General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Apr 2021/3 Alligator
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Codex Mendoza

Codex Mendoza original on display

Codex Mendoza Mexica (Aztec), c. 1541, European paper, 71 folios, approx. 31 x 21 cms., 17th century binding, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Often referred to as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of ancient Mexican pictorial manuscripts, the Codex Mendoza is one of the best known and most important early colonial codices from Mexico. Taken to England from the hands of the Spanish through piracy, its home is the Bodleian Library in Oxford, where it has lived for four centuries. Painted by a highly skilled tlacuilo (Aztec scribe), it contains annals, a tribute list and a commentary on the daily life of the Mexica people. Heavily annotated with Spanish glosses (notes), the work remains one of the most important sources of information on the Aztecs in the world.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore