r/todayilearned Jun 28 '22

TIL Aztecs felt a responsibility to sacrificed everyday, letting blood and cutting hearts to keep the sun in motion. Those sacrificed thought they would come back as hummingbirds.

https://youtu.be/6eey_6fc9MY
199 Upvotes

16

u/Zethrax Jun 28 '22

"Those sacrificed thought they would come back as hummingbirds."

That might explain why hummingbirds are generally so pissed-off.

3

u/parkaprep Jun 30 '22

I once saw two hummingbirds fight to the death over a wine bottle.

40

u/Menace2Sobriety Jun 28 '22

Imagine being so shitty your native neighbors would rather help the conquistadors.

18

u/theRune_ofalltrades Jun 29 '22

that always happens. many native tribes helped the British over the colonists. same with slaves helping the north during the Civil War.

54

u/LuinAelin Jun 28 '22

And did the sun stop during the time their culture existed. No it didn't

55

u/Andron1cus Jun 28 '22

Maybe they sacrificed so much that they built up sacrificial credit, and we are still drawing on that sacrificial credit allowing the sun to keep in motion. But we are slowly running out of that credit and will need to pick the sacrificial responsibility back up or the sun will stop.

24

u/salasia Jun 28 '22

sigh, I guess I can be a hummingbird

6

u/getbeaverootnabooteh Jun 28 '22

Nah. Now the cartels are continuing the good work.

6

u/Waterknight94 Jun 28 '22

Did you think American schools were for educating the population?

0

u/Nervous-Daikon-5393 Jun 29 '22

Have you seen this world, we blood let more then they did lol

4

u/HacksawJimDGN Jun 28 '22

Don't think it was the aztecs, but I remember hearing about 2 ancient armies about to go to war when suddenly a solar eclipse happened and they changed their mind about the battle

35

u/Go_away_from_myself Jun 28 '22

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD

13

u/Satureum Jun 28 '22

SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE

2

u/Greene_Mr Jun 28 '22

IN THE LAND OF MORDOR

WHERE THE SHADOWS LIE

2

u/Starrmont Jun 29 '22

BLOOD AND SOULS FOR MY LORD ARIOCH

2

u/WiredAndTeary Jun 30 '22

Well fuck me sideways, an Elric of Melniboné reference.

Reddit you never cease to suprise me.

I read those books over and over as a kid, like 40 years ago. Guess I'm off to a book store this weekend!

Stormbringer

2

u/HauntedFossil Jun 28 '22

A little more like blood for the sun God, the blood god was good. probably had enough blood around.

8

u/Go_away_from_myself Jun 28 '22

Fair, the actual blood god didn't have skin and while I can't remember his actual name i do know that translated into English his name is "Our Lord, The Flayed One"

6

u/WolfsLairAbyss Jun 28 '22

Xipe Totec.

2

u/Go_away_from_myself Jun 28 '22

Yeah that's the one

3

u/weealex Jun 28 '22

Was he actually a blood god? i thought he was more fertility and planting season

-8

u/headonstraight- Jun 28 '22

His name was MOHG, LORD OF BLOOD and I beat him first try

4

u/aaust84ct Jun 28 '22

We'll never truly understand the thinking behind it as it was mostly destroyed and only a few measly codex and a book compiled from early accounts are probably all that remains. Not forgetting that follows a Christian / European narrative. No doubt that the mexica used it as a powerful tool and unfortunately many human lives sacrificed to fuel a complex political machine that kept an empire in a constant state of fear. This amplified their demise when states turned and supported the Spanish, and when the conquistadors tore down their idols, how the gods didn't punish them for it.

11

u/FuriouSherman Jun 28 '22

It's amazing just what a crazy-ass death cult can do if it doesn't get overrun by equally bloodthirsty Spanish mercenaries.

13

u/tenuto40 Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

To add more theologically: they believed that the sun was from another god (the weakest of them all) that sacrificed himself to become the sun (when the strongest chickened out) so humanity could survive.

So in their minds, it was only right to do so because of their god sacrificed for all of humanity to exist, what is it to be sacrificed in return?

Granted, I’m glad sacrifice isn’t a thing, especially for something unsubstantiated beyond traditional hearsay.

But it definitely is interesting with their theological framing.

Edit: Also, I remember there was a debate between Aztec and Christian priests after the fall of Tenochtitlan. The Christian priests were surprised at the Aztec priests capability to grasp theology and also poke holes in the Christian priests argument while successfully defending their own theology.

Then the Christian priests pulled the “Well, my dad beat your dad so clearly my dad is better” card. And it’s also kinda hard to win an argument over your occupiers.

Also, the gods wrestled a massive Lovecraft like monster that kept eating humanity and made it into the earth. The only way to keep it from waking up in a cataclysmic rage was to feed it occasional sacrifices.

2

u/LuinAelin Jun 28 '22

Yeah we have to also look at the sacrifice from their pov. Like it's easy to criticise now. But yeah, from their pov, they knew the world would end if they didn't.

I'd imagine being sacrifice could have even been an honour and it got them in to the best afterlife or something. We may now know they died pointlessly, but they where heroes in a way.

Probably in a few 100 years people will look back at today and think we where idiots and brutal for eating meat or something.

1

u/Ponchoreborn Jun 28 '22

I think there are a lot more things to think people are idiots for doing than just eating meat...

1

u/LuinAelin Jun 29 '22

Perhaps. Just using it as an example.

8

u/ebridgewater Jun 28 '22

What knobs 😂

8

u/striderwhite Jun 28 '22

Human sacrifices, the most stupid religious ritual people have ever conceived. Not for nothing in many religions at some point it became some sort of taboo, and people started sacrificing animals instead, as we can notice in the old testament and in other ancient myths.

-8

u/FermentedHotdogWater Jun 28 '22

Ehhh framing it as an intelligence thing is well... Kind of ignorant. Its just not that simple.

10

u/striderwhite Jun 28 '22

Well, it's rather simple. They sacrificed people because of their superstitions, superstitions are a sign of ignorance.

3

u/HauntedFossil Jun 28 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

It's difficult to imagine life in ancient times. Ancient civilizations were not totally dissimilar to cultures and countries today. issues of governance, politics, war, religion. Practices like this were not solely driven by belief. Plus most of our understanding of Aztec culture was through the eyes of Spanish invaders.

-1

u/striderwhite Jun 28 '22

Practices like this were not solely driven by belief

Sure they were. Just like the great pit of death in Ur 4500/4600 years ago https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/death-pit-of-ur-mesopotamia-0010297

5

u/Kungstroll Jun 28 '22

As a matter of fact Itzcoatl and Tlacaelel realized during their reformation of Aztec religion that human sacrifice was quite fucking impressive and scary to most people, so they turned it into a psychological warfare weapon. Even if other states practiced it they didn't on the scale the Aztecs did.

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u/raddrobb67 Jun 28 '22

See what happens when you quit with the sacrifices. The whole world goes to shit.

2

u/herbw Jun 29 '22

The Aztecs were senseless, murderous rogues who killed to maintain their sorry, inefficient rule by terror.

Which was why Cortez found very quickly, vast armies from numerous peoples he used to destroy their pagan, homocidal frenzies. With about 60 men and horses he brought down millions of vile Aztecs and one of the largest cities in pre-columbian America.

2

u/Rddtsckslots Jun 28 '22

Maybe they did.

2

u/Electronic_Sorbet200 Jun 28 '22

Human beings are fucking stupid.

1

u/South_Data2898 Jun 28 '22

Arguably the Aztecs were more civilized in their human sacrifice to their sun god than we our to our worship of money. They definitely killed less people for their sun god then we do for the economy.

1

u/Suzuki_34 Jun 28 '22

How is this any crazier than transubstantiation in communion ceremonies? Still preached today.

4

u/herbw Jun 29 '22

Communion does NOT kill people and in fact promotes moral teachings and life, in both "the heres and hereafters.''

To equate Aztecan atrocities with Christian values is clearly not normal thinking.

0

u/Far_Jello_3692 Jun 28 '22

What's shocking--it isn't any crazier!

1

u/GossipIsLove Jun 28 '22

On what basis they picked who to sacrifice on a day?

6

u/Speckbieber Jun 28 '22

Well the probably didn't sacrifice the rich and wealthy.

