The Aztec Image in Western Thought

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, 1990 - History - 667 pages
The great inquiry into the nature of Aztec civilization began at the very moment of its destruction in the name of the Spanish Crown and Church. The overwhelming discovery of a vast, luxurious overseas empire offering fresh evidence of the enormous diversity of customs and opinions among the nations of the earth expanded the imaginative as well as the geographic horizons of Renaissance Europe. In The Aztec Image, Benjamin Keen explores the shifting attitudes and focus of the scores of historians, philosophers, scientists, and men of letters and the arts who dealt with the Aztec theme in the four and a half centuries after the conquest of Mexico. From that time to the present, the world of the ancient Aztecs has been a subject of compelling interest and controversy in the West.

Keen explains how each new view continuously corrected and developed, the Western conception of Aztec civilization. He relates prevailing ideas about the Aztecs to the broad socioeconomic, political, and ideological patterns of the age, as well as to the contemporary state of knowledge about ancient Mexico. A comprehensive work of historiography, Keen's book is the first to encompass the sweep of Western thought on the Aztecs from Cortes to the present.
 

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This is an exhaustive and exhausting survey of how the Aztec civilization was discussed first in European writings and later in American and Mexican ones. The author starts from Spanish works written ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This is an exhaustive and exhausting survey of how the Aztec civilization was discussed first in European writings and later in American and Mexican ones. The author starts from Spanish works written ... Read full review

Contents

The People of the Sun
3
The Aztec World View
30
Europe Discovers the Aztecs
49
I
71
II
105
The Aztecs in Late Renaissance Thought
138
The Baroque Vision of the Aztecs
173
I
217
I
310
II
337
Montezumas Dinner
380
From Orozco y Berra to Seler
411
The Return of Cuauhtemoc
463
The Plumed Serpent
509
Notes
569
Index
619

II
260

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