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The Toltecs, until the fall of Tula (The Civilization of the American Indian series) download epub

by Nigel Davies

Epub Book: 1138 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1706 kb.

Series: Civilization of the American Indian Series.

Series: Civilization of the American Indian Series.

This is simply the best ever book on the Toltecs ever! Nigel Davies sorts out what is fact and what is fiction about a peoples about which much pure legend abounds! He sets up an accurate chronology of events in Toltec history, and acertains the extent of the Toltec empire at its zenith. Nigel Davies actually studied at the School of National Anthropology in Mexico City, although he recieved his doctorate from Eaton in London. He has gone on to live in Mexico City since 1962 and has continued his studies about these ancient peoples of Mexico

The Toltecs, a Postclassic people of Central Mexico, flourished from about AD 900 to AD 1179, succeeding the Teotihuacan . The book ends with a detailed discussion of the collapse of Tula, with particular emphasis on the problems of chronology.

The Toltecs, a Postclassic people of Central Mexico, flourished from about AD 900 to AD 1179, succeeding the Teotihuacan culture and preceding the Aztec or Mexica culture. Drawing upon archaeological records and upon the documentary sources, the author here attempts to compile an accurate history of these people, about whom there is a great deal of controversy.

American history, Indigenous peoples, Toltecs, Native Americans - History, History - General History, Sociology, The Americas, General, Antiquities, Mexico, Toltèques, Arqueologia, Arqueologia mesoamericana, Civilização pré-colombiana (história). Norman : University of Oklahoma Press. inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china.

Fowler, Jr. (e. conference Revised papers from the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago, Nov.

Institute of Archaeology and Institute of Latin American Studies, London. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2009.

Davies, Nigel (1977). The Toltecs: Until the Fall of Tula. The Toltec Heritage: From the Fall of Tula to the Rise of Tenochtitlan. Civilization of the American Indian series, Vol. 153. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Find nearly any book by Nigel DAVIES. Get the best deal by comparing prices from over 100,000 booksellers. ISBN 9781857443769 (978-1-85744-376-9) Softcover, Everyman Chess, 2005.

The Toltecs, until the fall of Tula. 533 p. (The Civilization of the American Indian) C University of Oklahoma Press, publishing division of the University: 26Aug77: A895000. Naval technology and social moder- nization in the nineteenth century; a session held in Chicago on Dec. 29, 1974, as part of the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology. 107 p. Idd. ti: Military affairs: the -journal of military history,.

Uses archaeological records and documentary sources to chronicle the history of the Mesoamerican culture from the fall of Teotihuacan to the rise and collapse of Tula

Comments: (5)

This book is really the only good book on the Toltecs that is available as of now. That being said, this is not a synthesis work or a retelling of facts, it's more a 500 page academic article in which the author meticulously sorts through the written and archaeological sources in an attempt to draw some tentative conclusions about the Toltec Empire. The book is an interesting read, but I found myself skipping through large sections of minutiae involving the specific details of ceramic sequences and page after page of commentary on other work. Also, the book has a few rather obvious typos and grammatical issues, but those are few and far between.

I commend the author for taking the time to write this valuable work, but don't read it unless you already have significant knowledge of Mesoamerican history and a strong interest in the Toltecs.
It is unfortunate that the only books in English that come up when one searches for an overview of the Toltec civilization are two by Davies. Most of the material in this volume is scholarly commentary on other people's work, written in a dry, wordy style. The only conclusions that would be of interest to the general reader are that the term Toltec was used by a variety of groups in Mexico, and that the Toltec empire was less significant than its traditional ranking with the Aztecs and others would imply.
It was good luck for me to find this book about the Toltecs on Amazon, and the price was right too.
Davies has written two books on the Toltecs which are standard fare even today. He combs the evidence and reconciles the accounts but we do not ever arrive at certainty with anything. He does miss one huge source -- Tovar, and he adopts the usual prejudices about rude savages not being able to write history or distinguish facts from myths. Tovar consulted New Mexico crypto-Jews on the origins of the Toltecs and they informed him that they came from that very area (NW Mexico) in a migration of 80 years, arriving exactly 902. Tovar had Toltec blood and was uniquely situated near the former capital to know. Davies, then, writes what amounts to a speculative history of the Romans without access to Livy. . . a history of the Goths without knowledge of Jordanes . . . a history of Greece based on myths and folktales. It doesn't have to be like this.
The latest edition of this book was published in 1987, although I purchased the 533 page hardcover version in the 1980s. I confess, in advance, that I had as much a problem reading the book now as I did on the first occasion.

While the author, Nigel Davies, does not state the level of knowledge readers should have about Mesoamerican History, it soon becomes clear that that one must have extensive knowledge of:
1: The major Mesoamerican cultures of the pre-Classic, the Classic and Post-Classic eras as well the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Central America
2: The geography of Mexico and major archaeological sites in the Valley of Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and the Yucatan.
3: The immediate post-Conquest documentary sources, such as Sahagún, Ixtlilxóchitl, Muñóz Camargo, as well as the various Anales, Historia, and pre Conquest Codices.

