Susan D. Gillespie

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The Aztec Kings

The Construction of Rulership in Mexican History

The University of Arizona Press

Winner of the Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Award from the American Society for Ethnohistory, The Aztec Kings is the first major study to take into account the Aztec cyclical conception of time and treat indigenous historical traditions as symbolic statements in narrative form. Susan D. Gillespie focuses on the dynastic history of the Mexica of Tenochtitlan. By demonstrating that most of Aztec history is nonliteral, she sheds new light on Aztec culture and on the function of history in society. By relating the cyclical structure of Aztec dynastic history to similar traditions of African and Polynesian peoples, she introduces a broader perspective on the function of history in society and on how and why history must change.

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