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Nahuatl glyph of a calmecac (codex Mendoza, recto of the folio 61).

The Calmecac ("the house of the lineage", Nahuatl pronunciation: [kalˈmekak]) was a school for the children of Aztec nobility (pīpiltin [piːˈpiɬtin]) in the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history, where they would receive rigorous religious and military training. The calmecac is to be contrasted with the Tēlpochcalli ([teːɬpotʃˈkalːi] "house of youth") where mostly commoners received military training. Only a few commoners (mācēhualtin [maːseːˈwaɬtin]) entered the Calmecac, and those who did only trained for priesthood.[1]

The calmecac of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was located in the ceremonial center of the city and it was dedicated to Quetzalcoatl.[2]

The calmecac was the students' home for the duration of their training, and they would enter the school as young as five to seven years of age. The students received instruction in songs, rituals, reading and writing, the calendar (tōnalpōhualli [toːnaɬpoːˈwalːi]) and all the basic training which was also taught in the telpochcalli.

Students commenced formal military training around age fifteen.[3]

Promising sons of nobles would be trained especially by the military orders of the Jaguar warriors (ōcēlōmeh [oːseːˈloːmeʔ]) or Eagle warriors (cuāuhtin [ˈkʷaːʍtin]) in their quarters, the cuāuhcalli ([kʷaːʍˈkalːi]).[4]

Notes

  1. ^ Hassig (1988), p.34.
  2. ^ Hassig (1988), p.34.
  3. ^ Hassig (1988), p.35.
  4. ^ Hassig (1988), p.36.

References

Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel (2007). Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533083-0. OCLC 81150666. 
Andrews, J. Richard (2003). Introduction to Classical Nahuatl (revised edition ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3452-6. OCLC 50090230. 
Hassig, Ross (1988). Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control. Civilization of the American Indian series, no. 188. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-2121-1. OCLC 17106411. 
León-Portilla, Miguel; (ed.) (1980). Native Mesoamerican Spirituality: Ancient myths, discourses, stories, doctrines, hymns, poems from the Aztec, Yucatec, Quiché-Maya and other sacred traditions. edited with a foreword, introd., and notes by Miguel León-Portilla; translations by Miguel León-Portilla [et al.] ; preface by Fernando Horcasitas. New York: Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-0293-5. OCLC 6450751. 
Sahagún, Bernardino de (1997) [ca.1558–61]. Primeros Memoriales. Civilization of the American Indians series vol. 200, part 2. Thelma D. Sullivan (English trans. and paleography of Nahuatl text), with H.B. Nicholson, Arthur J.O. Anderson, Charles E. Dibble, Eloise Quiñones Keber, and Wayne Ruwet (completion, revisions, and ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-2909-9. OCLC 35848992. 
Van Tuerenhout, Dirk R. (2005). The Aztecs: New Perspectives. ABC-CLIO's understanding ancient civilizations series. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-921-X. OCLC 57641467. 
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