The Aztec military power was intertwined with warrior knights and animals. The eagle and the jaguar were very important animals to the Aztecs. They considered the eagle the greatest hunter in the air and the jaguar the greatest hunter on land. The best soldiers in the Aztec army joined special societies named Eagle knights and Jaguar knights. When the Aztecs arrived in the valley of Mexico, they served the Tepanec. The Tepanec were fighting their neighbors the Colhuacan and the Chichimec of texoco Aztec warriors fought for the Tepanec, but also strengthened their own position. The Aztec grew so important that their leaders married royalty from other cities. When the Tepanec tried to tighten their rule over Tenochtitlan and Texcoco in 1415, the Aztec joined with Chichimec and another state, Tlacopan, to defeat them.
The Spaniards recorded that Aztec society was structured to produce warriors. Poets celebrated warfare. Midwives told newborn baby boys of the glory of was. To die in battle, or to be sacrificed as a captive to the gods, meant that the soul would go straight to the afterlife.
Citation: Cooke, Tim. Ancient Aztec. National Geographic, Print.