after forty days of fruitless journey, having loaded their ships of the fruit, and returned home. There are many legends about this Scandinavian "Big Irish" or "Earth Uitramanna" (white man's world). One of them describes the Scandinavians, who was thrown on its shores and found a tribe of white people, and they went to pray to their gods, holding certain characters, and "cried with a loud voice." There are, of course, a tiny possibility that the ancient Scandinavians during their travels could sometimes flow or wind attribute far south as Mexico itself. This case is easily taken for granted, when we remember that they are, of course, reached the shores of North America.

Legend of Madoc

It is much more interesting, because more than likely, a story that tells of the discovery in 1170 of distant lands across the western ocean a small leader from North Wales named Madoc. It is written in "English Journey" Hekluyta and "History of Wales" Powell. Madoc, son of Owen Gwynedd, angered his brothers rivalry for the title of the leader after the death of his father, he decided not to live in such a bad place to him, and by equipping ships with everything you need, sought adventure on the sea. He swam to the west, away from the coast of Ireland so far north that sailed to the unknown land, where I saw a lot of the ordinary. "This land — wrote Hekluyt — should be a part of the country which, according to the Spanish, they were the first to open since Gannon." And because of this link, we are able to see these legends of mythical lands became associated with the American continent. On land, open Madoc, in medieval Wales walked many stories. On returning Madoc announced that the land was beautiful and fertile, but the desert. He managed to persuade many people to go with him to the edge of these wonderful and, since he did not return, Hekluyt concludes that the descendants of the people he took with him, formed a large part of the population of America XVII century. And in this he was supported by more than one modern scholar of antiquity. Indeed, the most wild fantasies based on this legend, and stories of the Welsh-speaking Indians, which could be due to the Cymric immigrants in the American colonies, was pleased to receive representatives of the old school of American historians as the strongest arguments supporting this saga. Notably, however, that the English king, Henry VII, son of Welsh, to provide protection to the first researchers of America, perhaps under the influence of the legend of Madoc, since it is known that he had hired some Gattina Owen, a Welsh historian, that he made his ancestry through father, and that this same Gattin included a legend in his work. Narrative, such as those that relate to Atlantis and Antilia, can hardly be included in the category of American myths, as they are, no doubt, affect the long-standing relationship with the Canary Islands and the Azores.

American myths about the discovery of America

What people think Redskins across the Atlantic? Was not there rumors or legends of lands in the East? Immediately prior to the discovery of America by Europeans on this continent was widespread belief that the comparatively long American land visited by foreigners from the East, who eventually returned to their homeland, the Land of the Rising Sun. Such, for instance, was the Mexican legend of Quetzalcoatl, to which we shall return later. He landed with a few companions in Vera Cruz and in the eyes of the local population quickly became a force carrying civilization. On ancient Mexican pinturas, or drawings, he is depicted wearing a long black robe framed by white crosses. After living with the Mexicans for several years, during which time he taught them crafts and planted civilization, he sailed out of their country on a magic raft, promising, however, to return. His second coming was expected with impatience, and when Cortes and his companions arrived in Vera Cruz, in the same place, which, as believed, Quetzalcoatl went to his journey home, Mexicans fully believe that he is the hero who returned . Of course, their ruler Montezuma was not taken aback by the arrival of the white man, because he had already reported the arrival of mysterious strangers in the Yucatan and elsewhere in Central America. But in the eyes of ordinary people that the Spanish leader was in fact a "god-hero." In this interesting personality some of the monks, the chroniclers of New Spain, saw the Apostle St. Thomas, who went to the Americas to convert him to Christianity.

Peruvian Prophecy

Mexicans were far from alone in his expectations. When Hernando de Soto landed in Peru, first met Inca Huascar, the last of an ancient prophecy told that his father Huayna Capac repeated on his deathbed: during the reign of the thirteenth Inca from the father-sun come white people, superior in strength and courage, Peruvians and subdue his power. "I command you, — said the dying ruler of the Inca — give them honor and obey, because they will surpass us in all" (Tarsilaso Inca de la Vega. The history of the Incas).

