Back in 2003 I was inspired by an article by Jim Esler called “Meet the Aztecs”. Jim offers an informed critique of the then WRG, primarily DBM and DBA, army lists for the Aztecs. Since then both DBM and Jim’s page has disappeared. I thought I’d pull Jim’s article back from the WayBackMachine and make it more easily accessible for the community. All words are Jim Esler’s; I have modified the formatting a tiny bit. Thanks to Ethan for finding the article.
DBx Army List 63. AZTEC AD 1325 – AD 1521
The DBM army list:
|Dry. Ag 3. WW, Rv, H(S), Wd, Rd, BUA.|
|C-in-C – Reg Bd(F) @ 27AP||1|
|Sub-general – Reg Bd(F) @ 27AP||1-3|
|Cuahchicqueh and otontin – Irr Wb(F) @ 3AP||3-16|
|Military orders – Reg Bd(F) @ 7AP||8-28|
|Macehualtin – Reg Ax(I) @ 3AP||20-60|
|Skirmishers – Irr Ps(O) @ 2AP||8-24|
|Archers and shield bearers – Reg Bw(O) @ 5 AP||0-6|
|Mercenary archers – Reg Bw(I) @ 4AP||0-6|
|Large war canoes – Irr Bts(O) @ 2AP [Wb, Bd or Bw]||0-1|
|Other canoes – Irr Bts(I) @ 1AP [Ax]||0-5|
|Only AD 1428 to AD 1518:|
|Central Mexican allies – List: Tarascan or Toltec-Chichimec (Bk 4)|
The DBA army lists:
|Aztec:||3x3Bd, 1x3Wb, 5x4Ax, 3x2Ps|
|Tarascan, Tlaxcaltec and other Central Mexican:||3x4Bd, 6x4Bw, 3x2Ps;|
|Maya:||3x3Ax or 3x4Bd (Toltec-Maya), 6x3Ax, 3x2Ps;|
Since DBA is a little more tolerant of minor stretches in the cutoff date, the following Conquistador army can be fielded:
Tlaxcaltec with Conquistador allies: 1x3Kn (Spanish), 1x4Bd (Spanish), 2x4Bd (Tlaxcaltec), 5x4Bw, 3x2Ps.
The notes provided with each army list serve several purposes. Amongst these are: background information for those unfamiliar with a particular army; tactical advice; and the justification for some of the troop gradings. While the Aztec list (Barker and Bodley Scott 1999b:61) is an improvement over the Mexican list for WRG 6th edition (Barker 1982:pf.39) and the Aztec list for WRG 7th edition armies (Hutchby and Clark 1993:pf.86), there are several deficiencies in the DBM list as: 1) they are not consistent with the definitions of troop types listed in DBM; and 2) they do not appear to be consistent with what is known about the performance of the Aztecs in battle.
Aztec Military System
The Aztecs did not have a large standing army. Warriors would have been recruited from the nobility and calpulli lands as needed. These were not merely ad hoc groups of warriors trained to keep a rough formation. Sahagún indicates that order and discipline were maintained in the ranks under the threat of harsh penalties. He states that: ‘no-one might break ranks or crowd in among the others; they would then and there slay or beat whoever would bring confusion or crowd in among the others’ (1954a:52).
Both the nobility and the macehualtin, or free commoners, underwent military training. Those of noble birth trained in the calmecac, which provided not only military training, but also instruction in religion, history and politics. The instructors were priests. It appears that priests also engaged in battle and could attain the same honours accorded to successful warriors. However, priests may have participated in battle in a secular and not religious capacity (Hassig 1988).
The majority of the warriors were macehualtin from the calpulli lands. The calpulli was a territorial and land-holding unit of a town or city. It also functioned as a political and social unit. Within each calpulli was a telpochcalli or young men’s house. Here, education focused on the martial arts, with the instructors being veteran warriors.
