5) A possible explanation for
the Aztec human sacrifices ?
Where did these
Pre-Columbian Amerindians come from ?
Amerologists have long debated the problem of the
anthropological origins. Were their ancestors natives or
immigrants from Europe, Asia or elsewhere? Their work
has already produced some results. In addition to
prehistoric origins, archaeological and linguistic
evidence has been found of immigration from around 1000
BC: Egyptians, Venetians, Central Asians, Hebrews,
Greeks, Spaniards, Irish, Vikings, Melanesians and
others have left traces of their "visits". For example
achaean swords have been found. Among the "savages" of
Brazil exterminated by the "civilised people" there were
blondes with blue eyes.
The visit of the Irish monks of St Brendan to the east
coast of North America, a thousand years before Columbus
and their return to Ireland has been historically
attested. What is the meaning of the cross encountered
by an expedition led by Juan de Grijalva in 1518 on the
"island" of Yucatán, as the peninsula was called before
they had completely explored it ? They found that the
" worship a large white marble cross surmounted by a
golden crown and say that on it died someone who was
more luminous and resplendent than the Sun."(2)
Barry Fell, professor of maritime biology and zoology at
the University of Harvard, basing his theory on
numismatic discoveries and inscriptions on tombs
encountered in North America, believes that ,in 800 BC,
a Basque colony established itself in Susquehenna Valley,
150 Km. from Philadelphia.
A collection of more than 400 stones bearing
inscriptions, discovered about 120 km from the mouth of
the Susquehanna River is attributed by Fell to Bronze
Age writing found in the ancient province of
Trasos-Montes. According to Chinese coins discovered in
Mexico, Chinese people led by a Buddhist monk arrived in
the country around the 5th century AD. Inscriptions on
tombs have also been discovered in Tennessee in the
United States, dating from 1000 BC. Equally, specialists
in Indian folklore presume that the customs and language
of the Yuchi Indians show evidence of a Hebrew heritage.
Added to this,
certain Turkish words are also found in the language of
the Mayans as well as that of the Aztecs. Indo-German
words are found in Quecha, the language of the Incas and
the features of the Mapuchas are not so different from
our own. The Indians of Central America have physical
characteristics which are close to those of the Mongols.
Speaking of the Mongols, the work of Sahagún on the "things"
of the Indians could put us on the track of a partially
central Asian origin of the Aztecs. Fray Bernardino was
struck by the similarities of certain rites with those
of the Christian religion, especially those concerning
the Eucharist. This Christian sacrament (Matthew Ch. 26,
v. 26-28) where Jesus gives his disciples his body to
eat and his blood to drink symbolised by bread and wine,
was celebrated by the Aztecs with the flesh and blood of
a young man made divine for a year and then ritually
sacrificed by five priests.(3)
And there was not only the Eucharist. Many more of the
Aztecs' religious manifestations are similar to
Christian rites, which had disagreeably surprised
Spanish priests. They were astonished to see the people
approaching their priests for communion and receiving a
piece of flesh of the sacrifice, because they did it
with the same devotions as Christians do with the host.
A type of mass also preceded their communion. When the
Spanish priests saw baptism ceremonies proceeded by a
solemn invocation where the lips and the head of the
baby were anointed, they thought it scandalous: "the
devil has inspired them to make our sacred faith
profane", they said.
Not subject to
this kind of reaction, Sahagún managed, after much
patient work, to reconstitute this prayer of the Aztec
priests: "let this baptism destroy the evil that was
given to you before the beginning of the world". ?
Surely this must refer to the original sin
The numerous crosses that the Spaniards encountered in
Indian temples were also taken for the "work of Satan".
The work of Fray Bernardino, on the points of
commonality between the Aztec religion and Christianity
encouraged a hypothesis to be put forward on "Satan"
which scandalised the Spanish priests. This "evil one"
could be Nestorius, the ex-patriarch of Constantinople,
anathematised by the Council of Ephesus in 431
Nestorians were mainly Syrian Christians (5), who sought
refuge in Persia and some as far as Central Asia. They
even sent missionaries into China from 635 AD (Steven
Runcinian, A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES). Their first
ecclesiastical province was founded there by the
patriarch Salibasacha in the 7th Century AD. In 1625,
Jesuit missionaries discovered Christian inscriptions in
China dating from 781. At the museum in SIAN, we can
admire today tables sculpted from stone, reflecting the
Nestorian cult which flourished in China from 635.
The Nestorians were great missionaries. They were not
Greek but their religious language was. The people they
converted kept their national language but used Greek
for their liturgy, as did the Eastern Europeans with
Latin. In Central Asia there were Mongol kings, queens
and princes who embraced Christianity thanks to the
Nestorians. Genghis Khan's sympathy for Christianity is
notorious and his son Tului was married to a devout
Nestorian from the Turkish Keraits tribe. Numerous
Turkmen people (Keraits and Cuighours) were converted to
Christianity by the Nestorians.
One can certainly speculate on Turkmen people emigrating
from Central Asia to America by the Bering straits,
bringing vague notions of Christianity, passed on by the
oral tradition. Progressively, the Christian celebration
of the Eucharist (you will eat my flesh and you will
drink my blood) was perhaps taken literally, with the
people believing they served God better in this way then
The history of the
Oriental Church does not suffice to explain the "Satan"
of the Aztecs. The language of the Turkmen was
Turkish.Is it a coincidence that countless place names
in Mexico are still today suffixed with "tepec" (a
Turkish word meaning hill) to designate places on a
hillside. Other place names, just as numerous, are
prefixed by "teo", which, in Greek (theo) means God. The
Aztecs were very devout.
Moreover, all Aztec vocabulary which has to do with
divine concepts is Greek in origin. Their temples were
called TEOCALI. In Greek TEO = God, and KALI = Hut.
TEOMANIA, which in Greek means divine transport or
divine inspiration, meant CONTEMPLATING, MEDITATING,
PRAYING, in Mexican. In addition, the word TEOTOCOS (Greek,
for Mother of God), in their language meant : IDOLATOR.
"Idolator", because according to Nestorian dogma, the
Virgin Mary, a mortal woman, could not carry God in her
belly According to the Nestorians it was after his birth
that Christ became God. As a consequence, his mother was
not Theotocos but Christotocos.
The Nestorians were subtle - not Hellenic, but full of
Hellenisms. Words beginning with TEO filled three pages
of Molina's "Mexica-Castellano" dictionary, and all the
references have a link with divine matters. But allowing
me to offer this hypothesis on the ancestors of the
Aztecs, would only solve part of the puzzle, because
before conquering Tenotchtitlán they were already mixed
with lots of other people (Toltecs, Tepanecs, Chichimecs,
1/. Paul RIVET,
LES ORIGINES DE L'HOMME AMERICAIN, Gallimard 1957, pages
171 to 176.
2/. Augustin Yañez,
CRONICAS DE LA CONQUISTA, Universidad Nacional Autonome
de México,1950, page 24.
Bernardino de Sahagún, HISTORIA GENERAL DE LAS COSAS DE
LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, Mexico 1946, Vol I, pages 148 to 158.
4/. Idem, page
whose "heresy" was their reaction to national oppression
forced upon them by the Byzantine emperors in the name
of the "orthodoxy of their patriarchs.