“I don’t consider writing a quiet, closet act: I consider it a real physical act. When I’m home writing on a typewriter, I go crazy. I move like a monkey. I’ve wet myself. I’ve come in my pants writing….Instead of shooting smack, I masturbate – fourteen times in a row…I start seeing Aztec mountains…I see weird things. I see temples, underground temples, with the doors opening, sliding door after sliding door, Pharaoh revealed – this bound-up Pharaoh with ropes of gold. That’s how I write a lot of my poetry.”
~ Patti Smith in 1971, from Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography, by Victor Bockris and Roberta Bayley
Martin Luther, Albrecht Durer, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Christopher Columbus, Abravanel, the Hongzhi Emperor (only monogamous Chinese emperor ever), Sulayman the Magnificent, Ivan the Great/Terrible, Moctezuma II, King Henry the VII, and Askia Muhammad Toure were all alive at the at the same time during the year 1500.
The Aztec calendar is the calendar system that was used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. It is one of the Mesoamerican calendars, sharing the basic structure of calendars from throughout ancient Mesoamerica.
The calendar consisted of a 365-day calendar cycle called xiuhpohualli (year count) and a 260-day ritual cycle called tonalpohualli (day count). These two cycles together formed a 52-year “century,” sometimes called the “calendar round”. The xiuhpohualli is considered to be the agricultural calendar, since it is based on the sun, and the tonalpohualli is considered to be the sacred calendar.
The calendric year may have begun at some point in the distant past with the first appearance of the Pleiades (Tianquiztli) asterism in the east immediately before the dawn light. But due to the precession of the Earth’s axis, it fell out of favor to a more constant reference point such as a solstice or equinox. Early Spanish chroniclers recorded it being celebrated in proximity with the Spring equinox.
The Aztec Empire used two calendars, a 260-day calendar for calculating religious holidays, and a 365-day calendar for the civil year. The Aztec sun stone,12 feet wide, illustrating both systems, is perhaps the most famous Aztec art piece today.