jueves, 25 de febrero de 2010

The Aztecs

The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nathuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.

Often the term "Aztec" refers exclusively to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan, situated on an island in Lake Texococo, who referred to themselves as Mexica Tenochca or Colhua-Mexica. Sometimes the term also includes the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan's two principal allied city-states, the Acolhuas of Texococo and the Tepanecs of Tlacopan, who together with the Mexica formed the Aztec Triple Alliance which has also become known as the "Aztec Empire".

In other contexts, Aztec may refer to all the various city states and their peoples, who shared large parts of their ethnic history as well as many important cultural traits with the Mexica, Acolhua and Tepanecs, and who like them, also spoke the Nahuatl language. In this meaning it is possible to talk about an Aztec civilization including all the particular cultural patterns common for the Nahuatl speaking peoples of the late postclassic period in Mesoamerica.

From the 13th century Valley of Mexico was the core of Aztec civilization: here the capital of the Aztec Triple Alliance, the city of Tenochtitlan, was built upon raised islets in Lake Techoco. The Triple Alliance formed its tributary empire expanding its political hegemony far beyond the Valley of Mexico, conquering other city states throughout Mesoamerica. At its pinnacle Aztec culture had rich and complex mythological and religious traditions, as well as reaching remarkable architectural and artistic accomplishments.

In 1521, in what is probably the most widely known episode in theSpanish colonization of the Americas, Hernán Cortés, along with a large number of Nahuatl speaking indigenous allies, conquered Tenochtitlan and defeated the Aztec Triple Alliance under the leadership of Hueyi Tlatoani Moctezuma II; In the series of events often referred to as "The fall of the Aztec Empire". Subsequently the Spanish founded the new settlement of Mexico city on the site of the ruined Aztec capital.

The Incas

The Inca civilization began as a tribe in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco around 1200. Under the leadership of the descendants of Manco Capac, the Inca state grew to absorb other Andean communities. In 1442, the Incas began a far-reaching expansion under the command of Patchacuti. He founded theInca Empire, which became the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

The empire was split by a civil war to decide who would be Inca Hanan and who would be Inca Hurin (Hanan and Hurin represent the families of the higher parts of the city (Hanan) and those of the lower parts (Hurin) it is believed that one of the brothers was from Hanan Cuzco and the other from Hurin Cuzco as they were part of the family of their mothers), which pitted the brothers Huascar and Atahualpa against each other. In 1533, Spanish Conquerors led by Francisco Pizarro, took advantage of this situation and conquered much of the existing Inca territory. In succeeding years, the invaders consolidated power over the whole Andean region, repressing successive Inca resistance and culminating in the establishment of the Viceroyalty of Perú in 1542. The militant phase of Inca liberation movements ended with the fall of resistance in Vilcabamba during 1573. Though indigenous sovereignty was lost, Inca cultural traditions remain strong among surviving indigenous descendants such as the Quechuas and Aymara people.

We found these kingdoms in such good order, and the said Incas governed them in such wise that throughout them there was not a thief, nor a vicious man, nor an adulteress, nor was a bad woman admitted among them, nor were there immoral people. The men had honest and useful occupations. The lands, forests, mines, pastures, houses and all kinds of products were regulated and distributed in such sort that each one knew his property without any other person seizing it or occupying it, nor were there law suits respecting it… the motive which obliges me to make this statement is the discharge of my conscience, as I find myself guilty. For we have destroyed by our evil example, the people who had such a government as was enjoyed by these natives.

They were so free from the committal of crimes or excesses, as well men as women, that the Indian who had 100,000 pesos worth of gold or silver in his house, left it open merely placing a small stick against the door, as a sign that its master was out. With that, according to their custom, no one could enter or take anything that was there. When they saw that we put locks and keys on our doors, they supposed that it was from fear of them, that they might not kill us, but not because they believed that anyone would steal the property of another. So that when they found that we had thieves among us, and men who sought to make their daughters commit sin, they despised us.

The Mayas

The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilitation, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD), according to the Mesoamerican chronology, many Maya cities reached their highest state development during the Classic period (c. 250 AD to 900 AD), and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. At its peak, it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.

The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultutal diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and thecalendardid not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them.

Maya influence can be detected from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and to as far as central Mexico, more than 1000 km (625 miles) from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to result from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.

The agriculture:

Agricultural production in the Maya area, especially in the northern and southern lowlands, had to contend with a number of factors that constrained plant cultivation. These consist of a generally poor soil quality, an overall lack of nutrients in the soil necessary for intensive production, and, in some areas (especially the tropical environments of the southern lowlands), dense vegetation cover with a high canopy. In the semi-arid areas of the northern Maya lowlands, agriculturalists had to contend with reduced levels of rainfall, shallow soil deposits, and exposed limestone bedrock pavements. The Mayans were skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was scarce, building sizeable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater.

