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Mesoamerican Codices in the University Libraries

Updated: 1/20/01


Mesoamerica boasts a long written tradition, which can be traced back to before the arrival of Europeans in the New World. Although large numbers of pre-Columbian manuscripts were destroyed in the name of religion during the Spanish conquest, some survived. In addition, documents in the native tradition continued to be produced throughout the sixteenth century, particularly in Central Mexico and Oaxaca, encouraged both by the Spanish empire for administrative reasons and by the religious orders, particularly the Franciscans, who were interested in recording native customs and beliefs. This written tradition has left a legacy of documents such as calendars, religious works, historical manuscripts, and "civil books," which deal with the daily affairs of colonial Mexico. These provide a unique body of materials for archaeological, linguistic, and ethnohistorical research. Listed below are the University Libraries' reproductions of codices. Those which are housed in Special Collections and Archives have "SPE" in front of the call number. They are generally high-quality, full-color facsimiles of these manuscripts, many of them folded and bound to resemble the original. Those without a prefix before the call number are in the circulating collection of the library and are bound as regular books. Those with "MIC" as a prefix are on microfilm and are housed in the microform collection. Most of these are in color. The annotations in this list have been freely adapted from the "Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources, Part Three," which is volume 14 of the Handbook of Middle American Indians, and from Americana, the June 1989 catalog of in-print Americana titles of Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (Graz, Austria).

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Codex Aubin. Historia de la nación mexicana. Reproducción a todo color del Códice de 1576. Madrid: J. Porrua Turanzas, 1963. Commentary in Spanish by Charles Dibble. SPE F 1219 C6368.
A pictorial Nahuatl chronicle covering the years 1168-1608 and 1595-96, with an addition for 1597-1608. Begins with the departure from Aztlan and includes the dynastic history of Tenochtitlan and colonial events.

Codex Aubin. Histoire de la nation mexicaine depuis le départ d'Aztlan jusqu'à l'arrivée des conqurants espagnols (et au dela 1607). Manuscrit figuratif accompagné de texte en langue nahuatl ou mexicaine suivi d'une traduction en français par feu J. M. A. Aubin. Reproduction du codex de 1576 appartenant la collection de m. E. Eugène Goupil. Paris: E. Leroux, 1983. MICFLM F 1219 C6368 1893.
Codex Azcatitlan = Codice Azcatitlan: introduction de Michel Graulich = introduccion de Michel Graulich ; commentaire de Robert H. Barlow, mis a jour par Michel Graulich = comentario de Robert H. Barlow, revisado por Michel Graulich ; traduccion al espanol, Leonardo Lopez Lujan = traduction francaise, Dominique Michelet ; conception graphique, Laurent Ungerer, Stefan Issig, visuel design ; coordination editoriale, Dominique Michelet. Paris : Bibliotheque nationale de France/Societe des Americanistes, c1995. SPE F 1219 C637X 1995 V.1 and V.2
Badianus manuscript (Codex Berberini, Latin 241), Vatican Library; an Aztec herbal of 1552. Introduction, translation and annotations by Emily Walcott Emmart. With a foreward by Henry E. Sigerist. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1940. SPE* RS 169 C7 1552A.
This manuscript, written by an Indian physician in Aztec and translated into Latin by another Indian, gives a picture of Aztec medicine at the time of the conquest. It is an herbal, and therefore deals with the pharmacological treatment of diseases. Because the manuscript is illustrated with pictures which are helpful in identifying plants, it is a valuable source of Aztec lexicography since the Aztec names were used.

What is an Herb?
Online exhibit from the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library with a selection of herbal recipes from the Badianus manuscript. Images Pending copyright.

Codices Becker I/II. Museum für Volkerkunde Wien, Inv. No. 60306 und 60307. Kommentar und Beschreibung Karl A. Nowotny. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1961. SPE** F 1219 C639 1961.
Codex Becker No. 1 consists of fragments of a larger document of which the Códice Colombino also forms a part. It treats the life and history of the 11th C. Mixtec ruler, 8 Deer, and has dates embracing the years A.D. 1047-68. Codex Becker No. II is divided into two horizontal bands. In the lower band are nine Indian couples with calendrical and personal name glyphs. In the upper are six couples added by a different or later hand, which was also responsible for the place gylphs in the lower division. Both sets of drawings are in the traditional Mixtec style.

