Abstract and Keywords
The sacred precinct of Tenochtitlan was the center par excellence of divine atonement and one of the most prominent centers of liturgy in Mesoamerican history. It articulated two basic functional complexes: the religious, derived from building a temple shrine with lavish offerings to Huitzilopochtli in the center of the universe; and the political, shaped by the growing needs of the state. The state cult was sponsored by the supreme government to promote the great divinities, to ensure the well-being of all people living under the empire as well as its agricultural and military success. Outside the regular progression of the calendrical cycles, the state hosted lavish rituals in the sacred precinct for other important events and was the stage for grand ceremonies dedicated to seeking relief from the great misfortunes used by the gods to punish humans: agricultural disasters, famines, and epidemic diseases.
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