I started off with only a partial understanding of these requirements, which was made no easier by a plethora of unfamiliar names of individuals, peoples, and places, with many variants in spelling, often introduced without explanation. I was also frequently confused as to the whereabouts of many places within Mexico. It was easy, therefore, to skip over the names only to find that in so doing I had failed to grasp the logic by which the author arrived at his conclusions. So I am thankful I had the time to research anything of significance with which I was unfamiliar. That research has paid off, because at the end of the exercise, I really do have a much better idea of all of these things.

This is a very scholarly book, rather dry and wordy in places, but worth reading if you really want to understand where the Toltecs came from, the nature of their society, the probable geographic limits of their empire, and how they fit into Mesoamerican history in the post-Classic era after the fall of Teotihuacán.

In his introduction, the author, states that the Toltecs "stand upon the very threshold of recorded history..... contradictions abound in the written sources, and are often at variance with the archaeological record .... It is time that someone grasped the nettle and recorded the available data on the Toltecs in book form. .... In order to attain even a limited understanding of the problems involved, it is necessary to review the Toltec panorama as a whole rather than piecemeal....... It is rather like solving a jigsaw puzzle; one possesses many pieces which may appear to belong one to another, but he has to fit them all together into one picture".

What we have here, then, is something akin to a mystery story, and it wasn't until I got towards the end of the book that I began to "get it". I found the book to be well organized, with the first 5 chapters presenting the evidence and the difficulties that the most eminent scholars have had with interpreting it. Below is a brief overview of these chapters.

Chapter 1: Fact and Legend The author discusses the problems of reconciling the archaeological findings with the written record. The primary written sources are confusing and contradictory, with fact and legend intertwined. In the final section, Davies presents four important working hypotheses which provide a framework on how he develops his observations and arrives at his conclusions
Chapter 2: Tollan as Name and Concept This is a discussion on the many alternative theories as to the true location of Tula, the capital of the Toltecs, and the Toltec culture (what are facts and what is fable), and a dissertation on the varying nature of the Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent God
Chapter 3: The Last Days of Teotihuacán The Toltec Empire was a successor to this great Classical civilization of Central America for which only archaeological data is available from which to draw conclusions. This chapter addresses questions such as what dates are to be assigned to its later decadent, phases, what happened to its inhabitants, where did they go to, and what evidence written sources or archaeology offer of any leader or hero who might have inspired the resurgent cult of a Quetzalcoatl deity.
Chapter 4: The Approach to Tollan. This chapter discuss the archaeological evidence of ceramics in northern and the central Mexico, and reviews the evidence about the two tribes - the Nonoalca, and the Tolteca-Chichimeca - who are considered to be the founders of the Toltec Empire.
Chapter 5: The Mayan March. This chapter deals with Chichén Itza in the Yucatan, which has remarkable architectural and cultural similarities to that of the Toltecs, even though it is some 1000 km away from the part of Central Mexico which is generally believed to be the heartland of the Toltec Empire.

The remaining Chapters 6-9 and the Appendices are the author's interpretation of the evidence, and the conclusions he draws from it. These chapters deal with the following topics:

Chapter 6: Toltec Apogee, Part I: The Home Base
Chapter 7: Toltec Apogee, Part II: Subjects and Neighbors
Chapter 8: Doom and Disaster
Chapter 9: Some Conclusions
APPENDIX A: The Mixcoatl Saga
APPENDIX B: Problems of Chronology

In his final conclusion on the fate of the Toltec Empire the author states that "Actual events connected with Tollan's end may have occurred on a less sublime level than the sagas relate ... and that even though two centuries were to elapse before the Tepanecs and the Aztecs began the reunifying process ... the Aztecs were proud to claim the Toltec heritage as their own".

I found that the Appendices were really worth studying, because they explain how the author has arrived at his conclusions. The few maps included were useful, and the chapter notes providing references to the comprehensive bibliography, demonstrate the breadth of the author's knowledge on the Toltecs and Mesoamerica in general. But my own research was also essential in my gaining an understanding of this very difficult topic. These included various FAMSI reports, as well as web sites containing translated copies of the source documents. I found GOOGLE Maps to be of great help on clarifying Mexican geography, and various Wikipedia entries for providing useful summaries of Mesoamerican gods, Aztec emperors, and archaeological sites.

Did this book meet my expectations? Obviously yes, considering the time I spent on it, but would I recommend it to other readers? Only with reservations, because it is anything but a casual read. Is there a later or better book on the Toltecs? If there is one, I have been unable to find it. The works of Davies (who died in 2004) were frequently quoted in the Mesoamerican websites I visited, and most are still listed on Amazon, Those on Mesoamerica include:
The Aztecs, a History, 1980
The Toltec Heritage: From the Fall of Tula to the Rise of Tenochtitlan, 1980
Aztec Empire: Toltec Resurgence, 1987
This book certainly provided me with an understanding of the Toltecs and their culture and I am not certain if there is anything better. I give it somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.
The Toltecs, until the fall of Tula (The Civilization of the American Indian series) download epub
Author: Nigel Davies
ISBN: 0806113944
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Language: English
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 1st edition (1977)
Pages: 533 pages