Warriors who had captured more than four of the enemy were eligible for admittance into one of two military orders: the eagle and jaguar ‘knights’. Hassig (1988) argues that the terms eagle and jaguar may have represented differences in the costumes of the individual warriors rather than any meaningful distinction between the two orders. While the military orders were composed primarily of members of the nobility, promotion into these was based on merit. For the macehualtin, the capture of enemy warriors was practically the only way to enter into the ranks of the nobility (Berdan 1982). However, such promotions appear to have been uncommon, with the vast majority of troops receiving no such rewards.
Apart from the military orders there existed two other special units: the otontin and the cuahchicqueh. Both of these were elite units who vowed never to retreat. Hassig (1998) suggests that the only difference between the two was that the cuahchicqueh may have been of a higher status.
Central Mexico was ethnically diverse, containing groups such as the Culhua, Chalca, Xochimilca, Cuitlahuaca and the Mixquica. Some were Aztec subjects, others were allies and each sent troops to the Aztec army as required. These ethnic groups formed their own units, and sources suggest that these units also had some internal divisions. In an offensive against the Tepeaca, each ethnic group accompanying the Aztecs was divided into four sub-units.
Sullivan suggests that the ‘primitive nature’ of the arms used by Aztec warriors guaranteed their defeat by the Spanish as these weapons were ‘suited to the military needs of a people who were far more interested in taking captives for sacrifice than in killing their adversaries’ (1972:156). Her justification for this statement is that the macuahuitl, an obsidian-edged club, brought opposing warriors within arm’s length of each other, thus making it easier to attempt a capture.
The early sources reveal in no uncertain terms the lethality of Aztec warfare. The Anonymous Conquistador states that:
In warfare they are the most cruel people to be found, for they spare neither brothers, relatives, friends, nor women even if they are beautiful; they kill them all and eat them. When they cannot take the enemy plunder and booty with them, they burn everything (1963:170).
Cortés notes that in a battle against Iztapalapa, their native allies killed more than 6000 people with the ‘sole idea to kill right and left’ (1963:60). In a later unsuccessful attack against Tlatelolco, the ensuing rout produced over 1000 casualties including 35 to 40 Spanish dead. Durán makes many references to the heavy slaughter of warriors. In wars against Coyoacan and Tehuantepec, the victorious Aztec armies massacred their opponents. One of the clearest examples of this behaviour occurred in a war against the Huaxtecs. After the Aztec army had laid an ambush, Durán remarks that:
When the [Huaxtecs] had entered the trap, the men concealed by the grass stood up and, with great fury, surrounded them, taking many prisoners and killing others. Not one Huaxtec escaped … and the Aztecs entered the city, burned the temple, sacked and robbed the place. They killed old and young, boys and girls, annihilating without mercy everyone they could, with great cruelty and with the determination to remove all traces of the Huaxtec people from the face of the earth, so that not one of them remain (1994:165).
In the wars against the Tepanec (A.D. 1428), Xochimilco (A.D. 1430) and Chalco (A.D. 1446) the Aztecs inflicted heavy casualties. The Aztecs received as good as they gave. In a campaign against the Tarascans, Durán states that: ‘The massacre was so great that Axayacatl decided to withdraw those men who were still alive in order to save at least a few. In this encounter the Tarascans killed many valiant Aztecs, especially from the military orders called Cuachic and Otomi’ (1994:281). Some 20,000 Aztec warriors are said to have perished. In an A.D. 1478 offensive 32,200 warriors met 50,000 warriors from Michoacan. The Aztec force was nearly annihilated.
The arms employed by the Aztecs were quite capable of wreaking such havoc upon their opponents. Sullivan’s statements to the contrary do not withstand an examination of the primary sources. Díaz del Castillo states that the macuahuitl cut better than the Spanish swords. During one battle, Aguilar notes that:
One Indian at a single stroke cut open the whole neck of Cristóbal de Olid’s horse, killing the horse. The Indian of the other side slashed at the second horseman and the blow cut through the horse’s pastern, whereupon this horse also fell dead (1963:140).
A weapon which could lay open a horse was probably just as effective against a human opponent. The macuahuitl is considered to be an improvement over an earlier short sword used by the Toltecs, ca. A.D. 900 to 1200 (Hassig 1992).
