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The pleasures of old age (Codex Mendoza)

3 score and 10 - cheers!

‘According to the laws and customs of the lords of Mexico, they forbade drunkenness except to those of seventy years of age, man or woman, if such old persons had children and grandchildren. These figures had licence and freedom to use it, as the figures show...’ (Codex Mendoza)

‘3 score & 10’
‘3 score & 10’

‘Only after the age of 70, and only if a couple had successfully raised a family, could old people indulge themselves in a drink. Here the old man and his wife are shown being spoken to and waited on by grandchildren. Note that the young girls still wear their hair long, in the style of unmarried maidens. The grandfather has a wreath about his head and holds a large flower bouquet... He appears to be singing loudly, judging by the curve and size of his speech glyph.’ (Info from ‘The Essential Codex Mendoza’ by Frances F. Berdan and Patricia Rieff Anawalt, p. 236)

The turquoise disks were glyphs for years, the banners represented the number 20, and the dots single numbers. Hence, 3 x 20 years + 10 = 70. Cheers!

See what they got drunk on...!

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