Codex Borgia

Cod. Vat. mess. 1 - Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Alternate Titles:

Borgia-Codex, Códice Borgia

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Borgia-Codex
Códice Borgia

Type
Extent / Format

78 pages / 27.0 x 26.5 cm

Origin
Date
15th century
Style
Genre
Language
Others
Former owners

Cardinal Stefano Borgia

Short description

The surviving manuscripts of Old Mexico describing the culture of the indigenous civilization are some of the most precious illuminated manuscripts in existence due to their rarity, exotic decoration, and value as historical and anthropological sources. The Codex Borgia is completely unique among the group of old preserved Mexican manuscripts due to its description of the great "national" temple rituals. It also includes descriptions of the temple priests, the rites they performed, and the knowledge they possessed.

Facsimile editions available

Description

The Codex Borgia is probably one of the most beautifully preserved indigenous American illuminated manuscripts. The predominant content of the manuscript deals with calendar sooth-saying, as well as the knowledge of time-lapse and yearly time through the temple scholars. Fantastic illustrations of groups of figures and mysterious gods animate the 78 illustrated pages of the manuscript. Additionally, one also finds the most amazing rituals from the grand Aztec empire, which is particularly fascinating because they are rituals of a primarily private and personal character. The Codex Borgia is completely unique among the group of old preserved Mexican manuscripts due to its description of the great "national" temple rituals. The spiritual acts provide witness to the seemingly strange world of old Mexico before its destruction by the Spanish Conquistadors. The wealth of information which guides us through the pages of this splendiferous manuscript is inexhaustible. The great wisdom of the old priest scholars is masterfully depicted. The drawings demonstrate a deeply intimate design as well as the artistic accomplishment of the painter. In completing this old Mexican manuscript, the painter shares an insight into a magnificent and extinct culture.

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