Additionally, the sources support the statement that Aztec missile fire was lethal. In a battle between the Aztecs and the Cuitlahuaca, Durán states that:
As soon as the Aztecs saw the Cuitlahuacas, they signalled to begin the action and a great deal of shouting burst out on both sides. The men began to throw darts, which are dangerous weapons because once these darts have entered the flesh they cannot be pulled out … Great numbers of these darts were being thrown, on one side and the other, and men in both armies were severely wounded … (1994:pf.119).
The Spanish recognized the effectiveness of these missiles. Díaz del Castillo observes that: ‘their barbed and fire-hardened darts fell like corn on the threshing-floor, each one capable of piercing any armour or penetrating the unprotected vitals’ (1963:149). These darts were launched by atlatls, the primary missile delivery system of the Aztec military orders. As these atlatls had an effective range of only 60 metres, the darts were not thrown until immediately prior to contact with the enemy (Hassig 1992). The bow was not primarily an Aztec weapon. Archers were mainly auxiliary troops sent by clients, most often being Chichimec from northern portions of Central Mexico. These troops appear to have been few in number.
The troop grades in the current Aztec list, especially of the suit wearers as Bd(I), appear to be based solely on comparisons with the Spanish allies contained in the Tarascan list and not on comparisons with other Mesoamerican opponents. The Spanish should be dropped as Tlaxcaltec allies from the Tarascan list because they appear after the cutoff date for DBM and that: ‘Since ancient competitions should be restricted to armies of before 1500, the provision for a Spanish contingent is mainly for friendly games between historical opponents’ (Barker and Bodley Scott 1999b:22). Conquistadors and their opponents are covered in the army lists for De Bellis Renationis (Barker 1995). There are still plenty of historic opponents for the Aztecs to fight: Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Tarascans, Tlaxcaltecs, Huexotzingans; the list is lengthy. Hassig’s Aztec Warfare (1988) is an invaluable source of information on the campaigns of the Aztec Imperial Kings.
Suit wearers are renamed military orders and represent the eagle and jaguar knights, other veteran warriors and novices. Warrior priests were armed the same as the military orders. If the priests’ role in the army was primarily religious, then they should be graded as irregulars. Conversely, if their role was primarily secular, they should be graded as regulars since they received the same training at the calmecac as the other nobility. Hassig presents a convincing argument that would support the latter interpretation (1988:pf.274). The category of military orders then includes warrior priests.
Following Hassig (1988), the military orders are regraded as Reg Bd(F) because they were ‘loose formation troops …’ (Barker and Bodley Scott 1998:6). In a similar manner, the military orders in the Tarascan list (Book 4, list 19) are regraded to Reg Bd(F). Toltec warriors armed with the short sword are more properly Bd(I) (Barker and Bodley Scott 1999a:56).
The classification of the bulk of the warriors in the current list is a source of some controversy. The note for the list contains a quotation that states: ‘The Aztec charge was described by the Spaniards as "harder to face than French artillery and fiercer than the Moors."’ (Barker and Bodley Scott 1999b:61) The impression created is that of an intense, uncontrolled charge, which in this case has been modelled as Hd(S).
This quotation seems to be a corruption of Díaz del Castillo that is not found in the standard translations. Using the older Guatemala manuscript rather than the ‘corrected’ Ramon manuscript, Díaz states:
E no só yo para qué lo [escribo] ansí tan tibiamente, porque unos tres o cuatro soldados que se [habían] hallado en Italia, que allí [estaban] con nosotros, juraron muchas veces a Dios, que guerras tan bravosas jamás [habían] visto, en algunas que se [habían] hallado entre cristianos y contra la artillería del rey de Francia, ni del Gran Turco; ni gente como aquellos indios, con tanto ánimo çerrar los escuadrones vieron, y porque [decían] otras muchas cosas, y causas que [daban] a ello, como adelante [verán] (Díaz del Castillo 1982:275). (The square brackets indicate where the spelling of the verb has been modernized.)
