In this rich and surprising book, Frances F. Berdan casts fresh light on the enigmatic ancient Aztecs. She casts her net wide, covering topics as diverse as ethnicity, empire-building, palace life, etiquette, origin myths and human sacrifice. While often described as 'stone age', the Aztecs' achievements were remarkable. They constructed lofty temples and produced fine arts in precious stones, gold and shimmering feathers. They crafted beautiful poetry and studied the sciences. They had schools and libraries, entrepreneurs and money, and a bewildering array of deities and dramatic ceremonies. Based on the latest research and lavishly illustrated, this book reveals the Aztecs to be a civilization of sophistication and finesse.