Codex Magliabechiano

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The reverse of folio 11 of the Codex Magliabechiano, showing the day signs Flint (knife), Rain, Flower, and Crocodile.

The Codex Magliabechiano is a pictorial Aztec codex created during the mid-16th century, in the early Spanish colonial period. It is representative of a set of codices known collectively as the Magliabechiano Group. Others in the group include the Codex Tudela and the Codex Ixtlilxochitl.

The Codex Magliabechiano is primarily a religious document. Its 92 pages are almost a glossary of cosmological and religious elements. They depict in turn the 20 day-names of the tonalpohualli the 18 monthly feasts, and the 52-year cycle. They also show various deities, indigenous religious rites, costumes, and cosmological beliefs.


The Codex Magliabechiano is based on an earlier unknown codex, which is assumed to have been the prototype for the Magliabechiano Group. It is named after Antonio Magliabechi, a 17th-century Italian manuscript collector, and is held in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence, Italy.

It was created on European paper, with drawings and Spanish language text on both sides of each page. Some of the images are included below.


SVG renderings

Full pages of icons


Other images


Boone, Elizabeth Hill (1983). The Codex Magliabechiano and the Lost Prototype of the Magliabechiano Group (issued together with reprint of The Book of the Life of the Ancient Mexicans by Zelia Nuttall [1903], part 2 in two-volume set ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04520-3. OCLC 8113016.
Talakh, Viktor; Kupriienko, Sergii (2013) [2013]. Codex Magliabecchiano (russian). Kyiv: Видавець Купрієнко С.А. ISBN 978-617-7085-04-0. Retrieved 4 September 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • Carrasco, David. (2001). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures: The Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Oxford. ISBN 0-19-510815-9.
  • Facsimile: Codex Magliabechiano, Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Middle of the 16th century; Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) Graz 1970. Colour facsimile edition of the manuscript in possession of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. 186 pp., size: 215 x 155 mm. Encased in box with leather spine. Introduction (in German), summaries (in English and Spanish): F. Anders, Vienna, 78 pp., 1 plate; CODICES SELECTI, Vol. XXIII

External links[edit]

Complete color facsimiles of the hand-painted manuscript in the National Central Library in Florence