Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Versión en Español

"The Codex Florentine"

This edition of the Codex Florentine tries to transmit the manuscript on its original form (Antique Spanish-NahuatI).

Libros Mas Cultura and Editorial Aldus present to you this co-edition in four volumes, as in the original version, luxuriously bound in leather, as well as an introductory research written by Dr. Miguel Leon-Portilla, all in a cedar box with wrought iron finishing touches.

The old manuscript is called codex, from the latin word "codex".

When the Spaniards first set foot on Mexican land, there was no alphabet. People who compiled history, medicine, taxes, calendars, etc.. were called "tlacuilos" (the one who speaks by painting). A new form of communicating these subjects by the conquerors was to include in these their manuscripts.

There were many colonial codexes such as the Codex Mendocine which was a tax codex, the Badian, which was medical, or the Duran which was historic, but no one as complete, as it encompasses all forms of subjects, or as complex as this Codex Florentine.

At the present time it is known with this name because it is kept in the Medicean-Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy. Its original name is General History of Things in New Spain and its creator is the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagun (1499-1590), considered one of the chroniclers who contributed to the knowledge of the cultures that the Spaniards found when they arrived in New Spain.

Friar Bernardino de Sahagun accomplishes his endeavor with trilingual students, old disciples of him, among which are Antonio Valeriano. Alonso Vejarano, Martin Jacobita, and Pedro de San Buenaventura. That is why there are differences in calligraphy, inking, and diverse strokes and tones when color was applied on the pictograms.

About the work and as special characteristics, we observe the arrangement in symmetrical boxes in which appear, seen from the front on the left side, the text in Spanish, and on the right, in Nahuatl. Each page or folio has as cornice or explaining folio at the left, (or verso), the corresponding book and the general title, and on the right (or recto), the title of the part and the folio, taking care that these texts, in capitals, correspond to the columns, and only the folio is outside the composition box.

*VOLUME I:
FIRST BOOK. Deals with gods worshiped by the natives of this land, which is New Spain.
SECOND BOOK. Deals with holidays and sacrifices with which these natives honored their gods in times of infidelity.
THIRD BOOK. About the creation of the gods.
FORTH BOOK. About Indian judiciary astrology or omens and fortune-telling arts.
FIFTH BOOK. Deals with foretelling these natives made from birds, animals, and bugs in order to foretell the future.

*VOLUME II:
SIXTH BOOK. About prayers to their gods, rhetoric, moral philosophy, and theology in the same context.

*VOLUME III:
SEVENTH BOOK. Deals with the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and the jubilee year.
EIGHT BOOK. About kings and lords, and the way they held their elections and governed their reigns.
NINTH BOOK. About merchants, and officials for gold, precious stones and feathers.
TENTH BOOK. About general history: it explains vices and virtues, spiritual as well as bodily, of all manner of persons.

*VOLUME IV:
ELEVENTH BOOK. About properties of animals, birds, fish, trees, herbs, flowers, metals, and stones, and about colors.
TWELVETH BOOK. About the conquest of New Spain, which is Mexico City.

Dr. Miguel Leon-Portilla tells us in his introductory research that Fray Bernardino interviewed different old wise natives, who agreed to inform him about their customs and history by means of paintings or codexes. As time went by, his interest was not only attacking idolatry about what was considered pagan among the natives, but directly and by itself by the native culture.

Wishing to transmit to you the spirit with which Bernardino compiled his document, we leave in your hands this piece.

Presentation and introductory research by Dr. Miguel Leon-Portilla.
Reproduction authorized by INAH number 401-3-6553.
More than 4,000 pages in four volumes bound in leather in a beautiful
cedar box with wrought iron finishing touches.
Total weigh of each copy : 21.300 kg
Printed on Galgo Verjurado Tiza cotton paper

Certified printing by Public Notary.
500 copies to your disposition.
ISBN: 970-714-019-4.
We deliver anywhere in the world.