Codices Becker I/II; Museo de Tenologia de Viena. Comentari, descripción y corrección de Karl A. Nowotny. Traducción española de Baron W. v. Humboldt. Revisada por Gastón Garcia Cantu. México: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, 1964. SPE*** F 1219 C6398.

Codex Becker no. 1. Manuscrit mexicain; pub. par Henri de Saussure. [Génève]: [Impr. Aubert-Schuchardt], 1891. MICFLM F 1219 S25

Codex Borbonicus. Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée nationale-Paris (Y120). Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe del Codex im Originalformat. Kommentar: Karl Anton Nowotny, Herkunft und Inhalt des Codex borbonicus; Jacqueline de Durand-Forest, Codex borbonicusdescription codicologique. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlansanstalt, 1974. Introductory matter in German and French; summaries in English, French, and Spanish. SPE*** F 1435 C659 1974.
The date of this early calendrical source is controversial, with some arguing for a preconquest date and others for an early colonial date, possibly before 1541. The manuscript has four major sections. Part I is a tonalpohualli or 260-day divinatory almanac. Part 2 shows the association of the 9 Lords of the Night with the yearbearer days for a 52-year period. Part 3 is an 18-month festival calendar for a New Fire ceremony year. Part 4 repeats one of the month ceremonies and continues with year dates for a 52-year period.

A Sacred Almanac of the Aztecs (Tonolamatl of the Codex Borbonicus), ed. by George C. Valliant [n.d.]. MICFLM 1219.3 C2 C6.

Questions and Answers about an Unknown Artist's Codex Borbonicus
Extensive information about this codex from an art history point of view.
BORGIA [Aztec]
Codex Borgia. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Cod. Borg. Messicano 1); Vollständige faksimile-ausgabe des codex im originalformat. Kommentar [von] Karl Anton Nowotny. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck -u. Verlagsanstalt, 1976. Summaries in English, French, and Spanish. SPE* F 1219 C65 1976.
Generally considered to be among the finest specimens of precolumbian art, this manuscript is the most important, detailed, and complex pictorial source extant for the study of Central Mexican gods, ritual, divination, calendar, religion, and iconography. Most of the 28 sections are devoted to different aspects of the tonalpohualli, the Mesoamerican 260-day divinatory period. Other sections depict complex rituals whose significance remains obscure.

Codex Borgianus. Il manoscritto messicano Borgiano: del Museo etnografico della S. Congregazione di propaganda fide; riprodotto in fotocromografia a spese di s.e. il duca di Loubat a cura della Biblioteca Vaticanna. Rome, Italy: Danesi; 1898. MICFLM F 1219 C65.

Gallery of Images from the Borgian Codex
From Bryan Penprase at Pomona College.


The Boturini-Veytia Tarascan Calendars. In facsimile. Baltimore, MD.: The Maya Society, 1935. MICFLM F 1219.3 C2 B67x.
"The second manuscript, occupying the last eight pages, is a careful copy in his own hand [Veytia's] of the first, a Tarascan calendar in Boturini's own writing... Nothing is known of the original from which Boturini copied."--2n prelim. leaf.


Mexican Picture-chronicle of Cempoallan and Other States of Aculhuacan. London: B. Quaritch, 1890. MICFLM F 1219 M61
The figures represented in this codex are those of personages of the Chichimecan dynasty or their relatives or descendants. It was written to celebrate the lineage of Ixtlilxochitl, who died in 1529.


Codex Colombino. [México, D.F.]: [Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologia], [1966]. Interpretation by Alfonso Caso in English and Spanish. SPE** F 1219 C6548x 1966.
This manuscript, in traditional Mixtec style, treats the life and history of 8 Deer, Tiger Claw from A.D. 1028 to 1048.


Codex Cospi. Calendario messicano 4093, Biblioteca universitaria Bologna. Einleitung und Summary [von] K. A. Nowotny. [Mit Faksimile]. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck -u. Verlagsanstalt, 1968. SPE F 1219 C6549 1968 V.1 and V.2.
This is one of the five divinatory screenfold almanacs of the Borgia Group. The first three sections on the obverse each present a different aspect of the 260-day tonalmatl calendar. The fourth section on the reverse is in a different style and its interpretation is uncertain. It includes deities, what may be offerings, and sets of bar-and-dot numerals.

