How did a bedraggled band of nomads manage to evolve into a Mesoamerican superpower in such a brief time? This volume looks at the essential elements in the Aztecs' rise, fall, and enduring influence. From their humble origins, it took the Aztecs less than two centuries to become a dominant empire with a main city, Tenochtitian, that left the Spanish gasping in amazement. But as quick as the rise of the Aztecs was, their fall was even more dramatic. Yet Aztec descendents survive today, preserving vestiges of a culture far richer than its relentlessly bloodthirsty public image suggests. A wealth of new archaeological findings and interpretations has sparked a richer understanding of the Aztecs, dispelling many myths. The Aztecs: New Perspectives looks at evidence from ancient, colonial, and modern times to present a contemporary, well-rounded portrait of this Mesoamerican culture. Like no other volume, it examines daily Aztec life both at, and away from, the seats of power, revealing the Aztecs to be accomplished farmers, astronomers, mathematicians, and poets-as well as ruthless warriors and tireless builders of empire. The Aztecs ranges from the mysterious origins of the Aztian tribe to the glory years of empire and ultimate defeat. But the story doesn't end there. To present the most complete picture possible, the author goes to the most fascinating source available-the living ancestors who keep the Aztec language and many aspects of their ancient worldview alive. There is no better volume for exploring the realities of Aztec life as it was, and as it influences our world today.