War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica by Ross Hassig

By Ross Hassig

During this examine of conflict in historical Mesoamerica, Ross Hassig bargains new perception into 3 thousand years of Mesoamerican historical past, from approximately 1500 B.C. to the Spanish conquest. He examines the tools, reasons, and values of conflict as practiced by means of the foremost pre-Columbian societies and exhibits how conflict affected the increase of the nation.

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Extra resources for War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica

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Although I am thanking only those who directly assisted in this project, my debts spread considerably farther. Where help has been of a specific nature, I have acknowledged its providers in the notes. There are always some whose help has been more general, and among these, I would like to thank John Justeson of the State University of New York at Albany and Jim Fox of Stanford University for help with Maya archaeology and epigraphy. I also owe thanks to Esther Pasztory of Columbia University and Emily Umberger of Arizona State University for help with various aspects of Mesoamerican art.

The thematic approach focuses on separate topics in isolation, such as arms and armor or tactics, which highlight specific developments, but at the cost of an overall view of societies. The evidentiary approach builds from the strongest data, beginning with the best documented Mesoamerican societythe Aztecswhose military practices can be discussed with relative certainty, and then modifies this information and interprets earlier cultures in light of it. This puts the most compelling case first but obscures the developmental sequence and risks imposing later practices on earlier societies.

Thus, imperialism is seen as arising from a given social structure. The second type sees imperialism as a consequence of the weakness of the periphery where stability cannot be maintained, forcing stronger polities to impose order that allows predictable relations. While social structures are also causal in this view, these lie in the periphery rather than in the center. Although aspects of both of these theories apply, I have adopted the third type as most appropriate, in which expansion is seen as a natural consequence of power differences between polities rather than as arising from a particular social structure.

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