But the most interesting American legend associated with the discovery of this continent — the one which describes the prophecy of the Mayan priest Chelan Balam. Rev. Fox, Spanish writer, wrote this prophecy, which, according to him, was very well known throughout the Yucatan, this also speaks Villaguterre which it cites.

Prophecy Chelan Balam

Part of this extraordinary prophecy reads as follows: "At the end of the thirteenth century, when Itza is at the zenith of his power as the city named Tank, the heavens will appear the sign of God and the Cross, which lit up the world. Among men, a debate where the sign will … Take your bearded foreign visitors from the east, which are a sign of God who comes to us with mercy and compassion. There comes a time in our lives … "

If you carefully read this prophecy, it would seem that the real basis of local traditions is blurred and colored with under the influence of the first Spanish missionaries. Expressions that made this claim, too accurate, but the language is clearly biblical. But Chelan Balam books in their native language, why should this prophecy is much less clear in the wording, and their authenticity is manifested in the use of idiomatic expressions of the Mayan language, which in its submitted form could not be written by anyone except those who are accustomed to use their childhood . As for the prophetic nature of these statements, it is known that Chelan, or a priest, after some long period usually announced publicly any prophecy foretelling the future characteristics of the same period, and there is reason to believe that some distant rumors the arrival of the white man reached the ears of several predictors.

These vague allusions to the fact that the sea separated them from the vast continent that is home to the same as they are, people seem to have been common among whites and people of the Redskins. And who is to say thanks to some inexplicable magic of telepathy, they moved into the minds of the brave explorers and ascetics-priests who expressed them in the actions and words? The discovery of America was so much more than a consequence of the development of science, and more romance than the cold reflection of the geography that encourage people in the Middle Ages to conquer uncharted western sea in search of gold islands, in your dreams.

Tipmeksikanskoy civilization

The first civilized people of America, to which the explorers came into contact with were the Nahua, or the ancient people of Mexico. We use the term "civilized" deliberately, because, although some authorities refuse to consider titled Mexican people to reach this level of culture, which would give him a right to a place among civilized communities, there is no doubt that Mexicans have moved forward as much as possible when taking into account their surroundings and circumstances that they were a nuisance. The architecture of the buildings they have created a kind, strong and at the same time incredibly beautiful, which, if they were not as massive as the Egyptian or Assyrian, but, in any case, more elegant. Their artistic views expressed in paintings and pottery, were more diverse and less conventional than that of the ancient peoples of the East, their social system was more advanced, and the ruling class were less severe in respect of subordinate classes. And yet, on the other hand, the picture is marred by terrible, though picturesque, rituals that accompanied their religious ceremonies, and the terrible shadow of human sacrifice, which always hung over their nemalochislennymi nations. However the level of morality was high, justice impartially, fairly benign form of government, and, if not fanaticism, demanding such sacrifices, we could rightly compare civilization with the civilization of ancient Mexico peoples of ancient China or India, if not to take into account the literature Eastern states.

The people of Mexico

The people who created this multifaceted and colorful civilization, known as Nahua
("Those who live by the rules"). They began to call themselves as to distinguish it from other tribes who were still unsettled lifestyle, roaming the neighboring plains of New Mexico and in the more northern regions. They used this name to refer to the whole nation, which consisted of many different elements. Been simmering controversy over the question of the original homeland of the Nahua, but the legend of the relocation consistently point to the northern roots. When beginning to consider the close similarity between the forms of art and mythology of the modern residents of British Columbia and Nahua and unchanging legend long journey from the north, where they lived "in the water", the conclusion is that the Nahua native of that region, it is almost undeniable (see: Payne. History of the New World called America. T. 2. Pp. 373 ff.)

In the legends of the Nahua name of the area where these people began their wanderings, called Aztlán (where growing cane), but the name hardly gives any clue to any particular region, though probably zealous scholars of antiquity to it identified any suitable area between the Bering Strait and Mexico. Other names found in the legends of the relocation were Tlapallan (Country of bright colors) and Chikomotstok (seven caves). They can probably be identified with the New Mexico or Arizona.

