Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain

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Author: Sahagún, Bernardino de (1499–1590) from the library of Professor George M Foster

Year: 1950-69

Publisher: University of Utah Press

Place: Salt Lake City


12 volumes in 11. Volume 1: The Gods 46 pages with 46 illustrations, appendix and Temporary Foreword laid in (the original printing limited to 1000 copies did not have the title to the spine; Volume 2: The Ceremonies 216 pages with 66 illustrations, appendix and Temporary Foreword laid in; Volume 3: The Origin of the Gods 68 pages with 19 illustrations and appendix; Volume 4 and 5 (bound together): The Soothsayers and the Omens 196 pages with 113 illustrations, appendices and Temporary Foreword laid in; Volume 6: Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy 260 pages with 52 illustrations; Volume 7: The Sun, Moon, and Stars, and the Binding of the Years 81 pages with 22 illustrations and appendix; Volume 8: Kings and Lords 89 pages with 100 illustrations and appendices; Volume 9: The Merchants 97 pages with 110 illustrations; Volume 10: The People 197 pages with 197 illustrations; Volume 11: The Earthly Things 297 pages with 963 illustrations and index; Volume 12: The Conquest of Mexico 122 pages with map, 160 illustrations and Temporary Foreword laid in. Quarto (11 1/4" x 9 1/4") issued in reddish brown cloth with brown lettering to spine and front covers. Translated from the Nahuatl with notes and illustrations by Charles E Dibble and Arthur J O Anderson. Professor George M Foster's personal copy. Monographs of the School of American Research and the Museum of New Mexico. Limited to 1000 copies. All issues First editions.

The Florentine Codex is the name given to 12 books created under the supervision of Bernardino de Sahagún between approximately 1540 and 1585. It is a copy of original source materials which are now lost, perhaps destroyed by the Spanish authorities who confiscated Sahagún's manuscripts. The original source materials were records of conversations and interviews with indigenous sources in Tlatelolco, Texcoco, and Tenochtitlan.The Florentine Codex is primarily a Nahuatl language text, written by trilingual Nahuatl, Spanish and Latin Aztec students of Sahagún. This Nahuatl text is written on the right side of the codex. Sections of this text were translated into Spanish, and written in the left column. However, many sections were not translated and some only summarized in their translation. In their place, the Florentine Codex has roughly 1,800 illustrations done by Aztec tlacuilos using European techniques. Some of the Spanish translation was censored or otherwise rewritten by Sahagún.Perhaps more than any other source, the Florentine Codex has been the major source of Aztec life in the years before the Spanish conquest even though a complete copy of the Florentine Codex, with all illustrations, was not published until 1979. Before then, only the censored and rewritten Spanish translation had been available. There is also a Spanish-only version of Sahagún's document. This copy was taken to Europe in 1580 by Rodrigo de Sequera, and is also referred to as the Sequera manuscript.The Spanish text was the basis for the Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España (General History of the Things of New Spain) which is kept at the Laurentian Library in Florence.The Codex Matritense is a copy and compilation from the same sources as the Florentine Codex, corresponding to the material recompiled in Tlatelolco and Texcoco in Nahuatl. It has five books, and includes 175 illustrations. It is a very heavily censored translation of the Florentine Codex by Sahagún himself, done to appeal to the Spanish authorities. The two codices are housed in the Library of the Royal Palace and the Royal History Museum, in Madrid. Other names include the Codices Matritense and the Madrid Codex (not to be confused with the Maya Madrid Codex. A short version of this document, Breve compendio de los soles idolátricos que los indios desta Nueva España usaban en tiempos de su infidelidad ("Short Compendium of the Idolatry Used by the New Spain Indians during their Unfaithfulness"), was sent by Sahagún to Pope Pius V.

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.


Foster's stamp to tiles of all copies, volume 11 with some of Foster's underlining, a touch of rubbing to extremities with some corners bumped else a very good to fine set issued without jackets.


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