Aztec Codices - Venice High School

Aztec Codices
Picture Writing
We have found out a great deal about the Aztecs
from studying painted manuscripts called codices.
They were made up of a single sheet of paper, made
from the bark of the wild fig tree or from animal
parchment. The images could be painted on flat
sheets which could be rolled up or on long strips
which were folded like a screen.
The Aztecs wrote in pictures. There were rules for
drawing people. The proportions were not normal. The
head and feet were shown from the side, while the
body was shown from the front.
Codex Borbonicus
A scene from the Codex Borbonicus, which shows the gods
Tlachitonátiuh and Xolotl, while on the right are the 8 to 13
days of the sixteenth series of the ritual series.
An excerpt from a scene depicting the 11th "week" of 13 days
and nights ruled by the deity Patecatl, who was associated with
pulque, a fermented maguey beverage.
Florentine Codex
Page I, F, 6r. Human
Page I, S, F.
god of the pochtecas
Page III, F, 3v
Page III, F, 3v, depicts
the birth
of Huitzilopochtli
Page VIII, F, 4f.
Moctezuma II
Page III, F, 34r.
Page IX, S, F.
Page IX, F, 5v
Page IX, F, 6r. Pochtecas
Page IX, F, 18v
Page X, F, 15r. Warfare
Page X, F, 25v.
Codex Mendoza
Spies and warriors
Founding Tenochtitlan
Raising children within the family
Priest performing ritual
Codex Borbonicus was written by the
Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish
Codex Florentino and Codex Mendoza were
written by the Aztecs after the arrival of the
Spanish explorers. Looking carefully at
them, you will notice commentary written in
Spanish by the Spanish priest who came on
the expedition.