Legends of the transmigration of Mexicans

All of the first historians of Mexico agree on the fact that the Toltecs were the first of a number of Nahua tribes that flooded the Mexican plateau, the ever-increasing flow. The real existence of this people know so little that many eminent authorities consider it completely mythical, while others claim that they see in it really exist people who created the Mexican civilization. The author of this book has already developed his theory on this complex issue (see: Spence. Civilization of Ancient Mexico. Chap. 2), but a brief mention of it, when it will be taken Toltec civilization and the related legends. While we have to consider just how the Toltec people mentioned in the myth of resettlement as the first settlers to the area, Nahua Mexico. Ixtlilxochitl local chronicler, who worked shortly after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, provides two separate presentation of the ancient Toltec migrations. The first story dates back to the time of their appearance in the mythical country Tlapallan, as discussed above. In this story, described as Tlapallan area by the sea, which reached the Toltecs, moving south and bypassing the coast of California. This story should be treated with great caution. But we know that the local residents of British Columbia has long been able to deftly handle the canoe and that the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl, which probably originally had a common origin with their deity Yetlem depicted able shipmen. Therefore, it is not impossible that the first group of immigrants-Nahua arrived in Mexico on the sea, but it is much more likely that their movement is by land, along the plains at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

The rise of the Toltec

Like almost all the legendary settlers, Toltecs went colonize distant lands against their will, and were victims of internecine strife in their homeland, were expelled and began to seek his fortune elsewhere. Being thus pushed out of the usual environment, they headed south and reached Tlapallan Tekpatlya in the first year (in 387 BC. Oe.). Moving past the country Shalisko, they landed in Huatulco and walked along the coast until they reached Tochtepec where went into the land to Tollantsinko. In order to make such a trip, it took them at least 104 years. In his book «Relaciones», in which he studies the history of the people of Mexico, Ixtlilxochitl provides readers with another story about resettlement Toltec. It tells the story of how in 439 AD. e. Tlapallan leaders who rebelled against the supreme power, expelled from the region. After eight years of miserable existence near their ancient territory, they went to Tlapallantsinko where stayed for three years before they embark on a long journey, in which the tribe took over a century, during which he made a stop in at least thirteen different places, six of which can be found as sites on the Pacific coast, and the other — different places in northern Mexico.

Artificial myths about resettlement

Of their internal content makes it clear that these two legends of the Toltec migrations are artificial. But if we can not trust them in detail, it does not mean that they do not describe the kind of real wanderings. They are examples of the many myths about the relocation, which are connected to each other, because they relate to different branches of the Mexican people. There is little that is of interest, and they are remarkable mostly tedious repetition and significant differences in detail.

Myths of the Toltecs

We find ourselves in a much more interesting area, when we begin to carefully read the myths of the kingdom and the Toltec civilization, because, before proceeding to the question of the origin or the true story of the Toltec people, it is better first to consider local legends about them. They demonstrate almost oriental wealth of imagination and color and strongly remind the reader about the magnificence of the architectural and landscape descriptions of the "Thousand and One Nights." The main sources of these legends are stories Sumarragi and Ixtlilxochitl. The latter is in no way is not enough authority, but he pretty much managed to give loyalty to their home country charm. According to him, in 566, the Incarnation of the Toltecs established the magnificent city of Tollan. This city, the site of which is a modern city of Tula, located north-west of the mountains encircling the valley of Mexico. There led Toltec powerful sorcerer Ueymatsin (large hand), and under his leadership, they decided to build a city on the spot where they were parking. For six years they worked on the construction of Tollan, and climbed the majestic buildings, palaces and temples, all together form the capital, with the splendor which nothing could compare to the New World. The valley, which was the capital, was known as "the place where there are fruits," which was an indication of its great fertility. Surrounding its rivers were full of fish, and the hills surrounding this amazing place, served as a haven free-range game. But so far we have not had the Toltec ruler, and in the seventh year of their life in the city gathered leaders and consultation, decided to give up his power in the hands of the monarch, who will select people. The choice fell on Chalchiuha Tlatonaka (Shining gem), who reigned fifty-two years.