Codex Cospianus. Descripción del Códice Cospiano, manuscrito pictorico de los antiguos Nauas que se conserva en la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Bolonia, reproducido en fotocromografia a expenses de s.e. el duque de Loubat. Rome, Italy: Danesi, 1898. MICFLM F 1219 C655.


Codex en Cruz. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press; 1981. Charles E. Dibble, ed. MAI* F 1219.56 C76 D5 V.1 and V.2.
This chronicle is cast in a unique framework of yearly events from 1402 through 1553, with additions through 1569. A later gloss refers to an event in 1603. The emphasis is on the dynastic successions at Texcoco, Tenochtitlan, Chiautla, and Tepetlaoxtoc. Notices of famines, rains, wars, conquests, etc., are included.


Códice de Cualac. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, 1958. Florence E. Muller, ed. F 1219 M95.
This codex contains four fragments which probably represent remnants of the local titles and history of Cototolapan and have late drawings of a miscellaneous character, including baptisms and marriages. Two of the fragments with historical scenes have peripheral borders of rudimentary place glyphs. Nahuatl glosses identify localities near Cualac and Olinala.


Codex Dresdensis. Sächsische Landesbibliothek Dresden (Mscr. Dresd. R310). Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck -u. Verlagsanstalt, 1975. Commentary in German by H. Deckert and F. Anders with bibliographical references and preface also in English. SPE F 1435.3 P6 C66X 1975.
One of the most important of the surviving preconquest Mesoamerican pictorial manuscripts, the Dresden Codex contains divinatory almanacs, multiplication tables for synodical revolutions of the planet Venus, representations of various ceremonies and deities, eclipse and Venus tables, multiplication tables of various numbers (presumably astronomical, divinatory, or calendrical in nature). It also treats other matters, including disease and agriculture.

Dresden Codex, ed. by William Gates. Baltimore: The Maya Society at Johns Hopkins University, 1932. MICFLM F 1435.3 P6 C66x.

Gallery of Images from the Dresden Codex
From Bryan Penprase at Pomona College.

Maya Codices
Images of the Dresden Codex and background information can be found here.


Codex Egerton 2895. British Museum London. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1965. Introduction by C.A. Burland. SPE F 1219 B86.
This codex is an important example of how the non-European languages of the New World were "written" in the native pictorial tradition. The written glosses of the Codex Egerton are examples of the recording of Mixtec in European writing.


Codex Fejérváry-Mayer: 12014 M. City of Liverpool Museums. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1971. SPE F 1219 C66 1971.
This is a divinatory almanac in 17 sections. Most sections concern specific aspects of the tonalpohualli, the 260-day Mesoamerican augural cycle. Some sections of the obverse with bar-and-dot numerals may relate to unidentified ceremonies or offerings.

Codex Fejérváry-Mayer: an old Mexican picture manuscript in the Liverpool free public museums (12014/M), published at the expense of His Excellence the Duke of Loubat... elucidated by Dr. Eduard Seler. Berlin; London [Edinburgh]: [Printed by T. and A. Constable]; 1901-1902. SPE** F 1219 C663 1901.

Codex Fejérváry-Mayer; manuscrit mexicain précolombien des Free Public Museums Liverpool (M 12014) publié en chromophotographie par le duc de Loubat. Paris: P. Renouard, 1901. MICFLM F 1219 C661.

Codex Fejervary-Mayer
Facsimile of first page, background information.


Sahagún, Bernardino de. Códice florentino. Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España. [México]: [Secretaría de Gobernación], [1979]. SPE* F 1219 S1316 1979 V.1, V.2 and V.3.
The Florentine Codex is the final and complete manuscript of the 12 books of the Historia general. It contains the Nahuatl text and a parallel Spanish text. It is illustrated by 1,846 drawings, not counting decorative tailpieces and ornamental designs. The 12 books contain information on gods; ceremonies of the 18 months; the divinatory almanac; various customs; omens; moral philosophy; the lords of Mexico, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, and Huexotla; people; natural history; and the conquest of Mexico City and Tlatelolco by the Spaniards.

Crayfish in the Florentine Codex
Facsimile of a page, background information.

