The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in Sixteenth-Century Mexico

by Jeanette Favrot Peterson (Editor)

Hardcover, 2019



Call number



University of Texas Press (2019), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages


Honorable Mention, 2021 LASA Mexico Humanities Book Prize, Latin American Studies Association, Mexico Section In the sixteenth century, the Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahag�n and a team of indigenous grammarians, scribes, and painters completed decades of work on an extraordinary encyclopedic project titled General History of the Things of New Spain, known as the Florentine Codex (1575�1577). Now housed in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence and bound in three lavishly illustrated volumes, the codex is a remarkable product of cultural exchange in the early Americas. In this edited volume, experts from multiple disciplines analyze the manuscript�s bilingual texts and more than 2,000 painted images and offer fascinating, new insights on its twelve books. The contributors examine the �three texts� of the codex�the original Nahuatl, its translation into Spanish, and its painted images. Together, these constitute complementary, as well as conflicting, voices of an extended dialogue that occurred in and around Mexico City. The volume chapters address a range of subjects, from Nahua sacred beliefs, moral discourse, and natural history to the Florentine artists� models and the manuscript�s reception in Europe. The Florentine Codex ultimately yields new perspectives on the Nahua world several decades after the fall of the Aztec empire.… (more)

Media reviews

As the essays in this volume demonstrate, there is still much to be done to consider the Florentine Codex as a book whose multiple modes of presentation— Nahuatl text, Spanish text, and images—exist in productive tension, sometimes closely coordinated, and sometimes offering quite different
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kinds of information.
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This book is an important contribution to Sahaguntine studies in its collection of insightful essays by established scholars, including revised versions of some now-classic scholarship. The relatively succinct chapters are well suited for university instruction, for both core curricula and
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specialized courses. It is a beautifully illustrated volume that will appeal to anyone interested in the early modern humanities.
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Original language


Physical description

256 p.; 11 inches


1477318402 / 9781477318409
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