Talk:Aztec codices

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Concern over quotation[edit]

Why does this article start with a quote that is obviously false. It may arguably be true about the aztecs, but the maya are also mesoamerican people and definitely wrote language see:mayan hieroglyphics. --Maunus 16:04, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I am sure that Dr. Boone was not including the Maya when she speaks of "pre-Columbian Mexico". Later in the paragraph she further qualifies it by talking of "pre-Columbian texts in central Mexico" (my emphasis). Madman 16:26, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
That still doesn't make it a good quote though. We cant expect people to read her whole book to understand what it means. --Maunus 17:20, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
We're being a little picky here. The article is on Aztec codices, and so it stands to reason that the quote is discussing Aztec codices. There is an entire separate article on Maya codices. Dr. Boone is one of the world's pre-eminent authorities on Aztec (Mexican) art, iconography, and codices. To say that she is "obviously false" is presumptuous.
I believe that the sentence you removed is the heart of the quotation: Aztec codices are not meant to convey speech. I will re-insert it and insert "[central]" in this quote to ensure that its meaning is clear. Madman 19:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok. I personally dont see that a quote is needed, and would prefer that we reworded it and stated it in our own words. The quote when qualified with (central)is definitely better though. Also I didnt say that she was false I said the quote was false, which it is when not qualified. I also dont think it is insignaficant and that it stands to reason that she means aztec codices when we cannot specifically see this form the quote. I think quotes should only be used when they express something clearer and better than we can do it ourselves, not just because it is an authority who says so. The claim that aztecs codices were never meant to convey language is also disputable and there is aongoing research on the subject, and it is obvious in the use of syllabic and phonetic glyphs and rebus principles especially in the area of placenames that they did sometimes convey actual language. So the quote even when qualified is not unproblematic either. I will leave it for now but I think I will check up on some sources and further elaborate the problem of linguistic vs. pictorial readings and principles. Maunus 20:16, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I removed the quote, since I think it's a bit weird to say that "These codices ... differ from European codices in that they are largely pictorial", and then show pictures of codices with lines of alphabetic text! The quote is only true of the Aztec pictograms — and even then only partially — which is not the only system of writing used in the codices. --Ptcamn 18:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I concur wholeheartedlyMaunus 18:54, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I qualified the quotation as applying to pre-conquest codices. I continue to think it is important to note that the pre-conquest codices were entirely pictographic. As mentioned above, Dr Boone is one of the pre-eminent authorities on pre-conquest codices. Madman 04:51, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I still tend to think that the claim made by Dr. Boone is too bold - pictographs with phonetic readings clearly do represent speech although not connected speech and sentences. I would support finding another and better quoteMaunus 09:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

This article should be expanded to cover all Aztec codices[edit]

I understand that some of the codices have their own articles. However, it's broken for those codices to be mentioned almost as afterthoughts at the end of this article. This article should provide a one or two paragraph summary of those codices and use the "main article" template to provide links to the main article on them. I would suggest that the codices be mentioned either in order of importance or in chronological order and that the order should be either explicitly stated in the into or obvious from the formatting (e.g. the section titles).

--Richard 16:37, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree with that sketch for the article's improvement, Richard - it's on an increasingly-lengthy list of project things to do, so might be a while yet.
One point re nomenclature I'd like to raise though - the use of "Aztec" in the title could be a little restrictive, depending on how broadly or not we generally want to use that description. Few if any of these (and others which might be mentioned) are purely Aztec (in the sense of Aztec Empire / Mexica), and might more broadly be described as Nahua or central mexican codices. But then, we've the same as-yet unresolved issue concerning our naming standards for Aztec/Nahua/Mexica in general.--cjllw | TALK 07:27, 15 September 2006 (UTC)


Can the article clarify which codices are in folded or accordian-style format & which in bound pages? Is it known if the pre-conquest Aztecs used bound codices with pages at all? Johnbod 03:51, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

To my knowledge, all pre-Conquest codices were accordion-folded. Madman 03:15, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Codex Borgia and Codex Fejérváry-Mayer[edit]

These important codices which alread have pages seem to be missing from the article for some reason. Where should they go?·Maunus· tlahtōlli 20:06, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

If you want to write them up a bit, add sections. Otherwise I think an "Other codices" section with them and the ones in "See also" would be the way to go - just a list would be fine. Johnbod 20:09, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone else think this page be better if it was just a list with links to articles, rather than a section on each codex? As noted above, many codices are missing, and if we did have a paragraph on every individual codex, the article would become very long and cumbersome. --Ptcamn 21:05, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Not really; only 4 of them seem to have their own articles at present. It could certainly do with more general info, plus a proper list of others at the end, & other stuff in "see also". The paras also seem to be not quite in either chronological sequence, or order of importance. Johnbod 21:31, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the present article could quite usefully go into more detail on the background, history, relevance, etc of these codices, perhaps with some summaries of the main ones, and (eventually) separate articles on all of them.
However it's probably a good idea to also have a separate List of Aztec codices or List of Mesoamerican codices, which could usefully tabularise some data as well as provide a navigational list. Depending on what you include or define as "aztec" or "codex" there are probably about six hundred or so surviving codex-style documents which could be listed.
As mentioned before would need also to determine and distinguish between central Mexican documents from differing cultural provenances, a lot of them would probably stretch the understood definition of "Aztec".--cjllw | TALK 00:45, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Johnbod & CJLL. This is a good place to not only write a sentence or two about codices which do not have their own articles, but a good place to describe the overall "background, history, relevance, etc of these codices" (to quote CJLL). Madman 03:18, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the page should be rearranged to reflect better the actual knowledge and research about the different codices and more importantly the different codex groups. But I also think that there definitely should be words here about them as well as links to the articles about them.·Maunus· tlahtōlli 09:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Codices mentioned in the State of Mexico article[edit]

There are a number of Mexican students editing the State of Mexico article in good faith as part of their course work. I am having trouble cleaning up the following sentence in that article:

Examples of these Aztec codices include: Tlacotepec, Xilotepec codex, Tezcoco-Acampan codex.

I can't match these codices against the ones mentioned in this article. Can someone contact the editor who made this edit and work out with him what codices he is referring to?


--Richard 16:21, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Boturini Codex[edit]


I've just loaded in Commons the photos of the Boturini Codex that I took last summer in the Museo Nacional de Antropología.

See commons:Boturini Codex.

I hope it will be useful for you, and that I didn't mix up the order of the pages.

El Comandante (talk) 21:40, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Hey, many thanks El C! Should be quite useful, indeed. Saludos! --cjllw ʘ TALK 04:37, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Burning of codices discussion in lede[edit]

User: deleted the part of the lede that reads,

According to the Madrid Codex, the fourth tlatoani Itzcoatl (ruling from 1427 (or 1428) to 1440) ordered the burning of all historical codices because it was "not wise that all the people should know the paintings".[2] Among other purposes, this allowed the Aztec state to develop a state-sanctioned history and mythos that venerated Huitzilopochtli.

--commenting, "I deleted the part about the Aztecs suggesting their own codices should be burned, because it is not true and currently was not cited by a credible/non-biased source." User talk:

--which is cited to Miguel León-Portilla, who appears to be an authority on the topic. I hope this user will discuss his objections in more detail here. --Pete Tillman (talk) 17:54, 15 April 2012 (UTC)