Mexica Sacrifice - In Their Own Words
A commentary upon and translation of a section of the Florentine Codex.


Codex Hall, an ancient Mexican hieroglyphic picture manuscript, ed. by Charles E. Dibble. With a silk screen facsimile reproduction of the Codex by Louie H. Ewing. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research, 1947. F 1219 D5.


Codice de Huamantla. Manuscrito de los siglos xvi y xvii, que se conserva en la Sala de Testimonios Pictograficos de la Biblioteca Nactional de Antropologia e Historia y en la Biblioteca Estatal de Berlin. [Tlaxcala, México]: Instituto Tlaxcalteca de la Cultura, 1984. SPE** F 1219.56 C627 C63X 1984 V.1 and V.2
This "codex" consists of fragments of a very large painting, some of which is believed to have been lost since it was first described by Borutini in the eighteenth century. The principal theme is warfare. Indians armed with bows, arrows, macanas, and shields with the symbol for war between them are a frequent motif. The taking of prisoners and sacrifices are also shown, as are native houses, place glyphs, and other symbols.


Huexotzinco Codex, 1531
On online facsimile from the Library of Congress. "The Huexotzinco Codex is an eight-sheet document on amatl, a pre- European paper made in Mesoamerica. It is part of the testimony in a legal case against representatives of the colonial government in Mexico, ten years after the Spanish conquest in 1521."



Codex Ixtlilxochitl. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1976. French commentary by Dr. J. de Durand-Forest. SPE *** F 1219.3 C2 C651X 1976
The manuscript is on European paper and the text is in Spanish. It is a fragment of a codex attributed to Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, one of the outstanding historians of the early years of the Spanish Conquest. The codex deals with people and events of the pre-Conquest "Aztec Empire."

Codex Ixtlilxochitl. Códice Mariano Fernandez Echeverria y Veytia. México, D.F.: Libreria Anticuaria, G.M. Echaniz, 1937. MICFLM 1219.3 C2 C62 1937A.
Each leaf of the codex is accompanied by a leaf with descriptive text. The text is identical with that appearing in the Historia antigua de México (México, 1944) by Veytia. Contains Spanish texts and drawings illustrative of the gods and ceremonies of 17 of the 18 months of the 365-day year, two drawings and texts of gods, and two of mortuary customs.

Historia de las Indias de Nueva-España y islas de Tierra Firme, por el padre Fray Diego Duran. México, D.F.: J.M. Andrade y F. Escalante, 1867-80. MICFLM F 1219 D94.
Contains reproductions of the colored designs in the three parts of the manuscript and a facsimile of the "Codice geroglifico de mr. Aubin" (known as the "Codex Ixtlilxochitl," now in the bibliotheque nationale in Paris, Mss. mex. 65-71). A manuscript in Spanish with three sections, each illustrated by drawings having diverse origins and remote inspiration in native traditions. The first section is a history of the Tenocha-Mexica from their departure from Aztlan-Chicomoztoc through the Spanish conquest, with emphasis on the dynastic history of Tenochtitlan. Section two treats gods, ceremonies and various customs and has 34 illustrations. Section three is a calendar treatise with drawings of a calendar wheel, day signs, and the ceremonies of the 18 months of the 365-day year.


Paso y Troncoso, Francisco del. Cocide Kingsborough. Memorial de los indios de Tepetlaoztoc al monarcha español contra los encomenderos del pueblo, dispuesto en figuras acuareladas a mediados del siglo XVI, con su comentario en escritura de la epocha. Primera parte. Madrid: Hauser y Menet, 1912. MICFLM 1219 C74.
This codex is related to a lawsuit held before the Council of Indies between the Indians of Tepetlaoztoc and the encomendero, Juan Velasquez de Salazar. Part 1 contains two maps of the Tepetlaoztoc region and introductory material relating to preconquest history, tribute, genealogy, and social organization. Only part 1 is reproduced on this microfilm.


Codex Laud (ms. Laud misc. 678). Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1966. Introduction by C. A. Burland. SPE F 1219 B62X 1966.
This is one of the five screenfold divinatory almanacs of the Borgia Group. Most of its 11 sections develop particular aspects of the tonalpohualli, the Mesoamerican 260-day augural cycle. Other sections, including two with bar-and-dot numerals, may pertain to rituals or offerings.