The translation for this is:
And I do not know how I can write this so calmly, because some three or four soldiers who were in Italy, who were there with us, swore many times to God, that they had never seen such ferocious fighting, like those that were found between Christians and against the artillery of the King of France, or of the Great Turk; nor men like those Indians, with so much courage in closing their ranks, and they said many other things, and the reasons they gave for them, as they would later see.
Here, Díaz was writing about the street fighting in Tenochtitlan prior to La Noche Triste and not an open battle in the field. What Díaz was stressing was the desperate nature of the struggle in the confined spaces of Tenochtitlan and the discipline of the Aztecs during these battles. Given the particular circumstances surrounding this quote, it would be inadvisable to use it as a generalization of the operation of the Aztecs in open battle, which apparently has been done in the army list.
Sources indicate that the Aztec macehualtin behaved far less aggressively in battle. During the campaign against Azcapotzalco, Durán (1994) notes the following:
The rest of the army, common soldiers who were lacking in spirt, were to remain ready in the rear, waiting for the king’s commands, and if the enemy gained ground these soldiers were to approach Azcapotzalco little by little in orderly fashion (p.79).
The spiritless men who had remained behind, seeing where victory lay, were swept by a desire for glory and attacked the enemy so vigorously that the forces of Azcapotzalco abandoned the field and took refuge in the city (pf.79).
The commoners who had fought but had been timid and fearful at first and who had sworn to become serfs of the victors, of the nobility, were not given lands or anything else in order to castigate them for their lack of courage. Some, however, who had shown a certain amount of valor and spirit and desire to fight were awarded fields (p.82).
What is described above are the actions of regular, but unwilling, troops who ultimately pursued a broken enemy. Thus macehualtin are Reg Ax(I) because they were both ‘poorly motivated and trained regular troops’ and ‘[troops] who would be psiloi were they not too numerous to skirmish’ (Barker and Bodley Scott 1998:7). The pursuit of a demoralized command is already modelled under the rules governing spontaneous advance.
Otomí or Otontin
The cuahchicqueh and otontin could be graded as Wb(S) because they had a ‘strong belief, often shared by their contemporaries, in their own invincibility’ (Barker and Bodley Scott 1998:6). However, they would slow down the advance of the rest of their army as Wb(S) move only 100p. These were the troops that were to lead their forces into combat.
Alternatively, since they fought in ‘loose formation and [emphasized] speed in the charge’ (Barker and Bodley Scott 1998:6), they could be classified as Wb(F). This removes the problem about differing movement rates. The cuahchicqueh and otontin also suffered the heaviest casualties, which is modelled by the grading factor given to elements fighting (F) troops.
The question then revolves around the Otomí Wb(F) in the DBM army list. It appears that the list confuses the Otomí, one of the ethnic groups who were settled in Central Mexico before the arrival of the Mexica, the dominant ethnic group of the Aztecs, with the otontin warrior society. Although the Otomí did provide troops for the Aztecs, I cannot find anything that suggests they performed any differently than any other ethnic group within an Aztec army. At the battle of Otumba (also Otompan), fought on July 7, 1520, a substantial proportion of the Aztec army consisted of Otomí from the surrounding area. Some disaffected Otomí did serve as mercenaries with the Tlaxcalteca and Tarascans, and these are treated separately in that list. The Otomí from the Aztec list have been removed altogether and the otontin have been combined with the cuahchicqueh and have been graded as Wb(F).
Arrow knights are not found in any primary source; not Durán, Díaz del Castillo, Sahagún nor the Anonymous Conquistador. I originally found only two sources that mention arrow knights. The first is an uncited reference in Bray’s (1968) Everyday Life of the Aztecs; the second is the drawing by Anton Hoffman reproduced in Wise’s (1980) The Conquistadors. Hoffman’s depiction of an arrow knight should be regarded with some suspicion, as in other illustrations he creates some fantastic weapons used by the Aztecs.
As I do not like a mystery, I delved into the origins of the arrow Knights. I found a further reference to them in Vaillant (1944), and while he gave no direct citation in the text, the end notes of the chapter refer to a publication by A.F. Bandelier (1877). After obtaining a copy of Bandelier through interlibrary loan, I discovered the following quotation:
Of the distinguished and meritorious braves, which had not, however, attained the chieftainship, we know three different kinds: the ‘fierce cutters’, or ‘beasts of prey’ (‘Tequihua’), the ‘strong eagles’ or ‘old eagles’ (‘Cuachic’, or ‘Cuachimec’), and the ‘wandering arrows’ (‘Otomitl’).
