Codex Magliabechiano

Facsimile edition
Our price (like new)
$ 400
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Extent / Format

186 pages / 21.5 x 15.5 cm

Mid 16th century
Former owners

Antonio de Marco Magliabechi (1633–1714)

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 Magliabechiano is jut such a manuscript and is an important source on the ceremonial dress and rituals of the indigenous population of Mexico. It features elaborate illustrations with topics as diverse as coats, gods, and alcoholic drinks.

Facsimile editions available


The Ritual Culture of Ancient Mexico

The Codex Magliabechiano comes to us from the library of Antonio de Marco Magliabechi and is one of a number of post-Columbian Mexican illuminated manuscripts from around the middle of the 16th century. A calendar of religious knowledge is shown in the characteristic broken style of the early colonial age and is painted on European paper. The precious value of this manuscript comes from the inclusion of a detailed Spanish commentary. The patterns of ceremonial coats are illustrated and followed by a depiction of the 20 symbols of days and a calendar cycle of 52 years. Included in this are a series of monthly celebrations. Pulque (an alcoholic drink from the maguey plant) and the gods of the dead, mountains, and rain are all elaborately illustrated; as well as ritual celebrations of the dead and healing of the sick. Finally worth mentioning is the presentation of the four divinities whose costumes formed a part of a Mexican gift to Cortes in 1519.

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