Back view of the Teocalli of Sacred Warfare” depicting an eagle perched on a nopal sprouting from the recumbent Chalchiuhtlicue.  The eagle does not hold a snake as in later depictions, it is the glyph for war, atl-tlachinolli, the burning water.  Together they represent the foundation of Tenochtitlan at the behest of Huitzilopochtli.

From Cronica Mexicayotl by Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc (via Tecpaocelotl)

"O Quauhcoatl, you have seen all there is in among

the reeds,

In among the rushes,

You have beheld it.

But hear this:

There is something you still have not seen.

Go, go and look at the cactus,

And on it, standing on it, you shall see an eagle.

It is eating, it is warming itself in the sun,

And your heart will rejoice,

For it is the heart of Copil that you cast away

Where you halted in Tlalcocomoco.

There it fell, where you looked, at the edge of the spring,

Among the rushes, among the reeds.

And from Copil’s heart sprouted what is now called Tenochtli.

There we shall be, we shall keep guard,

We shall await, we shall meet the diverse peoples in battle.

With our bellies, with our heads,

With our arrows, with our shields,

We shall confront all who surround us

And we shall vanquish them all,

We shall make them captives,

And thus our city shall be established.

Mexico Tenochtitlan:

Where the Eagle Screeches

Where he spreads his wings,

Where the Eagle feeds,

Where the fish fly,

And where the Serpent hisses

Mexico Tenochtitlan!

And many things shall come to pass.”


Visita al Huēy Teocalli o Templo Mayor de Tenochtitlan, Ciudad de México.
Piezas de escultura mexica de bulto redondo, en bajorrelieve y utilitaria y ritual en el museo de sitio.

Mayo 26 de 2013.

Fig. 8. The building of the principal Aztec pyramid-temple, the teocalli, in Mexico-Tenochtitlán. Reconstructed from early Spanish reports, illustrations.

Victor W. von Hagen
The Aztec: Man and Tribe