Codex Magliabechiano. Codex Magliabecchi. Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Firenze. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlaganstalt, 1970. Einleitung, summary und resumen von F. Anders. SPE F 1219 C686 1970 V.1 and V.2
Contains native drawings and facing Spanish texts illustrative of festival designs on blankets, day signs, year signs, ceremonies of the 18 months, and a long section on movable feasts and ceremonies.

Codex Magliabecci XIII. 3. Manuscrit mexicain post-Colombien de la Bibliotheque nationale de Florence; reproduit en photochromographie aux frais du duc de Loubat. Rome, Italy: Danesi, 1904. MICFLM F 1219 C685.


León, Nicolas. Códice Mariano Jiménez. Nómina de tributos de los pueblos Otlazpan y Tepexic en geroglifico azteca y lenguas castellana y nahuatl. México, D.F.,[1903]. MICFLM F 1219 C687.
This is a pictorial and Spanish assessment of salaries for native officials of Utlaspa and other tribute on 11 painted pages. Final pages in Nahuatl list witnesses to an agreement (not given) between Otlaxpan and Tepeji del Rio.



Paso y Troncoso, Francisco del. Codex Mendoza. Colección de Mendoza, o, Códice Mendocino: documento mexicano del siglo XVI que se conserva en la Biblioteca Bodleiana de Oxford, Inglaterra. México, D.F.: Editorial Innovación, 1980. Facsimile of the 1925 edition. F 1219 C693X 1980.
The three sections of this codex, although in a uniform style of drawing and annotation, have different subject matters and origins. The drawings of part 1 present a history of the tenochca-Mexica from the founding of Tenochtitlan through 1521 in terms of the lengths of the reigns of the rulers and of the towns they conquered. Part 2 is a pictorial record of the tribute paid by the different provinces of the Aztec Empire with a Spanish interpretation. Part 3 is a graphic portrayal of Aztec life probably drawn especially for the codex. It includes a year-to-year history of an Aztec from birth onward. Other pages depict warriors, priests, and other professions, the palace of Moctezuma, and the laws and punishments of the latter's rule. It is an almost unique ethnographic account, comparable only to parts of the later Florentine Codex.

Codex Mendoza: Aztec manuscript. Commentaries by Kurt Ross. [Fribourg]: Miller graphics [Productions Liber]; [1978]. Reproduced from the manuscript in the Bodleian Library. F 1219 C693X 1978.

Codex Mendoza
Summary, graphics, bibliography.


Jerónimo de Alcalá. Relación de Michoacán: estudio preliminar y notas de Francisco Miranda. Morelia, Michoacán: Fimax Publicistas Editores; 1980. F 1219.1 M55 R43X 1980.
Illustrated by 44 colored drawings. Treats preconquest and very early colonial Tarascan history. Text and drawings contain a wealth of historical, ethnographic and genealogical information.

The Tarasco Culture and Empire
Information about the Tarasacan people and culture.

NUTTALL [Mixtec]

Codex Nuttall. Codex Zouche-Nuttall. British Museum London (Add. MS. 39671). Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe des Codex in originalformat; Vorwort Ferdinand Anders, introduction Nancy P. Troike. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1987. SPE F 1219 C7 1987.
One side of this screenfold codex presents a genealogical and historical narrative divided into six or more sections, including a genealogy of the first and second dynasties of Tilantongo through the marriage of 8 Deer and the genealogy of the rulers of Teozacoalco through the children of the third rulers of the third dynasty. Other pages contain related genealogies, some antedating the first Tiltantongo dynasty or involved with the divine origin of the Mixtec lineages. The other side presents an incomplete history of the life and exploits of 8 Deer from the marriage of his parents in 1009 and his birth in 1011 to the year 1050.

Codex Nuttall: a Picture Manuscript from Ancient Mexico. The Peabody Museum facsimile, edited by Zelia Nuttall; with new introductory text by Arthur G. Miller. New York: Dover Publications; 1975. MAI* F 1219 C7 1975.

Codex Nuttall; Facsimile of an Ancient Mexican Codex Belonging to Lord Zouche of Harynworth, England, with an Introduction by Zelia Nuttall. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1902. MICFLM F 1219 C71.

Codex Nuttall
Fascimile of a page, background information.