Legends about the art of the Toltecs

Happily settled in a new place and choosing a governor, to which they regarded with reverence, the Toltecs were quickly make progress in different fields of art, and their city was famous throughout his consummate skill of artisans and the beauty of its architecture and pottery. In fact, the name "Toltec" for the heathen become synonymous with the words "master of his craft," something of a stigma that guarantees excellent quality of any products, Toltec work. Everything in and around the city eloquent about the taste and skill of its founders. At the very walls were inserted rare stones, and laying them was so beautiful and will be processed bit that resembles fine mosaic. One of the buildings, which in all fairness proud inhabitants of Tollan was the church where they conducted services High Priest. This building was truly a pearl of architectural art. There were four rooms. The walls were adorned with gold first, the second — all kinds of precious stones, the third — the beautiful sea shells of various species and the brightest and most delicate shades that have been inserted into silver bricks, a spark in the sun so that the blind eyes of those who look at them. The fourth room was made of polished red stone, decorated with shells.

"House of feathers"

Even more fantastic and incredibly beautiful was another building, "House of feathers." It also had four rooms, one of which was decorated with feathers bright yellow, the other — a dazzling and shining feathers "Bluebird." They were woven into a kind of tapestry and hung on the walls in the form of elegant drapery and festoons. The room, as it was written, enchanting beauty was decorated with feathers of the purest and most dazzling white. The last room was cleaned feathers bright red color, taken from the most beautiful birds.

Uemak wicked

A series of more or less talented rulers followed the Toltec founder of the monarchy, while in 994 AD. e. to the throne of Tollan not ascended Uemak P. First he ruled wisely and very interested in public affairs and religion. But then he fell in the eyes of people from the heights to which he carried himself, treacherously deceiving them and behaving in intemperate and loose. Province rebelled, and many signs and wonders predicted gloomy fall of the city. Cunning sorcerer Toveyo Tollan gathered about a large crowd of people and, banging into the night in the magical drum, made people dance to the sounds, until, exhausted by dancing, they fell head first to the dizzying cliff into a deep ravine, which turned into stones. Toveyo also deliberately destroyed the stone bridge, so that thousands of people have fallen into the river and drowned. Nearby volcanoes erupted, revealing a horrible sight, and among the flames could be seen sinister ghosts, which threatened the city terrifying movements.

Tollan rulers decided not to waste time trying to appease the gods, who, they thought of the signs are probably very angry with their capital. Therefore, they have prepared a great sacrifice of prisoners of war, but when the first victim was put on the altar, there was a more terrible catastrophe. At the time of sacrifice for the people of the Nahua was taken prisoner cut open the chest to draw from her heart, but to lead this ceremony, the priest saw this body in the chest. In addition, in the veins of the victim was not blood. The corpse has come such a filthy smell that terrible epidemic began, which caused the death of thousands of Toltec. Uemak wicked monarch, who brought all this suffering on his people, met in the woods with Tlaloc, or the gods of water, and began humbly ask these gods have mercy on him, and not to take away the wealth and high position. But the gods felt aversion to it, because in his will sound callous and selfish, and left, threatening the people of the Toltec six years of disasters.

Disasters Toltecs

The following winter in the country suffered a severe frost so that vymerzli all crops and plants. Then began the summer with sweltering heat, such a strong and suffocating that dried up the river and began to melt rocks. After the heat heavy rains hit with hurricanes that flooded streets and roads, and across the country swept the terrible storm. A huge number of nasty reptiles valley flooded, destroying what was left after the disastrous frost and heat, and climbing into people's homes. The following year, severe drought caused the death of thousands of people from hunger, and which came after this winter again was extremely harsh. Like clouds and descended locusts and hail and thunder completed the disaster. During these trials died nine-tenths of the people, and all desire for art has stopped because of the struggle for survival.

King Akshitl

When finished suffering unjust Uemak decided to live honestly and began to work hard for the people and rule them properly. But he announced that his successor should be the illegitimate son Akshitl, and subsequently decided to abdicate the throne in favor of boys. In Toltec, like most primitive peoples, kings and gods believed to attempt to build on the throne someone not of royal blood was regarded as a grave affront to the gods. Followed by a rebellion, but two of its leaders bought promises lucrative posts. Akshitl ascended the throne, and for some time to rule wisely. But soon, like his father, he devoted himself to debauchery and was served a bad example for his courtiers and priests, and the spirit of vice is transmitted to all his subjects, and permeated all levels of society. Vices of the capital and the heinous crimes committed by the royal favorites, caused a disturbance in the remote provinces, which in the end, they rose in open rebellion, and the governor of the eastern provinces Ueuetsin teamed up with two other governors unhappy and went to the city of Tollan, led a strong army. Akshitl could not raise an army strong enough to repel the rebels, and had to resort to a trick by bribing them with rich gifts, and thus got a respite. But the fate of Tollan has hung in the balance. Hordes of wild rough Chichimeca using infighting within the state Toltecs invaded the region of Lake Anahuac or Mexico and settled on its fertile soil. The end was near!

