Human sacrifice was not only an Aztec attraction; it was also a part of their religion and a way to please the gods and avoid disaster. The Aztec believed that the best way to repay the gods was to offer up blood in regular rituals. So, instead of killing their enemies in battle, they would sometimes capture them and take them back to the village to be offered up to the gods. In one ritual, the prisoners were forced to walk up the many stairs of the temple. Once they reached the top, the priest would cut open their stomach from throat to stomach. They would rip out their heart to offer it to the gods. The bodies were then pushed down the stairs. At the bottom, the body would be dismembered or carried off, depending on the ritual.
Because the objective of Aztec warfare was to capture victims alive for human sacrifice, battle tactics were designed primarily to injure the enemy rather than kill him. Slaves could also be used for human sacrifice, but only if the slave was considered lazy and had been resold three times.


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