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DID YOU KNOW?

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325 on a small, swampy island on Lake Texcoco after, according to legend, the Mexica had a vision of an eagle there, perched on a prickly pear cactus and eating a snake. They believed this to be a sign from the gods.

DON’T CALL THEM AZTECS Seriously, they would have had no idea who you were talking about
ALAMY

HOW DID THE AZTECS GET THEIR NAME?

The colossal-city building, humansacrificing people of Central Mexico we know as the Aztecs didn’t call themselves ‘the Aztecs’. It wasn’t even the name pejoratively thrust upon them by their Spanish conquerors. Instead, the Nahuatlspeaking people were more commonly called the Mexica – although even that is a general term that doesn’t really cover everybody as the Mexica were just one of several tribes who later became the Aztecs.

It wouldn’t be until the 1780 publication of La Historia Antigua de Mexico by Francisco Javier Clavijero Echegaray – some 250 years after Cortés – that the term Aztec was established. Why he did so may have been to distinguish the Mexica from the postconquest Mexicans who followed in their wake, perhaps drawing inspiration from the fact the Mexica, centuries before, called themselves the Azteca. The new name was popularised when it was adopted by Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt in the early 19th century

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

On 20 July 1969, Apollo 11 landed the first humans on the Moon – bringing the Space Race to an end. Half a century on, we examine this and 49 other great leaps in history, each of which has shaped the world as we know it today. Plus: Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II smites his foes, an Indian ‘princess’ becomes a WWII spy in occupied France, the hidden history of drug use in antiquity, plus we examine Chicago’s darkest days – the Red Summer race riot of 1919