A new online exhibit from the Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin, describes the sophisticated legal systems of the Aztec and Maya civilizations. Entitled "Law in Mexico Before the Conquest", the exhibit may be viewed at at the website below.
The exhibit uses the words and pictures of native chroniclers to illustrate and explain Aztec courts, standards of evidence, judicial conduct, criminal law, and other aspects of Aztec and Maya law.
The Spanish conquistadors found not only empires and cities in Mexico to rival those of Europe, but also highly developed legal systems. The penalties exacted by Aztec courts seemed quite severe to the Spaniards, yet their reliance on evidence, the promptness of their rulings, and their high standards of conduct were much admired.
In addition, an annotated bibliography, "Resources on Aztec and Maya Law" is available at http://www.law.utexas.edu/rare/aztec.htm. The bibliography, long one of the most visited pages on the Tarlton Law Library's website, is newly updated and more than tripled in size.
Head of Special Collections
Tarlton Law Library
University of Texas at Austin
727 E. Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705-3224
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