Definitions for quetzalcoatlkɛtˌsɑl koʊˈɑt l
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word quetzalcoatl
an Aztec deity represented as a plumed serpent
The Aztec name for the Feathered-Serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerica, one of the main gods of many Mexican and northern Central American civilizations.
Origin: From Quetzalcōātl
Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and has the meaning of "feathered serpent". The worship of a feathered serpent deity is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BC or first century AD. That period lies within the Late Preclassic to Early Classic period of Mesoamerican chronology, and veneration of the figure appears to have spread throughout Mesoamerica by the Late Classic. In the Postclassic period, the worship of the feathered serpent deity was based in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula. It is in this period that the deity is known to have been named "Quetzalcoatl" by his Nahua followers. In the Maya area he was approximately equivalent to Kukulcan and Gukumatz, names that also roughly translate as "feathered serpent" in different Mayan languages. In the era following the 16th-century Spanish Conquest, a number of sources were written that conflate Quetzalcoatl with Ce Acatl Topiltzin, a ruler of the mythico-historic city of Tollan. It is a matter of much debate among historians to which degree, or whether at all, these narratives about this legendary Toltec ruler describe historical events. Furthermore, early Spanish sources written by clerics tend to identify the god-ruler Quetzalcoatl of these narratives with either Hernán Cortés or St. Thomas—an identification which is also a source of diversity of opinions about the nature of Quetzalcoatl.
Find a translation for the quetzalcoatl definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these quetzalcoatl definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"quetzalcoatl." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 5 Aug. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/quetzalcoatl>.