Terrible punishment

For the wrath of the gods has increased, rather than reduced, to appease them, at Teotihuacan, Toltec holy city, attracted a large number of wise men of the kingdom. While they deliberated, was a giant and rushed right in their midst. Grabbing them with his bony hands, he threw them to the ground and beat out the brains. So he took the life of so many, and when the panic-stricken people thought already got rid of it, back in another guise and killed more people. Newly terrifying monster already appeared as a beautiful child. People fascinated by its beauty, ran up to take a closer look, and found that his head is a rotting mass, the stench of which was poisonous, so that many died on the spot. The devil, who sent down this evil upon Toltec finally condescended to tell that the gods will no longer listen to pleas and are determined by the roots of the lime, and then advised them to seek safety in flight.

The fall of the Toltec state

By this time, the main family of Tollan have already left, having found refuge in neighboring countries. Again Ueuetsin threatened Tollan, and by the almost superhuman efforts Uemak old king, who had returned from his seclusion, gathered an army, enough to stand face to face with the enemy. Akshitlya mother called to serve women of the city and create one unit of Amazons. Stood at the head of Akshitl who divided his forces, sending one part to the war under the command of his commander in chief, but from another part of the reserve formed, headed by himself. For three years, the king defended the Tollan from the combined forces of the rebels and semi-Chichimeca. In the end, the Toltecs, almost bloodless, after a last-ditch battle fled to the swamps near Lake Tetskoko and protected mountain strongholds. Their other cities were destroyed, and the Toltec empire came to an end.

Resettlement Chichimeca

Meanwhile, crude Chichimecs from the north, who for many years conducted a constant war with the Toltecs, were surprised that the enemy is no longer roam outside their borders, they did mainly to get captives for sacrifice. To find out the cause of the suspicious calm, they sent spies into the territory of the Toltecs. Spies returned with startling news: Toltec possession away six hundred miles from the border Chichimeca are barren terrain, their cities destroyed and deserted, and the inhabitants fled. Chichimeca king Xolotl called to his capital leaders and by conveying the fact that spies reported, proposed hike in order to annex the abandoned land. This involved the resettlement of at least 3,202,000 people, and only 1.6 million remained in the Chichimeca.

Chichimecas occupied most of the destroyed cities, many of which they rebuilt. The remaining Toltecs were peaceful citizens, and thanks to his ability to trade and craft knowledge amassed considerable wealth. But they are required to pay the tribute, which was categorically refused to do Nauyotl, Toltec ruler Koluakana. But he was defeated and killed, and eventually established sovereignty Chichimeca.

The disappearance of the Toltecs

Narrators of this legend pose it as an opinion shared by some prominent authorities. It consists in the fact that the Toltecs, fleeing from internal strife in the city and from Chichimeca attacks, came to Central America, where they became the founders and builders of the civilization of many great cities, the ruins of which are now found on its plains and forests. But it is time we consider the allegations leveled against Toltec civilization and culture, with a more scientific method.

Were there Toltecs?

