The Essential Codex Mendoza, Volume 2; Volume 4

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University of California Press, Jan 1, 1997 - History - 416 pages
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At last, this paperback adaptation of The Codex Mendoza places the most comprehensive, most extensively illustrated document of Aztec civilization within reach of a broad audience. Compiled in Mexico City around 1541 under the supervision of Spanish clerics, the codex was intended to inform King Charles V about his newly conquered subjects. The manuscript contains pictorial accounts of Aztec emperors' conquests and tribute paid by the conquered, as well as an ethnographic record of Aztec daily life from cradle to grave. This publication is an unsurpassed source of information about Aztec history, geography, economy, social and political organization, glyphic writing, costumes, textiles, military attire, and indigenous art styles.

The Essential Codex Mendoza combines volumes 2 and 4 of the four-volume edition of The Codex Mendoza published by the University of California Press in 1992. That publication includes a collection of interpretations and appendices (volume 1), page-by-page descriptions of the codex (volume 3), a color facsimile of Codex Mendoza (volume 2), and parallel-image replicas of each pictorial folio with transcriptions and translations of the Spanish commentaries and translations of the Spanish glosses (volume 4). Volumes 2 and 4 thus provide, in detail, the basic pictorial and descriptive information contained in the original codex; these are the "essentials" that make up the paperback edition. With the exception of a few minor emendations, this current book reproduces the pages of these two 1992 volumes, plus sixteen color folios from the facsimile, volume 3.

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This book is great for people who absolutely love Mesoamerican History, and for people who are inquiring about Aztecs specifically. It translates the Codex Mendoza, going into great detail about nearly every single aspect of the life of the Aztecs. If you are not ready to research the Aztecs, or if you are not interested in Aztec history, culture, and daily life at all, this book is not for you. However, even if you have the slightest wonder about the Aztecs, this book is absolutely recommended. Never before has an author been able to delve so deep into the mysterious Aztec culture, and put it in a way that the common reader can understand. Everything you could possibly want to know about Aztec culture and daily life is detailed here. The book translates the Codex Mendoza in a way no other can. Whether you are new to Mesoamerican history or a praised Aztec archaeologist, this book is an absolute must read.
- Damen Grzelachowski


The Founding of Tenochtitlan 1325
The Tribute Year to Year
The Province of Petlacalco
The Province of Tlachco
The Province of Cihuatlan
The Province of Tlalcoçauhtitlan
The Province of Chalco
The Province of Tlachquiavco
The Province of Tlapacoyan
The Daily Life Year to Year
Place Names Index
Subject Index
Color Folios 269
PARALLEL IMAGE REPLICAS of Codex Mendozas Pictorial Folios with

The Province of Quauhtochco

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About the author (1997)

Frances F. Berdan is Chair and Professor of Anthropology at California State University, San Bernardino. Her books include The Aztecs of Central Mexico (1982) and The Tlaxcalan Actas (with James Lockhart & Arthur J. O. Anderson, 1986). Patricia Rieff Anawalt is Director of the Center for the Study of Regional Dress, Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Indian Clothing Before Cort s (1981).

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