Codex Vaticanus 3738 (Cod Vat A, Cod Rios) der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

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Year: 1979

Publisher: Akademische Druck and Verlagasanstalt

Place: Graz


[i-viii]+96 pages of the reproduction of the codex. Folio (13 3/4" x 10") bound in quarter brown leather with brown lettering to spine and cover over beige boards. Codices Selecti Volume LXV; Codices E Vaticanis Selecti Volumen XXVI. First edition of the publication.

Codex Rios. Codex Vaticanus A. Codex Vaticanus 3738. Biblioteca Apostoica Vaticana, Rome. Ritual calendarical, historical and ethnographic. Valley of Mexico. c1566-89 on European paper with 101 leaves (48 x 29 cm). Codex Rios and Codex Telleriano-Remensis are currently believed to be copies of a common original, the lost Codex Hutzilopochtli. Codex Rios is believed to have been copied by a non-Indian artist in Italy and its long Italian texts to be based on a commentary by Friar Pedro de los Rios. The date 1566 occurs in the text as a reference to a past event; the paper appears not to have been made until 1569-70. The manuscript has seven major sections: (1) cosmogenic and mythological traditions with some emphasis on the four epochs and including notices about Quetzalcoatl and the Toltecs, (2) a 260-day divinatory almanac, (3) calendrical tables without drawings for the years 1558-1619, (4) an 18-month festival calendar with drawings of the gods of each period, (5) sacrificial and other customs including portraits of Indian types, (6) pictorial annals for the years 1195-62 beginning with the migration from Chicomoztoc and covering later events in the Valley of Mexico, and (7) year glyphs for the years 1556-62 without written or pictorial entries. Most of the codex has a long written commentary in Italian, but only three pages of the historical section are annotated. Details from four pages were published in Cartari (1615). These were obtained by the editor, Pignoria, from Octavio Malipiero and had formerly been owned by Cardinal Amulio, the Vatican librarian. A detail from the fifth page which appears in a later edition (1626) was obtained from Filippo Winghernio. Paso y Troncoso identifies these details as copied form the Codex Rios and not from Codex Telleriano-Remensis or from Codex Huitzilopochtli. Twelve pages were reproduced by Humboldt (1810). The first edition was by Kingsborough (1831-48) with paleography and English translation of the Italian text. Innumerable studies of Mexican Indian religion have commented on the cosmological section of the manuscript, particularly its drawings of the four world eras (Handbook of Middle American Indians volume 14 186-7).


Light soiling, corners gently rubbed else a near fine copy.

SOLD 2017

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