Some question the existence of the Toltecs, and declare that they see in them only a mythical people. They base this theory on the fact that the duration of the Board of several Toltec kings, as is often said, was exactly fifty-two years, equivalent to the duration of a large Mexican-year cycle, which was passed to the ceremonial calendar coincided with the solar year. This, of course, is suspicious, as well as the fact that many of the names of the Toltec kings are also names the main deities Nahua, and it gives the whole dynastic list of very questionable value. Dr. Brinton recognized in Toltec those children of the sun, which, like their brethren in the Peruvian mythology, were sent from heaven to bestow the civilization of mankind, and this theory was in no way weakens the fact that Quetzalcoatl, the god of the sun, called the king of the Nahua myth Toltec. However, recent discoveries have led many researchers to recognize the existence of this topic people Toltec. Author of the book dealt with this issue in detail elsewhere (see: Civilization of Ancient Mexico. Ch. 2) and does not belong to those who freely admits the existence of the Toltecs from the historical point of view. The late Mr. Payne from Oxford, authority, worthy of all respect, expressed his opinion as follows: "The stories about the history of the Toltecs, which are widespread in the conquest, contain a grain of truth." He writes: "The question in my mind that once existed in Tollan hotbed of progressive development, exceeding the level of development, which has generally prevailed during the Spanish conquest of the Nahua Indians, and that his people extended its success in Anahuac on the eastern and southern regions, would be to reject the conventional wisdom that confirms rather than weakens efforts made in recent years in order to create something for the Pueblo Indians, such as history "(Payne. History of the New World. T. 2. S. 430).

Sustainable tradition

Our theory about the historical existence of the Toltecs somewhat skeptical. We recognize that the constant part of the tradition is generally trust, and the date (1055), when the Nahua supposedly scattered around the country, relatively accurate. We also recognize that this location is now the ruins of Tollan, which, no doubt, is older than the remains of architectural structures Nahua, known at the time of the conquest, and the fact that there is ample evidence of the existence of an older civilization. Since the Nahua, according to folk legend, led a wild existence, the time elapsed from the period of barbarism to a more developed state level they have reached, was too short to be able to prevent the evolution from savagery to culture. Consequently, they are likely to have used a more ancient civilization, especially because through the veneer of their own civilization looked through all the signs of blatant barbarism.

Unnamed people

If this were true, it would appear that on the plateau of Mexico is not in very ancient times there was a relatively high culture of the people. We will not pretend to know what it was called or who was related. Many respected contemporary American scientists call it the "Toltec" and freely talk about "Toltec period" and the "art of the Toltecs." It may seem unnecessary pedantry refusal to acknowledge that the developed peoples in Mexico to the Nahua, was "Toltecs." But in the absence of authentic and reliable sources of local origin written on this subject have to leave room for doubt as to the exact name of a mysterious ancient people who preceded the Nahua. There is no shortage of experts who believe the annals Nahua made in the form of drawings, just as credible as written documents, but it should be clear that the story or even a story recorded in graphic form, do not have that degree of certainty, which is contained in writing the story.

Toltec art

As mentioned above, according to legend, the Toltecs were famous mainly for his strong love for art and his works in its different areas. Ixtlilxochitl writes that they were able to work with gold, silver, copper, tin and lead, and their masons used flint, porphyry, basalt and obsidian. They were unrivaled masters in the production of jewelry and art, and pottery from Cholula, samples of which are often found to be of high quality.

Other local people

Lived in Mexico and other indigenous peoples, in addition to the Toltecs. Of the many different nations most outstanding was the Otomi people, who still lives in Guanajuato and Queretaro, and who came to the Nahua was probably distributed throughout the Valley of Mexico. In the south, we find uashteka people who speak the same language as that of the Maya in Central America and the Gulf Coast — Totonac and Chontal. On the Pacific coast Mixtecs and Zapotecs created a thriving civilization, largely original, which to some extent are the link between the cultures of Mexico and Central America. Traces of more ancient people than these people still could be found in the more remote parts of Mexico, and the people of targets, tsoke, kuikateki Popoloca and are probably descendants of the prehistoric peoples of antiquity.