Osuna, Mariano Tellez Girón y Beaufort. Códice Osuna: reproducción facsimilar de laobra del mismo titulo, editada en Madrid, 1878, acompañada de 158 páginas inéditas encontradas en el Archivo General de la Nación (México) por Luis Chávez Orozco. México, D.F.: Instituto Indigenista Interamericano. Ediciones [6], 1947. F 1219 C732X 1947.
This black and white facsimile edition includes a Spanish translation of the Nahuatl portions of the manuscript. The codex consists of seven discrete documents forming part of an inquiry into the conduct of the Indian and Spanish governments of Mexico City by the visitador Valderrama in 1565.

Codice Osuna
Facsimile of one page.

PARIS [Maya]

Codex Peresianus . (Codex Paris). Bibliothèque Nationale Paris. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt; 1968. Einleitung und Summary [von] F. Anders. SPE* F 1435 C66.
A description of this codex by J.E.S. Thompson indicates that each page of the obverse depicts deities ruling over a katun, that little progress has been made in elucidating the hieroglyphic texts, and that "it is a fair assumption that ritual, prophecies, and perhaps historical events" are given. "The reverse is in poor condition. Remains of some divinatory almanacs, new year ceremonies..., what is probably a kind of Maya zodiac with divisions of the 364-day years associated with it... and miscellaneous scenes can be recognized" (Thompson, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, 1960, p. 25). The content of two pages has been lost through deterioration of the original.

Codex Peresianus: manuscrit hieratique des anciens Indiens de l'Amerique Central, conserve a la Bibliotheque nationale de Paris; publie en coleurs, avec une introduction, par Leon de Rosny. Paris: Bureau de la Societe americaine, 1887 [1888]. MICFLM F 1435 C67.
RIOS Also known as Codex Vaticanus A. [Aztec]
Codex Rios. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1979. Publisher's notes in German, English, Spanish and French. SPE ** F 1219 C731X 1979.
The Italian text is an amplified translation of the Spanish text of the Codex Telleriano-Remensis. Codex Rios and Codex Telleriano- Remensis are currently believed to be copies of a common original, the lost Codex Huitzilopochtli. Codex Rios is believed to have been copies by a non-Indian (?) artist in Italy and its long Italian texts to be based on a commentary by Fr. Pedro de los Rios. The date 1566 occurs in the text as a reference to a past event. The manuscript has seven major sections: 1) cosmogonic and mythological traditions with some emphasis on the four epochs; 2) a 260-day divinatory almanac; 3) calendrical tables without drawings for the years 1558-1619; 4) an 18 month festival calendar with drawings of the gods of each period; 5) sacrificial and other customs including portraits of Indians; 6) pictorial annals for the years 1195-1549 beginning with the migration from Chicomoztoc and covering later events in the Valley of Mexico; and 7) year glyphs for the years 1556-62 without written or pictorial entries. Most of the codex has a long written commentary in Italian, but only three pages of the historical section are annotated.

Codex Rios. Il manoscritto messicano vaticano 3738, detto il Codice Rios, riprodotto in fotocromografia a spese di sua eccellenza il duca di Loubat per cura della Biblioteca Vaticana. Rome, Italy: Danesi [Scholarly Data]; 1900. MICFLM F 1219 C73.

The Codice de Santa Maria Asuncion : facsimile and commentary: households and lands in Sixteenth-Century Tepetlaoztoc. Barbara J. Williams, H.R. Harvey. Salt Lake City : University of Utah Press, 1997. [Nahuatl] SPE * F 1219.56 C747 W55 1997.
This is one of the most comprehensive native census pictorial manuscripts which has suvived from central Mexico. It provides information on social structure, settlement patterns, land tenure, household composition, and political and economic organization.

SELDEN [Mixtec]

Codex Selden 3135. [México]: Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologia, 1964. Interpretation by Alfonso Caso in English and Spanish. SPE** F 1219 B64x 1964.
This is a traditional-style Mixtec history which presents the genealogies and origin of the dynasties of an unidentified locality known as "Belching Mountain," after the form of its place glyph. The first date is A.D. 783 or 794 and the last legible date is 1556. The genealogies include relationships to numerous persons from other localities, including Teozacoalco and Tilantongo.

