Codex Cospi

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A page from the codex

The Codex Cospi (or Codex Bologna) is a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican pictorial manuscript, included in the Borgia Group. It is currently located in the library of the University of Bologna.

Like the Codex Borgia, the Codex Cospi is believed to derive from the Puebla-Tlaxcala region. If the Codex Borgia is specifically from the Tehuacan valley (in Puebla), then the Codex Cospi may, in contrast, be from Tlaxcallan. As Eduard Seler remarked,[1] the depictions in the Codex Cospi resemble those in "comic books" : this may characterize the political situation (regarded as farcical and comical) wherein Tlaxcallan, although completely encircled by the Aztec empire, was deliberately not incorporated into it in order to exemplify the magnanimity of the Aztec rulers.

The Codex Cospi has many close specific resemblances in content to Codex Borgia, most notably both codices' beginning with a sequence of 104 scenes (Cospi, pp. 1–8 = Borgia, pp. 1–8). Another resemblance is the Codex Cospi god having "two knives as a head":[2] this is equivalent to double-knife-headed god central to Codex Borgia, p. 32.


  1. ^ Aguilera, 1990, p.51a
  2. ^ Aguilera, 1990, p.54b; depicted ibid., p.52


Aguilera, Carmen (1990). "A New Approach to the Codex Cospi". In Mary H. Preuss (ed.). LAIL Speaks! : Selected Papers from the VII International Symposium on Latin American Indian Literatures. Labyrinthos. pp. 51–56. 
Anders, Ferdinand; Jansen, Maarten; van der Loo, Peter Lodewijk (1994). Calendario de pronóstico y ofrendas: Libro explicativo del llamado Códice Cospi (in Spanish). Graz and Mexico City: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt and Fondo de Cultura Económica. ISBN 968-16-4481-6. OCLC 60852716. 
Loo, Peter Lodewijk van der (1994). "Voicing the Painted Image: A Suggestion for Reading the Reverse of the Codex Cospi". In Elizabeth Hill Boone and Walter D. Mignolo. Writing Without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes. Durham and London: Duke University Press. pp. 77–86. ISBN 0-8223-1377-4. OCLC 28149172. 
Loo, Peter Lodewijk van der (2001). "Cospi, Codex". In Davíd Carrasco. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. vol. 1, pp. 274–275. ISBN 0-19-510815-9. OCLC 44019111. 
Nowotny, Karl Anton (1968). Codex Cospi: Calendario Messicano 4093, Biblioteca Universitaria Bologna (in German). Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt. OCLC 480475. 

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