Residents of the rocks

It is likely that the people known as "the people of the rocks", which lived in the highlands of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, and even individual branches pierce to the Mexico, was ethnically related to the people of the Nahua. In the veins of the modern Pueblo Indians living north of Mexico, it is possible the blood to genes Nahua Indians. Before the families that passed these genes, mixed with other tribes of different origin, it appears that they took with them the territories that are now inhabited by Pueblo Indians. And in the natural hollows and shallow caves on the surface of rocks were found at home and strengthen that demonstrate considerable architectural skill. Habitat of these people stretched south to Gila River, the southernmost tributary of Colorado, and the traces they left there, in terms of architecture are, apparently, to a later period than those that are further north. The ruins were found early Spanish explorers, and it is believed that their builders were forced to go back to re-connect with their relatives in the north. Further south, in the gorges of the river Piedras Verdes (green stones — App.)
in Chihuahua (Mexico), is a rock shelter, in many ways similar to those that are living in the Pueblo Indians, and Dr. Hrdlicka and others researched the rock dwellings in the south, in the state of Jalisco in central Mexico. They may be the ruins of houses built or ancient Nahua, or what some people, distantly related to them, and to show the architecture features common among the Nahua, before they began to borrow other foreign forms. They may also be the remains of houses that are similar to the Tarahumara people, the buildings, to this day there is a Mexican tribe, which, according to Lumholtsa (Unknown Mexico. T. 1. 1902), and today lives in similar buildings. From the development of architectural art rock inhabitants is clear that their civilization developed generally from south to north, this was akin to the ancient people of the Nahua and later went to the north, or merged with the bulk of the Nahua. But we should not think that these people came to the Mexican plateau to the Nahua, and ruins in Jalisco and other areas of central Mexico may just be the remains of relatively modern rock dwellings borrowing central Mexican peoples architecture "residents rocks" or local option because of its urgent need that push the life in those days in the region.


The group was composed of all the Nahua tribes speaking nauatlatolli (language Nahuatl). They occupied a territory that stretched from the southern border of New Mexico to the south of the Isthmus Teuatepek or lying almost within the boundaries of modern Republic of Mexico. But this group can not be regarded as a homogeneous nation of origin. Appropriate here a short story about their racial kinship. Chichimecas were likely to be related to the Otomi, which we refer to as one of the pioneers of the Mexican valley. It is believed that they came to her after the Toltecs. Their main cities were Tetskoko and Tenayukan, but later they merged with the Nahua in the big league and began to speak in the language of Nahuatl. There are circumstances that justify the assumption that the entry into the Mexican valley they consisted of several loosely connected by tribes and their overall organization is very reminiscent of some mixed modern American Indian tribes.


Following them in order of appearance of the people was akoluake or akoluan. The name means "high" or "strong" people, literally, "broad-people" or "energetic people who find their way." In his book "The Conquest of Mexico" Gomara says that they came to the valley of Akoluakana about 780 years BC. e. and founded the city of Tollan, Koluakan himself Mexico. Akoluake Thoroughbreds were Nahua and could well be the Toltecs, which many argue, as the Nahua have always insisted that the Toltecs were from the same species, as they are, and spoke more pristine and pure version of the language Nahuatl. People came from akoluake people tlashkalanov, an inveterate enemy of the Aztecs, who so willingly helped Cortes with his invasion of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, or Mexico City.


Tekpaneki entered into an alliance consisting exclusively of the Nahua tribes who lived in the towns on the lake Tetskoko, foremost of which were Tlacopan and Atskapotsalko. The name "tekpanek" is derived from the former in each settlement house leader, or Tecpan. This tribe is almost certainly came later settlers Nahua, it appeared in Mexico after akoluake was chichimekskoy rival branches of the people.


The Aztecs were a nomadic tribe of doubtful origin, but is probably related by blood Nahua. In the lifetime of many generations of wandering on the Mexican plateau, they finally settled on the marshy land near the lake Tetskoko, near Tlacopan. The word "Aztec" means "people of herons", the name given to this tribe tekpanekami perhaps because, like herons, they lived in a swampy area. They founded the city of Tenochtitlan, or Mexico City, and for a time to pay tribute tekpanekam. But later they became the most powerful allies of the people, who, in the end, completely surpassed in power and glory.

The nature of the Aztecs

External features of the Aztecs, according to various Mexican images, typically Indian and Northern prove origin. This nation has been — and remains — the average growth and the skin is dark brown. Mexican — a stern, taciturn and sullen people, which is deeply rooted love for all things mysterious, and he fired the slow to anger, but when the passions awakened, he was almost out of control in a rage. Usually he is gifted logical thinking, speed of perception and ability with great delicacy to treat delicate aspect. Patient and able to imitate the ancient Mexican was excellent master in the arts, which require these qualities. He really loved the beauty of nature, had a passion for flowers, but in the music of the Aztecs did not have fun, and entertain them often were too dark and brutal. Women were more full of life than men, but in the days leading up to the conquest, were very dependent on the will of their husbands. We have already outlined the general nature of the Nahua civilization, but it would be appropriate to consider it closely, because if we want to understand the myths of the people, it must be some kind of knowledge about the life and culture in general.