Selden Roll
Facsimile of a page, background information.
Códice Sierra. Traducción al español de su texto nahuati, y explicación de sus pinturas jeroglíficas por el doctor Nicolás Léon. México: Museo nacional de arqueologia, historia e etnografia, 1933. The translation of the Nahuatl text is by Mariano J. Rojas. MICFLM F 1219 C743.
This is a pictorial accounting ledger, with Nahuatl text, listing the community expenses for the support of the church of the reportedly extinct community of Santa Catarina Texupan for the years 1550-64.


Codex Telleriano-Remensis : ritual, divination, and history in a pictorial Aztec manuscript, by Eloise Quinones Keber; foreword by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie; illustrations by Michel Besson. SPE* F 1219.56 C627 Q55 1995

Codex Telleriano-Remensis
Facsimile of a page.


Tira de Tepechpan. Chronologia Mexicana (1298-1596). Generalmente conocida bajo el titulo de Tira de Tepechpan. Pictografia Mexicana de Siglo XVI. México, D.F.: Libreria Anticuaria, G.M. Echaniz, [1940]. SPE* F 1219 M26X 1940.
This document depicts the founding of Tepechpan, and continues with the dynasties of Tepechpan and Tenochtitlán. The colonial section is devoted to the occurrence of plagues, the dates of viceroys, and other events. The drawings appear above and below a line of native-year glyphs that divides the tira into two horizontal divisions.


Kirchhoff, Paul. Historia tolteca-chichimeca. México, D.F.: CISINAH, INAH-SEP, 1976. MAI* F 1219 H67X.
Facsimile reproduction of ms. copy in Nahuatl, located in the Bibliotheque nationale in Paris. The manuscript is one of the major sources for the study of the early post-Toltec and subsequent history of the Chichimec migrations from Chicomoztoc to the central Puebla region. It treats the emigration of the Nonohualca and Tolteca-Chichimeca from Tula, the conquest of the Olmeca-Xicalanca at Cholula by the latter, emigrations from Chicomoztoc, the founding of Cuauhtinchan, and the later history and wars of the inhabitants of Cuauhtinchan. The period covered by this history is 1116-1544 A.D.

Historia Tolteca-Chichimeca
Fascimiles, discussion of the mythical orgins of the tribe and the first years of their migration into the Valley of Mexico.


Tovar, Juan de. Tovar Calendar; an illustrated Mexican manuscript ca. 1585. Reproduced, with a commentary and handlist of sources on the Mexican 365-day year, by George Kubler and Charles Gibson. New Haven, CT: Connecticut Academy of Arts & Sciences; 1951. F 1219.3 C725 1979.
This manuscript is an 18-month festival calendar with drawings and descriptive texts in Spanish for each of the 18 ceremonies and one for the final five-day period.

TRO-CORTESIANUS Also known as the Madrid Codex.[Maya]

Codex Tro-Cortesianus. Madrid Codex. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1967. Einleitung und Summary [von] Ferdinand Anders. English summary. SPE* F 1435 C653 1967.
Includes both the Codex Cortesianus and the Codex Troano, which form parts of a single codex now at the Museo de América, Madrid. The context of the Madrid Codex appears to be primarily concerned with divination; the divinatory almanacs which it contains cover various subjects including hunting, beekeeping, weaving, rain-making, crops, and diseases. It exhibits much attention to world directions and world colors but lacks the astronomy, multiplication tables, prophecies, and other mathematical reckonings of the Dresden Codex, one of the other three surviving Maya screenfolds.

Codex Cortesianus: manuscrit hieratique des anciens Indiens de l'Amerique Centrale, conserve au musee archeologique de Madrid, photographie et publie pour la premiere fois, avec une introduction et un vocabulaire de l'ecriture hieratique yucateque, par Leon de Rosny. Paris: Maisonneuve et cie, 1883. MICFLM F 1435 C65.

Madrid Codex Detail
Scanned image from a portion of the Madrid Codex.

Redating the Madrid Codex
Article from Archaeology suggesting that the Madrid codex may have been made after the arrival of the Spaniards in the New World.