To fight these deficiencies, the Maya adopted a number of adaptive techniques that, if necessary, allowed for the clear-cutting of land and re-infused the soil with nutrients. Primary among these was slash and burn, or swidden, agriculture, a technique that cleared and temporarily fertilized the area to be cultivated. For example, the introduction of ash into the soil raised the soil’s pH , which in turn raised the content of a variety of nutrients, especially phosphorus, for a short period of time, which may be around two years long. However, the soil will not be suitable for planting for as many as ten years. This technique, common throughout the Maya area, is still practiced today in the Maya region. Complementing swidden techniques wascrop rotation and milpa farming, which were employed to maintain soil viability and increase the variability of cultivated crops.

vocabulary of Unit 5 and 6


Family that run away in 750.

Caliphate of Damascus: The capital of island territories.

Caliphate of Cordoba: Was the most brilliant period of Damascus.

Al-Andalus: Were the territories in the power of the Muslims.

5 Jews:
people that play an important role in the economy.

Emirate: Territory governed by the king.

Emir: Was the goverment of the emirate.

Walis: Was governors, who controlled the provinces.

9 Visir:
Was a minister.

Hayib: Was the primer minister.

Raids: they was used to obtain prisioners in the Caliphate of Cordoba.

12 Taifas:
Small kingdoms into the Muslims kindoms was divided.

Parias: Taxes paid by the taifas.

Almoravids: Warriors berbers from the north of Africa.

Almohads: Warriors berbers from the nprth of Africa.

Battle of Navas de Tolosa: battle produced in 1212 and the muslims lost.

Nasrid Kingdom: Was formed by the nasrid family.

Dinar: money of gold.

Dirhem: money of silver.

Arabs: Were the descendants of the conquerors.

Berbers: Warriors of the north of Africa.

Muladies: Muslims who adopted the religion language and costums of Islam.

Mozarabs: christians who continuedo to practise their religion.

24 Medina:
Was the main area or old city.

25 Aljama:
Was the main mosque.

26 Mosque:
Was a place where the muslims went to pray.

27 Arrabales:
Were worker's districts, where the craft workshops were located.

28 Alcázar:
The centre of political life.

29 Souk:
Was the market, a place where social and economic life was centred.

30 Alhóndigas:
Large warehouses, where the merchants kept their goods.

31 Averroes:
Was an islam intellectual.

32 Maimonides:
Was an islam intellectual.

33 Horseshoe arches:
Were the arches used in the islamic architecture.

34 Plasterwork:
Was used to decorate the islamic buildings.


1 Reconquest: Was produced when the Christians conquered the Iberian Peninsula.

2 Kingdom of Asturias:
Was originated by the Christians in Cantabria, defeated by Pelayo.

3 Kingdom of León:
Was originated whenthe capital of the kingdom of asturias was moved to

4 Aragonese counties:
Was formed when the Carolingian Empire was divided.

5 Catalan counties:
Was formed when the Carolingian Empire was divided.

6 Pelayo:
Was chosed by the visigoths as their king.

7 Battle of Covadonga:
Was produced in 722.

8 Alfonso III:
Was regined when the Battle of Covadonga was produced.

9 Fernán González:
Was governed when Castile was divided.

10 Spanish March:
Was formed by the Pyrenean within the Carolingian Empire.

11 Carolingian Empire:
Was dissolved in the 9th century.

12 Sancho III the Great:
became the most powerful Cjristian king on the Peninsula.

13 Wilfred the Hairy:
Was the person who united the Catalan counties.

14 Beatus:
Is a famous example of the mozarabic art.

15 Mozarabic art:
Was the art wich emerged in the Christian kingdoms in the 10th century.

16 Mudejar art:
Was emerged in the 12th in Sahagún, Leon.

17 Asturian art:
Developed near of Oviedo between the 8th and 10th centuries.

18 Repopulation:
Was produced when the Christians kingdoms advanced from de Duero valley

19 Fueros:
Was privileges the kings gave to the towns.

20 Military orders:
Created the feudal estates.

21 Mudejars:
Where Muslims who remained in Christian territory.

22 Alfonso VI:
He conquered Toledo, the Tajo valley and a part of Andalusia.

23 Ferdinand III:
Was the person who united Castile and Leon in 1230.

24 Cortes:
Their function was to approve or reject new taxes.

25 Honourable Council of the Mesta:
was creates in 1273 to discuss the problem of the sheeps.

26 Alfonso I the Battler:
Was the first king of Aragon.

27 James I the Conqueror:
He took Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and the Balearic islands.

28 Generalitat:
An institution which defended the rights of individuals in Aragon.