Codex Laud

Ms. Laud Misc. 678 - Bodleian Library (Oxford, United Kingdom)

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Extent / Format

48 pages / 16.5 x 15.5 cm

Former owners

Willian Laud, archbishop of Canterbury

Short description

The Codex Laud is a fantastic testimony to the religion of the ancient Aztecs and depicts their pantheon of gods. It is one of only a handful of such texts and as such is priceless for its cultural-historical and anthropological value.

Facsimile editions available


The Gods of the Aztecs

The Codex Laud is named after its last owner, the archbishop of Canterbury; Willian Laud (died 1645). Undoubtedly, it can be classified as a pre-Columbian manuscript with all the featured gods belonging to the Aztec-Toltec Pantheon. In format, page number, coloring and style, the Codex Laud is similar to 2 other illuminated manuscripts; the Codex Fejervary-Mayer and the Codex Cospi. The only other is the Codex Borgia, however it is twice the size. A connection between these codices and Mixtecan codices should however, not be drawn due to the fact that the gods represented in the aforementioned codices are not Mixtecan.

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