This major exhibition explores Aztec (Mexica)* civilisation through the divine, military and political role of the last elected ruler, Moctezuma II (reigned AD (1502 - 1520). From his capital in Tenochtitlan (the site of modern Mexico City), Moctezuma's empire comprised much of modern highland Mexico, stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean.
His power was reflected in the splendour of his capital's architecture, his command of the prestigious Jaguar and Eagle military orders, and his sacrificial rituals to the gods. Moctezuma's world was unrivalled, and this remained so until the devastating arrival of strangers - Cortes and his Spanish fleet.
* The people and culture we know as 'Aztec' referred to themselves as the Mexica (pronounced Me-shee-ka). This is reflected in the exhibition.
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