Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Teotl bestiaries?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Teotl bestiaries?

    A great tragedy, among so many, of the conquest of the Aztecs is the burning and eradication of their culture. I suspect this is what makes it difficult for me to find solid sources on mesoamerican gods, beasts and mythology. I find things, but not at all the quantity of for example the Greek mythology.

    If anyone has good sources outside of the Scion book on what beings I can populate a Teotl-centric campaign with I'd be happy. English and Spanish sources both would work fine for me.

  • #2
    I, personally, don't know... But I know someone whose jam this is.

    Sacerdos someone could use some Resources!


    Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post
      A great tragedy, among so many, of the conquest of the Aztecs is the burning and eradication of their culture. I suspect this is what makes it difficult for me to find solid sources on mesoamerican gods, beasts and mythology. I find things, but not at all the quantity of for example the Greek mythology.

      If anyone has good sources outside of the Scion book on what beings I can populate a Teotl-centric campaign with I'd be happy. English and Spanish sources both would work fine for me.
      Believe me, there are worse cases than the Aztecs. We actually know quite a lot about their culture and their religion, although there are some dark spots.

      Now for a general introduction, Mexicolore (www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/) is so, so great. It's mostly aimed at younger readers, but a lot of its articles are written by eminent experts who, while using simple language, are actually relaying state of the art research. Now for more in-depth stuff, look at the websites of the organisations FAMSI (http://www.famsi.org/) and INAH (www.inah.gob.mx), scholarly institutions that are giving their research online presence there. For the relations of the Aztec calendar to religion, check out this site: https://www.azteccalendar.com/
      For some simply splendid, well-researched, and historically accurate art about Mesoamerica, here (the link goes directly to a journal entry of the artist discussing his sources, but please check out his gallery as well): https://www.deviantart.com/kamazotz/...rces-360914680
      And I encourage everyone interested in the Pre-Columbian Americas in general to follow this guy on his various social media: https://tlatollotl.tumblr.com/

      That much for web materials. Now, as for books, I suggest you start with these for overviews of Aztec culture, religion, and mythology:
      • Miller, Mary / Taube, Karl A.: The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion. London 1993.
      • Read, Kay A. / González, Jason J.: Handbook of Mesoamerican Mythology. Santa Barbara e.a. 2000.
      • Smith, Michael Ernest: The Aztecs. 3rd edition. Oxford e.a. 2012.

      For the actual historical sources, the most important ones to get started on Aztec mythology are the first volume of:
      • Dibble, Charles E. / Anderson, Arthur J. O. (trans.): Florentine Codex. General History of the Things of New Spain. 13 vol.. Salt Lake City 1950–1982.
      and the "Legend of the Five Suns" at the back of:
      • Bierhorst, John (trans.): History and Mythology of the Aztecs. The Codex Chimalpopoca. Tucson e.a. 1992.

      That's as much as I can offer right now. Once you're through with this, I can recommend in-depth readings. The web materials are neat, but they'll sadly only take you so far. I hope you have access to a uni library or something of the kind, otherwise I know the books I mentioned can be hard and expensive to get. I'm sorry for that; if there were more good materials online, I would point you to those. There are probably also Spanish versions of the Florentine Codex floating around online, but these are often based on centuries-old translations (the original text is in Nahuatl), so I really can't recommend them. I hope this helps, and I apologise if it doesn't.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sacerdos View Post

        Believe me, there are worse cases than the Aztecs. We actually know quite a lot about their culture and their religion, although there are some dark spots.

        Now for a general introduction, Mexicolore (www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/) is so, so great. It's mostly aimed at younger readers, but a lot of its articles are written by eminent experts who, while using simple language, are actually relaying state of the art research. Now for more in-depth stuff, look at the websites of the organisations FAMSI (http://www.famsi.org/) and INAH (www.inah.gob.mx), scholarly institutions that are giving their research online presence there. For the relations of the Aztec calendar to religion, check out this site: https://www.azteccalendar.com/
        For some simply splendid, well-researched, and historically accurate art about Mesoamerica, here (the link goes directly to a journal entry of the artist discussing his sources, but please check out his gallery as well): https://www.deviantart.com/kamazotz/...rces-360914680
        And I encourage everyone interested in the Pre-Columbian Americas in general to follow this guy on his various social media: https://tlatollotl.tumblr.com/

