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Codex Moctezuma

Codex Moctezuma

Codex Moctezuma Mexica (Aztec), late 16th - early 17th century, amate bark paper in two fragments, 250 cms x 20 cms. Biblioteca Nacional de Antropolgía e Historia, Mexico City.

The origins of this document, which is virtually unpublished, are unknown. It is a pictographic codex in the form of a ‘tira’ (strip), accompanied by an extensive commentary, written in Nahuatl, which is difficult to read on account of its poor stage of conservation. From top to bottom it records annual indigenous dates from 1419 to 1523, mostly describing events associated with the history of Tenochtitlan...
The most outstanding image in this codex* - and the one that gives it its name - depicts the public appearance of Moctezuma II in May 1520 to assuage the rage of his people after the outrges committed by the conquistadors... He had been taken prisoner and is clearly acting under duress, as is evident from the rope round his neck, which is held at the other end by a Spanish soldier...


* Learn more and see this image in detail by following the link below...

From Moctezuma Aztec Ruler edited by Colin McEwan and Leonardo López Luján, British Museum Press, 2009, p. 251

Photo by Ian Mursell, Mexicolore

‘The death of Moctezuma’