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A portrait of a fascinating, complex civilization. Beginning with the story of the Spanish conquest, the text then charts the rise of the Aztecs from humble nomads to empire builders. Within 100 years they established the largest empire in Mesoamerican history and, at Tenochtitlan, built a vast city in a lake, a Venice of the New World. This revised edition has been updated, assimilating information from archaeological excavations and ethnohistoric studies, and widening the picture of Aztec culture beyond their cities. Additional material on topics ranging from local crafts, trade, agriculture and food to architecture, society and women's roles depicts the richness of life in villages and regional centres. Illustrations of archaeological sites, pictorial manuscripts and monuments enhance the narrative.