Aztec Timeline


Leaving Mexico


The Aztecs leave Aztlan in northern Mexico and begin to journey south to find new land.


1200 - 1250

The Aztecs arrive in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs settle in Chapultepec, but are forced to leave by the Culhuacan tribe.

City Of Tenochitlan


Birth of the city of Tenochtitlan. It will become the capital of the Aztec Empire. The location is picked by the priests because it is where they see the foretold sign of an eagle holding a snake while standing on a cactus.

Acamapichtli reigns

1375 - 1427

Acamapichtli,the first dominant ruler of the Aztecs, comes into power. They call their ruler the Tlatoani which means "speaker".


1427 - 1440

Itzcoatl becomes the fourth ruler of the Aztecs. He will found the Aztec Empire.

Aztecs defeat Tepanecs


The Aztec Empire is formed with a triple alliance between the Aztecs, the Texcocans, and the Tacubans. The Aztecs defeat the Tepanecs.

Templo Mayor

1452 - 1487

The city of Tenochtitlan is damaged by a great flood. The next few years are filled with famine and starvation. The Templo Mayor (Great Temple of Tenochtitlan) is finished. It is dedicated to the gods with thousands of human sacrifices.


1502 - 1520

Montezuma II becomes ruler of the Aztec Empire. He is the ninth of the Aztec kings.

Doom Comet


The Aztec priests mark the sighting of a comet in the night sky. They believe the comet was a sign of impending doom.

The Fall Of The Aztec Empire

1519 - 1522

Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes arrives in Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs treat him as an honored guest, but Cortez takes Montezuma II prisoner. Cortez is driven from the city, but Montezuma II is killed. Cuauhtémoc becomes the tenth emperor of the Aztecs. Cortes forms an alliance with the Tlaxcala and begins to attack the Aztecs. Cortes defeats the Aztecs and takes over the city of Tenochtitlan. The Spanish begin to rebuild the city of Tenochtitlan. It will be called Mexico City and will be the capital of New Spain.