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Toltec

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Michelle Jahn
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« on: October 13, 2010, 01:30:33 pm »

Aztec view

The word "Toltecatl" (Toltec) was originally used by the Nahua in contrast to the word "chichimeca" which describe their own prehistory as a nomadic hunter-gatherer people which later adopted the more "civilized," urban lifestyle described with the term Toltecayotl "Toltecness". Etymologically Toltecatl is derived from the Nahuatl language placename "Tollan" "place of reeds", which to the Aztecs signified "metropolis". The Aztecs also saw the Toltecs as their own predecessors whom they glorified in order to be able to legitimize their own structures of power by claiming royal descent from Toltec lineages. The Florentine Codex describes the Aztec view of the Toltecs like this:

"The Tolteca were wise. Their works were all good, all perfect, all wonderful, all marvelous... They invented the art of medicine... And these Tolteca were very wise; they were thinkers, for they originated the year count... These Tolteca were righteous. They were not deceivers. Their words [were] clear words . . . They were tall; they were larger [than the people today]... They were very devout... They were rich. (Sahagún, 1950–1982: book 10, 165–170)"

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