Codex Cospi

Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna (Bologna, Italy)

Alternate Titles:

Codex Bologna

Facsimile edition
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Alternate Titles

Codex Bologna

Extent / Format

20 pages / N/A


20 leaves painted on both sides

Short description

The Codex Cospi is a 17th century manuscript that is part of the so-called Codex-Borgia-Group. Its artistic style has been influenced by that of the Nochistlan and the Cholula Tlaxcala and has been invaluable for preserving certain ancient rites, even bearing a calendar for calculating the holidays of the festive year.

Facsimile editions available


The Codex Cospi is a brilliantly illuminated manuscript and belongs to one of the five so-called Codex-Borgia-Group. The manuscript is well preserved, painted on rawhide and protected by two covers from the 17th century, which probably replaced former wood covers. The artistic style of the Codex Cospi bears relation not only to the painted ceramics of the Nochistlan in the Mixteca Alta, but also to the style of the Cholula Tlaxcala. The evaluation of style is challenged by an archaeological problem which through excavations to date has been only partially solved. The front section of the Codex Cospi consists of three parts in which calendar arrangements in tabular form are connected by sequences of pictures. The original empty pages of the back section were at a later date inscribed by hand. Such rituals have been preserved to the present through different acculturative aspects. The selection of days for the rituals is no longer made according to the old calendar but rather according to the different Christian holy days.

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