A footnote to this section gives these additional details:
These definitions we give for what they may be worth, without in the least insisting upon their absolute correctness. ‘Tequihua’ may derive from ‘nitla-tequi’, to cut, or from ‘tequani’, wild beast. ‘Cuachic’ from ‘quauhtli’, eagle, and ‘chicactic’, an old man, or a strong object, or, also (though this is hardly probable), ‘chimalli’, shield. ‘Otomitl’ probably derives from ‘N. otoca’, to travel, and ‘mitl’, arrow. But this was also the name given to the ‘Otomies’, a well-known savage tribe, expert hunters, found scattered over Mexico, among or around the sedentary Indians (Bandelier 1877:117).
Here, Bandelier conducted a rather dubious etymological analysis. Cuachic refers to the cuahchicqueh military order, which actually translates as the ‘shorn ones’ (Sahagún 1954b:24). Otomitl refers to the otontin military order. However, what is especially important to note is that Bandelier himself indicated that these may be spurious translations. This cautionary note was ignored and then passed on through Vaillant (1944) and Bray (1968).
Bandelier may have further confused the cuahchicqueh with the cuauh huehuetque, who Durán identifies as the ‘Old Eagles’. These individuals were elderly warriors who no longer took an active part in battles. While the cuah huehuetque appear to have had ceremonial duties (Durán 1994:283; 301), they also helped marshal troops prior to battle (Durán 1994:pf.279).
The practical upshot of this is for those using the WRG 6th or 7th edition army lists, who should delete this troop type entirely. The elimination of this troop type does not make much of a difference in DBM as arrow knights were subsumed under the military orders.
The Aztec list should also contain elements of archers supported by shield bearers, similar to the Bw(O) included in the Tlaxcalan list. In a battle against Cuitlahuac during the reign of Itzcoatl, Durán notes that:
A thousand canoes were filled with well-armed men carrying large shields, a great number of lances, darts, and arrows. With them came warriors who were to defend the archers and who were experts at deflecting the arrows with their shields. Their skill was amazing, when they saw an arrow coming they would hit it with a shield and make it turn back (Durán 1994:119).
These shieldbearers do not appear in accounts of other Aztec battles, so they may not have been a common troop type.
On another note, those interested in the Aztec military might want to avail themselves of the new translation of Sahagún’s Primeros Memoriales (1993;1997). This two-volume set contains 67 images of military uniforms, shield devices and backbanners. Some of these are similar to ones found in the Codex Mendoza (Berdan and Anawalt 1997), but there are many that are unique to Primeros Memoriales. This set is quite expensive, and you may have to go to a university library or use interlibrary loan to obtain a copy.
Building an Aztec Army
What follows is not meant to be an extensive list of Aztec figures currently on the market; it simply represents which figures I found to be quite useful. Where I indicate a plate below, I am making a reference to Pohl (1991)
MXA1 – Command
This pack has a nice standard bearer which is based on Plate A2. This same pack has a very nice figure in a full bodysuit and a quaxolatl or umbrella backbanner. Plate B3 suggests that a green uniform and quaxolatl represent an Aztec captain. However, the ethnography section of the Codex Mendoza shows an officer with a red bodysuit and yellow/gold quaxolatl. The Codex also depicts this uniform in both blue and yellow, each with matching quaxolatl. I was able to find singles of this figure and have incorporated them into the elements of the military orders.
