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War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica$
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Ross Hassig

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520077348

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520077348.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Approach to War

The Approach to War

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Approach to War
War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica

Ross Hassig

University of California Press

This book discusses Mesoamerica's military past. It also explores the role of war in Mesoamerican societies. It then places military matters in a broader social and historical context to show their role in individual societies and in creating and maintaining Mesoamerica as a culture area, thereby providing the indispensable basis for linking and integrating much of the region. There are three major ways to structure a book such as this: thematic, evidentiary, and chronological. 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 society—the Aztecs—whose military practices can be discussed with relative certainty, and then modifies this information and interprets earlier cultures in light of it. The chronological approach emphasizes sequential development.

Keywords:   war, Mesoamerica, military practices, Mesoamerican societies, arms, armor, Aztecs

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