3

u/marmorset Jun 29 '22

They would regularly take prisoners from among the conquered people around them. They would often take children and torture them for a while, pulling out their teeth to expose the nerves, and pulling out toe and fingernails before they were sacrificed. They need to offer tears to the rain god to insure good weather. Thoroughly evil people.

1

u/GossipIsLove Jun 30 '22

That was very hard to read, I didn't know stuff from back then was recorded in so much detail, I thought people would know superficial details about sacrifices and that's that. Omg and I am seeing your comments here after sooo longggg, reallyyyy misssssed reading you.

3

u/marmorset Jun 30 '22

Omg and I am seeing your comments here after sooo longggg, reallyyyy misssssed reading you.

I didn't know I had a fan, but thank you.

There was a lot written about the Aztecs right after the conquest but there's always been the assumption that Europeans were biased and exaggerated what the Aztecs had done to justify their own behavior. But over the years we've found more and more mass graves filled with bones of their victims and we've been able to get a sense of the extent of their sacrifices and support for the contemporary reports. Even by the standards of the time they were monsters.

1

u/GossipIsLove Jun 30 '22

Lolzz @ fan. I don't mind being called that.

Thanks for sharing, it was helpful, as of mass grave remains, tbh I would be on fence on how much to believe the stuff inferred from forensic study of remains, some of it would be assumptions-based.

5

u/HauntedFossil Jun 28 '22

It wasn't always sacrificing a life apparently. "Nobles" and warriors would cut themselves to spill blood. The video shows an image of them piercing their ear with bone needles.

-2

u/Skootenbeeten Jun 28 '22

Was there another group that deserved to be wiped out more than them?

3

u/DaveOJ12 Jun 28 '22

I'm guessing the Nazis, maybe? Your call.

-3

u/theRune_ofalltrades Jun 29 '22

many groups, nazis, commies,many euro christians from 200ad to about 80 years ago.

-1

u/EwwThatsHot Jun 28 '22

religious people are dumb. plain and simple.

we atheists prefer to murder ignorance, not innocents.

3

u/herbw Jun 29 '22

Communists are also atheists and have killed 10's of millions, provably so, and ruined the lives of billions.

Pol Pot, Stalin/Lenin(Ukraine forced collectivisations of farms and famines?), Mao, Maduro, etc., etc., etc.

1

u/SignificantView1671 Jun 28 '22

What kind of birth rates does a people have to have in order to keep that up?

1

u/marmorset Jun 29 '22

They just kept conquering their neighbors and taking their people to kill. That's why the neighbors joined the Conquistadors when they arrived.

1

u/turtleboi42069 Jun 28 '22

Being sacrificed doesnt sound that bad when you put it like that

1

u/cote112 Jun 28 '22

I can just see the guys in charge, "Things are going too well, the population is exploding and by my numbers we'll be short on everything within five years!"

"Hows 'bout we give everyone ayahuasca and tell them that the Sun won't come back unless we kill a whole lot of them?"

"Good. Good."

1

u/ParaMike46 Jun 29 '22

What was the scale of those "daily sacrifices" ?

Was it happening only in major cities/towns by some high ranking priest or every small town, settlement was sacrificing on their own? I just cannot get my head around it that so many people were killed daily.

1

u/Hewn-U Jul 04 '22

Thought that was an old tire at first. Customer refused service, still loads of tread

1

u/Fine_Ad_4364 29d ago

Fierce and young warriors!

-1

u/saltreplacement2 Jun 28 '22

Wonder when the Aztecs going to get cancelled

9

u/getbeaverootnabooteh Jun 28 '22

They were cancelled by Cortez 500 years ago.

-2

u/ThaTastyKoala Jun 28 '22

Man if only they would have skipped a day and realized that literally nothing about the sun changed. Being lazy could've saved lives.

3

u/striderwhite Jun 28 '22

Probably some of them knew it was all bullshit, but they liked to see some blood.

3

u/LuinAelin Jun 28 '22

But if you 100% believed the sun would stop if you didn't sacrifice someone, would you risk it?

-4

u/cuerdo Jun 28 '22

But that's always going on in Mexico, what are gonna do about it.

  • Louis CK

-3

u/[deleted] Jun 28 '22

Oh yeah ? Where are the Aztecs now ?

Yeah that's what I thought