Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Tenochtitlan Rulers, the Aztec Emperors

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

view all


  • Acamapichtli, 1st Aztec Emperor (b. - 1395)
    Acamapichtli (Classical Nahuatl: Ācamāpichtli [aːkamaːˈpitʃtɬi], meaning Handful of reeds) was the first tlatoani, or ruler, of the Aztecs (or Mexica) of Tenochtitlan, and founder of the Aztec imperial...
  • Huitzilihuitl, 2nd Aztec Emperor (c.1379 - c.1417)
    Huitzilihuitl (Nahuatl language; English: Hummingbird Feather) (d. ca. 1417) was the second tlatoani of Tenochtitlan, governing from 1396 to 1417.[1] Huitzilíhuitl was born in Tenochtitlan, and was the...
  • Izcoatl, 4th Aztec Emperor (c.1381 - d.)
    Itzcoatl (Classical Nahuatl: Itzcōhuātl [itsˈkoːwaːtɬ], "Obsidian Serpent") was the fourth tlatoani (emperor) of the Aztecs, ruling from 1427 (or 1428) to 1440, the period when the Mexica threw off the...
  • Tizoc, 7th Aztec Emperor (1436 - 1486)
    Tizocic or Tizocicatzin (the honorific form of his name), usually known in English as Tizoc, was the seventh tlatoani of Tenochtitlan. Most sources agree that he took power in 1481 (the Aztec year "2...
  • Ahuitzotl, 8th Aztec Emperor (b. - 1502)
    Ahuitzotl (Nahuatl: āhuitzotl, pronounced [aːˈwitsotɬ]) was the eighth Aztec ruler, the Hueyi Tlatoani, of the city of Tenochtitlan. He was responsible for much of the expansion of the Mexica domain, a...

Scope of project

This project aims to identify the tlatoani of Tenochtitlan, often referred to as "Aztec emperors".


The royal title of huey tlatoani translates from the Classical Nahuatl language as "great" "one given voice” and was given to the supreme rulers of Tenochtitlán, Texcoco, and Tlacopan (and before them those of Azcapotzalco.)

Tenochtitlan (Classical Nahuatl: Tenōchtitlān [tenoːtʃˈtitɬaːn]) (sometimes also known as Mexico Tenochtitlan or Tenochtitlan Mexico) was a Nahua altepetl (city-state) located on an island in Lake Texcoco, in the Valley of Mexico. Founded in 1325, it became the seat of the growing Aztec Empire in the 15th century, until captured by the Spanish in 1521. When paired with Mexico the name is a reference to Mexica, the people of the surrounding Aztec heartland. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and today the ruins of Tenochtitlan are located in the central part of Mexico City.


Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Aztec civilization, consisting of the Mexica people, founded in 1325. The state religion of the Aztec civilization awaited the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy: that the wandering tribes would find the destined site for a great city whose location would be signaled by an eagle eating a snake while perched atop a cactus. The Aztecs saw this vision on what was then a small swampy island in Lake Texcoco, a vision that is now immortalized in Mexico's coat of arms and on the Mexican flag. Not deterred by the unfavourable terrain, they set about building their city, using the chinampa system (misnamed as "floating gardens") for agriculture and to dry and expand the island. A thriving culture developed, and the Aztec civilization came to dominate other tribes all around Mexico. The small natural island was perpetually enlarged as Tenochtitlan grew to become the largest and most powerful city in Mesoamerica. Commercial routes were developed that brought goods from places as far as the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and perhaps even the Inca Empire. After a flood of Lake Texcoco, the city was rebuilt under the rule of Ahuitzotl in a style that made it one of the grandest ever in Mesoamerica. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519. At this time it is believed that the city was one of the largest in the world; compared to Europe, only Paris, Venice and Constantinople were larger. In a letter to the Spanish king, Cortés wrote that Tenochtitlan was as large as Seville or Córdoba. The most common estimates put the population at over 200,000 people. One of the few comprehensive academic surveys of Mesoamerican city and town sizes arrived at a population of 212,500 living on 13.5 km2 (5.2 sq mi), although some popular sources put the number as high as 350,000.

After the conquest

Cortés subsequently directed the systematic destruction and leveling of the city and its rebuilding, despite opposition, with a central area designated for Spanish use (the traza). The outer Indian section, now dubbed San Juan Tenochtitlan, continued to be governed by the previous indigenous elite and was divided into the same subdivisions as before.


[Acamapichtli, 1st Aztec Emperor]

[Huitzilihuitl, 2nd Aztec Emperor]

[Chimalpopoca, 3rd Aztec Emperor]

[Izcoatl, 4th Aztec Emperor]

[Moctezuma I, 5th Aztec Emperor]

[Axayacatl, 6th Aztec Emperor]

[Tizoc, 7th Aztec Emperor]

[Ahuitzotl, 8th Aztec Emperor]

[Moctezuma II, 9th Aztec Emperor]

[Cuitláhuac I, 10th Aztec Emperor]

[Cuauhtémoc, 11th Aztec Emperor]

Colonial rulers

Juan Velázquez, 12th Aztec Emperor

Motelchiuhtzin Huitznahuatlailótlac aka Don Andrés de Tapia

Xochiquentzin aka Don Pablo

Don Diego de Alvarado, 15th Aztec Emperor

don Diego de San Francisco, 16th Aztec Emperor

Don Cristóbal de Guzmán, 17th Aztec Emperor

Esteban de Guzmán (Not a tlatoani, but a judge (juez).)

Don Cristóbal de Guzmán, 17th Aztec Emperor

Nanacacipactzin aka Luis de Santa María

Further reading