Legends about the foundation of Mexico

During the conquest of Mexico by Cortés this city is an impressive sight. In this region, according to legend, Mexicans led leader Huitzilopochtli, who later became their god of war, and there are several legends explaining the choice of the place Mexicans. The most popular of them tells the nomads Nahua saw sitting on a cactus majestic eagle huge holding in the claws of a large snake and disclosed the wings to catch the rays of the rising sun. Diviners or medicine men of the tribe, seeing in this a favorable omen sight, advised leaders to live in this place. Listening to the voice, which they interpreted as the voice of God, they were to drive piles into the marshy ground, and thus laid the foundation of the great city of Mexico.

In a more detailed account of the legend tells of how in 1325 about the Aztecs sought refuge on the western shore of Lake Tetskoko on the island, in the swamps where they found the stone on which forty years ago, one of their priests sacrificed a prince named Dug captured by them in captivity. A completed land crevice of crude altar rose cactus, and it appeared the royal eagle, which was mentioned in the previous story, clutching a snake in its claws. Seeing in this a good sign and encourage supernatural impulse which he could not explain, the high priest ducked into a nearby creek, where he met with Tlaloc, the god of water. After a conversation with the divine priest got his permission to found a city on the site, which has grown from a modest settlement to the capital called Mexico Tenochtitlan.

Mexico during the conquest

During the Spanish conquest of Mexico City had no less than twelve miles in circumference, which is almost equal to modern Berlin without suburbs. There were 60,000 houses, and its inhabitants were 300 000. Many other cities, most of which were almost half the size of the capital, is on an island or on the shore of Lake Tetskoko so the population of so-called "Greater Mexico" likely to be up to several million. The city was divided into four large parts of roads or avenues built at right angles to each other, which formed squares, pointing to the compass. Since the city was located in the middle of the lake, it crossed the numerous channels, which were used as highways. Four above the main road stretched across the lake by a dam or viaducts to its shores. Homes of ordinary people built mainly of mud brick, but the houses of the nobility were built of red porous stone mined nearby. They were usually one story, but it takes a good piece of land and had flat roofs, often lined with flowers. Usually the roof covered with a layer of solid white cement, which adds to their resemblance to the houses in the East.

A little away from the vast areas and market places high above the houses towered temples, or the pyramid. In fact, they were not the temples, and the "hills", a huge pyramid of stone, which was built on the same platform is another, and around them was a staircase that led to the summit. It is usually constructed a small shrine, where there was a patron deity, for whom it was built the pyramid. Great temple of the god of war Huitzilopochtli, built by King Auishotlem, in addition to what had all the typical features, was undoubtedly the greatest of these sacred swingers. The walls around him were in a circle 4800 feet (1463 m), and were decorated with wonderful carvings depicting intertwined reptiles, and why they are called "koetpantli" (Wall snakes). The fence you could walk through the similarity of the lodge, located on each side. The pyramid, or the great temple, inside the fence was in the form of a parallelogram with sides of 375 feet (114.3 m) to 300 feet (91.4 m) and consisted of six platforms, each with a smaller area than the one presented below. All of this structure was built from a mixture of rocks, clay and earth and lined with stone slabs carefully treated, stuck to each other with incredible accuracy with hard plaster. The ledges there was a staircase of 340 steps, which led to the upper platform, where two three-story climbing towers 56 feet (17 meters). They were large statues of the gods, protectors and sacrificial stone of jasper. These sanctuaries, in the opinion of the old conquistadors who belonged to them, had the appearance and smell of the slaughterhouse, and all there was spattered with human blood. In this fantastic chapel terrible fire burned, the extinction of which was believed to bring an end to the Nahua power. Take care of him with the zeal with which the priestess of the Temple of Vesta in Rome guarded his sacred fire. Only one Mexico permanently burned at least six such sacred braziers.

Lewis Spence, Inca and Mayan Myths

Category: Mystery stories

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