What Was the Aztec Social Structure?

The Aztec social structure was a hierarchy of classes in which people had specific roles, and these roles included the noble class, commoner class and slaves. In most cases, each class included different types of people, often based on profession.

The priests had specific rules, such as celibacy and temperance. Other members of the noble class were military leaders, government figures and lords, or tecuhtli, who were landowners and judges. Nobles wore luxurious clothing and passed down their nobility through lineage. The commoner class gave tributes to them.

Craftsmen, traders, farmers and low-level priests made up the commoner class. Their calpullis, or neighborhoods, were led by noblemen.

Slaves and serfs were the lowest class. A serf's job was to tend to the land owned by nobles. As a form of punishment, a commoner could be demoted to slave status.

Women often had midwife and priestess roles but were limited in leadership. Children went to school in their calpulli, while noble children went to specialized leadership schools.