Codex Ixtlilxochitl

Ms. Mex. 65-71 - Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France)

Alternate Titles:

Codex of Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl, Codex des Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl

Facsimile edition
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Alternate Titles

Codex of Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl
Codex des Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl

Extent / Format

50 pages / 34.0 x 24.5 cm

End of the 16th century or begin of the 17th century

Short description

Documents from the early days of Spanish colonization not only provide valuable information about cultures that were quickly going extinct, but also about the persepctive of the conquerors. The Codex Ixtlilxochitl is just such a manuscript and details the rituals and ceremonies held atop the massive pyramids of the Aztecs. The 17th century manuscript is written on European paper and features 29 illustrations of the festivals and rituals of ancient Mexico.

Facsimile editions available


The Codex Ixtlilxochitl is an early 17th century fragment detailing, among other subjects, a calendar of the annual festivals and rituals celebrated at the Aztec teocalli ("pyramids") during the Mexican calendar year. Each of the 18 months is represented by a god or an historical character. Written in Spanish, the Codex Ixtlilxochitl has 50 pages comprising 27 separate sheets of European paper with 29 illustrations. It was derived from the same source as the Codex Magliabechiano. It was named after Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl (between 1568 & 1578 – c. 1650), the author of Obras Historicas and a member of the ruling family of Texcoco, and is held in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The manuscript consists of four different sections, all written out and illustrated on European paper, of which at least the first section is fragmentary. Sections 1–3 have been reproduced in the original colors, section 4 is in b/w.

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