Bonds of Blood: Gender, Lifecycle, and Sacrifice in Aztec Culture

Paperback | March 15, 2011

byCaroline Dodds Pennock

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The history of the Aztecs has been haunted by the spectre of human sacrifice. As bloody priests and brutal warriors, the Aztecs have peopled the pages of history, myth and fiction, their spectacular violence dominating perceptions of their culture and casting a veil over their unique way of life. Reinvesting the Aztecs with a humanity frequently denied to them, and exploring their religious violence as a comprehensible element of life and existence, Caroline Dodds Pennock integrates a fresh interpretation of gender with an innovative study of the everyday life of the Aztecs. This was a culture of contradictions and complications, but in amongst the grand ritual we can find the personal and private, the minutiae of life which make the world of these extraordinary people instantly familiar. Despite their violent bloodshed, the Aztecs were a compassionate and expressive people who lived and worked in cooperative gendered partnership.

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From the Publisher

The history of the Aztecs has been haunted by the spectre of human sacrifice. As bloody priests and brutal warriors, the Aztecs have peopled the pages of history, myth and fiction, their spectacular violence dominating perceptions of their culture and casting a veil over their unique way of life. Reinvesting the Aztecs with a humanity ...

CAROLINE DODDS PENNOCK is a Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Leicester, UK. She was previously a Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and is the author of a number of articles on Aztec and Atlantic History.

other books by Caroline Dodds Pennock

Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 8.52 × 5.4 × 0.6 inPublished:March 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230285643

ISBN - 13:9780230285644

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Note on Translation and Terminology
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Glossary
Introduction
Living with Death
Birth and Blood
Growing Up
Tying the Knot
Marriage and Partnership
Outside the Norm
Aging and Mortality
Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2008 Royal Historical Society Gladstone Prize"This study, beautifully written and organized, is a fresh approach to both the problems of understanding Aztec human sacrifice, a problem as old as the first European viewers of this society in the sixteenth century, and of characterizing Aztec gender relations, which was introduced as a field of study in the latter half of the twentieth century. With exhaustive research Caroline Dodds Pennock ties together these two strains of enquiry in a tour-de-force argument that resolves many seeming contradictions and allows the modern Westerner to enter Aztec society with less apprehension. While making sense of Aztec thought, even more valuable is her humanization of the Aztecs through the publication of the few texts that reveal intimate and individual aspects of behaviour and interpretation of well-known formulaic pronouncements as moving expressions of human emotion. This last is a difficult feat to accomplish for a culture that is usually presented as overwhelmingly communal, public, and unfeeling." -- Emily Umberger, Arizona State University