Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus 1

Cod. Vindob. mex. 1 - Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)

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Codiology

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65 pages / 26.5 x 22.0 cm (total length: 13.5 metres)

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Short description

Pre-Columbian manuscripts are among the rarest hand-written documents to exist today, and some of the most coveted for their historic as well as artistic value. They offer a glimpse into a world now forever lost, whose civilizations were devastated by disease and who culture was lost in the frenzy of conquest and Christianization. Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus 1 is one of the most beautiful and most highly detailed Mixtec manuscripts, which not only depicts mythological events but moreover, an entire historical background of information.

Facsimile editions available

Description

A Gorgeous Mexican Manuscript

One of the most beautiful and most highly detailed Mixtec manuscripts with an undisputed historical documentation has been in the possession of the Austrian National Library in Vienna (formerly k.k. Hofmuseum) since the year 1677: Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus 1. Contained on 52 folding pages are colorful pictograms which depict not only mythological events but moreover an entire historical background of information. In the formal structure as well as in stylistic and content aspects, the front and back section of the manuscript clearly differ from one another. The front section contains boustrophedonic vertical columns strung together pictograms which are precisely designed. With regard to content , genealogical and mythological themes (i.e. the birth of the Gods in mythological antiquity) are presented. The content of the horizontally structured back section of the manuscript deals with the description of historical facts (family tree of the Mixtecan dynasty with a dated citation). Altogether, it offers a fascinating look into the religious beliefs, historical circumstances, ritual conventions, and usages of an ancient Indian culture.

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