MXA2 – Warrior Priest
This figure comes in the very versatile Huaxtec uniform, which is a full bodysuit with a pointed conical hat. The Huaxtec uniform was not restricted to the priesthood, and additionally was only one of several types that priests could wear. This basic uniform is found in many colours throughout the Codex Mendoza; blue, red, yellow, green and white are all represented. Some of these uniforms have solid colours. Others are decorated with short black parallel lines (similar to equal signs) called hawk scratches. The most spectacular style of this uniform is the starry-sky costume awarded to four-captive priests. This uniform is found in the ethnography section of the Codex Mendoza, and is the basis of Plate C2. Other warriors who obtained two captives wore a red Huaxtec uniform with hawk scratches. I find Ross Hassig’s argument that priests may not have fought as separate units compelling, so I have figures wearing several styles of the Huaxtec uniform, including four-captive priests, filling the ranks of the military orders.
MXA3 – Quachchic (cuahchicqueh)
This figure is based on C1. The pose of this figure is somewhat static, but it comes with the proper citlalpamitl or star backbanner already attached. This figure paints up fairly well, and I have used some as my cuahchicqueh and otontin Wb(F).
MXA6 – Huexotzingan Warrior
This is based on E1, but again this is a very versatile figure. I use it as a Mexica coyotl or coyote warrior. The Codex Mendoza depicts a yellow costume similar to E1, but Sahagun’s Primeros Memoriales contains red, blue, white, black, purple, starry-sky and fire styles. The last is a dark colour with red feathers hanging from it. As the yellow uniform is depicted more often, I have mixed some of these into the macehualtin elements to give them some veteran warriors to stiffen them a bit, and to add a little colour. Other styles are mixed into the military orders.
MXA9 – Tlacochcalcatl
A tlacochcalcatl is one of the officers found in the Codex Mendoza. This individual wears the white tzitzimitl or frightful spectre costume. Again, there are several other styles depicted elsewhere in the Codex: red; blue; and yellow. The figure already has a pamitl backbanner, but unfortunately this is sculpted more two-dimensionally than three-dimensionally. I have used four of these figures in my military orders’ elements.
MXA13 – Warrior, Dart Thrower MXA15 – Warrior, Maquahuitl, Shield MXA20 – Warrior, Maquahuitl, Shield MXA21 – Warrior, Cotton Quilted Armour, Spear, Shield MXA22 – Warrior, Standing, Spear, Shield
All of these look good en masse as my macehualtin or commoners. Some of these have a small buckler-type shield, while others are equipped with a larger shield fringed with feathers. All shields are painted as the tlahuauitectli or whitewashed shield. The larger shields have been given either a red or blue border. The cotton quilted armour is depicted as either a natural unbleached white or as a drab green.
Gladiator casts figures with a choice of shields. Based on the shields in the Codex Mendoza, I chose to use only those shields with feather fringes. Gladiator also sells a separate backbanner pack (AZ19) which I used to vary the look of the army. I also used these backbanners on some of the Huaxtec figures listed above. In a few cases mentioned below, certain specific banners were used to help create specific troop types.
AZ1 – Command
This pack contains some nicely detailed figures. There are two musicians blowing conch shell trumpets and a standard bearer similar to Plate A2. My C-in-C is the ’emperor’ figure, who wears a cloak which I have painted as one of the Aztec generals from the Codex Mendoza: the ticocyahuacatl or Keeper of the Bowl of Fatigue (pulque). The general figure is the same as Plate A1. I use this figure as a sub-general painted as Nezahualcoyotl, Lord of Texcoco. The inspiration for this comes from a picture of Nezahualcoyotl reproduced in Gruzinski (1992).
AZ2 – Eagle Knight with Sword AZ5 – Jaguar Knight with Sword
There are three different poses in each package, and these give enough variety for several elements. The Eagle and Jaguar military orders fought in their own separate units, so I have two elements of each.
AZ9 – Arrow Knight with Two-handed Sword
Although a military order called Arrow Knights did not exist, this figure does help create two other uniform types. The figure wears a bodysuit, which can be used with the papalotl or butterfly backbanner. The Codex Mendoza depicts three colour schemes: solid blue; green with red from the arms to the wrists and from the knees to the ankles; and white with red from the arms to the wrists and from the knees to the ankles. A three-captive warrior is also shown sporting a papalotl backbanner. This figure has been mixed into my military orders elements.