        That much for web materials. Now, as for books, I suggest you start with these for overviews of Aztec culture, religion, and mythology:
        • Miller, Mary / Taube, Karl A.: The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion. London 1993.
        • Read, Kay A. / González, Jason J.: Handbook of Mesoamerican Mythology. Santa Barbara e.a. 2000.
        • Smith, Michael Ernest: The Aztecs. 3rd edition. Oxford e.a. 2012.
        For the actual historical sources, the most important ones to get started on Aztec mythology are the first volume of:
        • Dibble, Charles E. / Anderson, Arthur J. O. (trans.): Florentine Codex. General History of the Things of New Spain. 13 vol.. Salt Lake City 1950–1982.
        and the "Legend of the Five Suns" at the back of:
        • Bierhorst, John (trans.): History and Mythology of the Aztecs. The Codex Chimalpopoca. Tucson e.a. 1992.
        That's as much as I can offer right now. Once you're through with this, I can recommend in-depth readings. The web materials are neat, but they'll sadly only take you so far. I hope you have access to a uni library or something of the kind, otherwise I know the books I mentioned can be hard and expensive to get. I'm sorry for that; if there were more good materials online, I would point you to those. There are probably also Spanish versions of the Florentine Codex floating around online, but these are often based on centuries-old translations (the original text is in Nahuatl), so I really can't recommend them. I hope this helps, and I apologise if it doesn't.
        THank you for an awesome and exhaustive answer! I like the online sources you give and I will try to get some of the books too.

        I know this is an impossible and possibly weird question, but how would I authentically treat supernatural and mythological beings in a Teotl-centric Campaign? My impression is that the mesoamerican peoples treated mythological and supernatural creatures as vital and sacred pieces of the World, signs from the gods or even gods in disguise. As such, I as a GM would do well to use them sparingly and not at all as cannonfodder for the PCs to shine. And the same would probably then be true of titans and other huge "evils" such as the Tzitzimime or Coyolxauhqui, could I even have them as antagonists?

        Once again I am very, very grateful for your reply and help!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post
          THank you for an awesome and exhaustive answer! I like the online sources you give and I will try to get some of the books too.

          I know this is an impossible and possibly weird question, but how would I authentically treat supernatural and mythological beings in a Teotl-centric Campaign? My impression is that the mesoamerican peoples treated mythological and supernatural creatures as vital and sacred pieces of the World, signs from the gods or even gods in disguise. As such, I as a GM would do well to use them sparingly and not at all as cannonfodder for the PCs to shine. And the same would probably then be true of titans and other huge "evils" such as the Tzitzimime or Coyolxauhqui, could I even have them as antagonists?

          Once again I am very, very grateful for your reply and help!

          On this note, I can recommend the book "Aztec Philosophy: Understanding a World in Motion" by James Maffie. A few key points:

          - Aztec metaphysics doesn't really distinguish between the "mundane" and the "supernatural". Everything that exists, has existed, and will exist is simply one more temporary expression of the universal divine force - called "Teotl". This includes plants, animals, rocks, humans, gods... Even feces is no less divine or less sacred than the gods (indeed, there is at least one "goddess of filth") - it's just less ordered and less useful.

          - Since everything is just a temporary expression of teotl, everything will eventually cease to exist and be transformed into something new. All that sacrifice business is intended to empower the gods and principles that support the current world for a little while longer, before it too will eventually end. This is not an Aesir prophecy thing - just a pragmatic recognition that everything is temporary, even though some things survive longer than other. From the perspective of the Titanomachy, the "Titans" would likely be those entities who are ready to move on with the process, destroy the current world, and start with the next one, while the "Gods" are those who prefer to extend the status quo. This is not a matter of "Cosmic Good" or "Cosmic Evil" - from what I gather, Aztec metaphysics seems to lack those, since everything is just one more manifestation of Teotl in the end (which is nonsapient and amoral).

          To sum it up, Aztec philosophy is rather different than what we are used from European metaphysics - and if you want to be true to it, I recommend that you do some reading.


          Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

          A German Geek - my gaming blog!

          Comment

          Working...
          X