noun \ˈtōl-ˌtek, ˈtäl-\

Definition of TOLTEC

:  a member of a people that dominated central and southern Mexico prior to the Aztecs
Tol·tec·an \-ən\ adjective

Origin of TOLTEC

Spanish tolteca, from Nahuatl tōltēcah, plural of tōltēcatl, literally, person from Tōllān (now Tula de Allende, Mexico)
First Known Use: 1787


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Nahuatl-speaking people who held sway over what is now central Mexico from the 10th to the 12th century. Whether their urban centre was Tula or Teotihuacán is a matter of dispute. In the 10th century they formed a number of small states of various ethnic origins into an empire. They introduced the cult of Quetzalcóatl, and other Toltec religious and military influences spread through the Yucatán region and were absorbed by the Maya. They were noted as builders and craftsmen; artifacts include fine metalwork, gigantic statues, and carved human and animal standard-bearers. They were succeeded by the Aztec. See also Mesoamerican civilization.


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