The second uniform than can be constructed is that of the otontin military order. The otontin wore a bodysuit with the xopilli or clawback backbanner. The Codex Mendoza shows red, green and blue uniforms worn in conjunction with this backbanner. The otontin formed their own units, so I have mine as their own elements.
AZ13 – Quachic (cuahchicqueh) Veterans with Spear and Shield
There are three different poses of these figures which, when mixed in with the Falcon cuahchicqueh, give a very nice appearance on the table. You have to sort through the backbanner packs for the appropriate citlalpamitl backbanner.
AZ14 – Warrior Swordsmen with Shield
I have used only one figure from this pack: a warrior wearing quilted cotton armour and wielding a club. This mixes in well with the rest of my Falcon macehualtin.
AZ18 – Archers
Again, there are three different poses provided in this pack. The archers are all wearing quilted cotton armour, and serve quite well as my Ps(O).
For baggage, I use a mixture of Gladiator AZ37, Falcon MXA17 and Falcon MXA18. The latter is a nice group of two porters carrying an idol on a litter. The Aztecs prized jade over gold, so I have the idol painted jade green.
Aguilar, F. de 1963 The chronicle of Fray Francisco de Aguilar. In The Conquistadors: First Person Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico, P. de Fuentes (ed. and trans.), pp.134-164. Orion. New York.
Anonymous Conquistador 1963 The chronicle of the Anonymous Conquistador. In The Conquistadors: First Person Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico, P. de Fuentes (ed. and trans.), pp.165-181. Orion. New York.
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1982 Army Lists Book Two: 55 BC – 1000 AD. Wargames Research Group. Devizes.
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1999a D.B.M. Army Lists Book 3: 467 AD to 1071 AD. Second Edition. Wargames Research Group. Devizes.
1999b D.B.M. Army Lists Book 4: 1071 AD to 1500 AD. Second Edition. Wargames Research Group. Devizes.
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Berdan, F.F. and P.R. Anawalt 1997 The Essential Codex Mendoza. University of California Press. Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Bray, W. 1968 Everyday Life of the Aztecs. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. New York.
Cortés, H. 1963 The third letter of Cortés. In The Conquistadors: First Person Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico, P. de Fuentes (ed. and trans.), pp.49-133. Orion. New York.
Díaz del Castillo, B. 1963 The Conquest of New Spain. J.M. Cohen (trans.) Penguin. Harmondsworth.
1982 Historia Verdadera de la Conquista de la Nueva España. Edición crítica por Carmelo Sáenz de Santa María. Instituto Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, C.S.I.C. Madrid.
Durán, D. 1994 The History of the Indies of New Spain. D. Heyden (trans.). Civilization of the American Indian Series 210. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman and London.
Gruzinski, S. 1992 Painting the Conquest: The Mexican Indians and the European Renaissance. D. Dusinberre (trans.). Flammarion. Paris.
Hassig, R. 1988 Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.
1992 War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. University of California Press. Berkeley.
Hutchby, D. and S. Clark 1993 Army Lists Volume 2: Armies of the Far East, Asia and America. Wargames Research Group. Devizes.
Pohl, J.M.D. 1991 Aztec, Mixtec and Zapotec Armies. Men-At-Arms Series 239. Osprey. London.
Sahagún, B. de 1954a Florentine Codex: A General History of the Things of New Spain, Book 8 ? Kings and Lords. A.J.O. Anderson and C.E. Bibble (trans.) School of American Research. Santa Fe.
1954b Florentine Codex: A General History of the Things of New Spain, Book 10 – The People. A.J.O. Anderson and C.E. Dibble (trans.). School of American Research. Santa Fe.
1993 Primeros Memoriales. Facsimile edition, F. Anders (photographer). The Civilization of the American Indian Series 200, pt.1. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.
1997 Primeros Memoriales: Paleography of Nahuatl Text and English Translation. T.D. Sullivan (trans.). The Civilization of the American Indian Series 200, pt.2. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.
Sullivan, T.D. 1972 The arms and insignia of the Mexica. Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl 10:155?193.
Vaillant, G.C. 1944 The Aztecs of Mexico. Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc. New York.
Wise, T. 1980 The Conquistadors. Osprey. London.