Códice Tudela. Con un prólogo de Donald Robertson y un epílogo de Wigberto Jiménez Morena y la reproducción autorizada de tablas de Ferdinand Anders y S. Jeffrey K. Wilkerson. Madrid: Ediciones Cultural Hispanica del Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana, 1980. SPE* F 1219.56 T86 C62 1980 V.1 and V.2.
The Codex Tulane. Mary Elizabeth Smith and Ross Parmenter. New Orleans : Middle American Research Institute, Tulane University, 1991. [Mixtec] SPE * F 1421 T95 NO.61.
A pictorial manuscript from the mid-sixteenth century which presents king lists from two towns in the Mixtec-speaking region of southern Puebla.

Codex Tulane.
Partial image of a mythological origin scene.


Codex Vaticanus no. 3773 (Codex vaticanus B), an old Mexican pictorial manuscript in the Vatican library, published at the expense of His Excellency the Duke of Loubat... elucidated by Dr. Eduard Seler. Berlin, London, 1902-3. MICFLM F 1219 C761.
Codex Vaticanus B contains a complex presentation of the tonalpohualli, the 260-day Mesoamerican divinatory calendar. The 28 identifiable sections of the manuscript treat specific aspects of the tonalpohualli such as the 5 x 52 and 20 x 13 days and their associated deities as well as various series of gods, world directions, and so forth.

Codex Vaticanus B
Sample page.

VIENNA [Mixtec]

Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus 1. History and description of the manuscript by Otto Adelhofer. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1963. SPE 1219 V63 1963
The obverse of the manuscript has been interpreted as of a ritual-calendrical nature, but it also contains mythological genealogies with some emphasis on 9 Wind (Quetzalcoatl), lists of place glyphs and dates, and of persons, gods, or priests. Each of its 10 major sections repeats data pertaining to a ritual or ceremony in which a constant element is fire-making. The reverse presents a genealogy that begins two generations before the inception of the first Tilantongo dynasty and continues through the marriage of the third rulers of the third dynasty. This span corresponds to a period from the eighth century through the middle of the fourteenth century.

Vienna Codex. Codex vindobonensis Mexic. 1. Faksimileausgabe der mexikanischen bilderhandschrift der Nationalbibliothek in Wien; 65 farbenlichtdrucktafeln als leporelloalbum. Vienna: Verlag für Nord- u. Sudamerika Kunstanstalt M. Jaffe [etc.], 1929. MICFLM F 1219 V63.


Códice Xolotl, ed. by Charles E. Dibble. México: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Historicas, 1980. Publicaciones, Primera Serie No. 22. SPE** F 1219.56 C64 C63x 1951.
This is a detailed history of events in the Valley of Mexico from the arrival of the Chichimecs of Xolotl (1224?) through events leading up to the Tepanec War (1427). Most of the relatively intact pages of the manuscript are also maps of part of the Valley of Mexico.


Códice de Yanhuitlan. Edición en facsimile y con un estudio preliminar por W. Jimenez Moreno y Slavador Mateos Higuera. México, D.F.: Museo Nacional, 1949. SPE*** F 1391 Y3 C6.
This codex, which is incomplete, treats historical events and economic affairs of Yanhuitlan and Teoposcolula. There are drawings in an acculturated Mixtec style of articles of tribute, bins of maize and beans, portraits of Indians and Spaniards, and the churches of Yanhuitlan and Teoposcolula. Other pages include a drawing of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan and Mixtec place glyphs.


Lienzo de Zacatepec. Códice Martinez Gracida. México, D.F.: Oficina tipografica de la Secretaria de Fomento, 1900. MICFLM PM 4016 Z77 1900A.
Scattered across this lienzo are numerous complex place glyphs with hieroglyphic dates and pictures of Indians with calendrical names, all in traditional Mixtec style. Most of the major glyphs are connected by roads or chevron bands (considered to be a representation of warfare). Several rivers are shown. Included within the lienzo is a rectangular frame on which numerous lesser place glyphs are drawn, probably representing some ancient jurisdiction.

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Links to Related Sites
Classical and Yucatec Mayan Literature
A bibliography of works on classic, colonial and contemporary Maya literature.
A Grammar for Maya Codices
From the Electronic Open University of the Flemish Institute for American Cultures.

GB Online's Mesoamerica
Information on the symbolism, iconography and writing system of ancient Mesoamerica.

Index of Mexican Codexes
From the Fondo de Cultura Economica. Listing, facsimile pages, brief background information.

This site was developed by Eleanor Gossen and is maintained by Kay Shaffer.
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