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Codex Magliabechiano
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Middle of the 16th century

CODICES SELECTI, Vol. XXIII

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This codex comes to us from the library of Antonio de Marco Magliabechi and is one of a number of post-Columbian Mexican illuminated manuscripts from around the middle of the 16th century. A calendar of religious knowledge is shown in the characteristic broken style of the early colonial age and is painted on European paper. The precious value of this manuscript comes from the inclusion of a detailed Spanish commentary.

The pattern of coats worn during ceremony is illustrated and followed by a depiction of the 20 symbols of days and a calendar cycle of 52 years. Included in this are a series of monthly celebrations. In particular pulque (an alcoholic drink from the maguey plant), the dead and mountain and rain Gods are all elaborately illustrated; as well as ritual celebrations of the dead and healing of the sick. Finally worth mentioning is the presentation of the four divinities whose costumes formed a part of a Mexican gift to Cortes in 1519.

   
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