cover of Aztec Imperial STrategies

Aztec Imperial Strategies

by: Frances F. Berdan
Richard E. Blanton
Elizabeth H. Boone
Mary G. Hodge
Michael E. Smith
Emily Umberger

Aztec Imperial Strategies. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC (1996). ISBN:0884022110. ($60.00)
This book is a comprehensive analysis of the economic and political geography of the Aztec empire. It is the fruit of a joint research project among ethnohistorians, archaeologists, and art historians that originated as a Summer Seminar at the Dumbarton Oaks research center in Washington, DC. The authors researched every town in the Aztec empire, recording a set of standard information for each. They drew a new map of the empire by first plotting local towns and city-states and then grouping these by province. This map, the first complete map of Aztec territory since Robert Barlow’s 1949 study, reveals new principles of provincial organization (see below).

Aztec Imperial Strategies presents a new interpretation of the expansion and organization of the Aztec empire. The most complete and comprehensive study ever undertaken of the empire, this book breaks new ground by providing new models for Aztec imperialism; a new and detailed map of the Aztec empire (with numerous maps of individual provinces and regions); copious data tables and standardized descriptions of the towns and provinces of the empire; and a comprehensive treatment of the material manifestations of Aztec imperialism.
map of aztec empire
This is the new map of the Aztec empire described in Aztec Imperial Strategies. . The darker areas are the Tributary Provinces. These areas, listed in the Codex Mendoza tribute roll, made regularly-scheduled tribute payments to the imperial capitals in the Valley of Mexico. The lighter numbered zones are Strategic Provinces. The towns in these areas were exempt from regular tribute payments, but they were responsible for maintaining the imperial frontiers agains such enemies as the Tarascans, Yopes, and Tlaxcala. The identification of these two types of imperial provinces is one of the major advances of Aztec Imperial Strategies.
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