At last, this paperback adaptation of The Codex Mendoza places the most comprehensive, most extensively illustrated document of Aztec civilization within reach of a broad audience. Compiled in Mexico City around 1541 under the supervision of Spanish clerics, the codex was intended to inform King Charles V about his newly conquered subjects. The manuscript contains pictorial accounts of Aztec emperors' conquests and tribute paid by the conquered, as well as an ethnographic record of Aztec daily life from cradle to grave. This publication is an unsurpassed source of information about Aztec history, geography, economy, social and political organization, glyphic writing, costumes, textiles, military attire, and indigenous art styles.
The Essential Codex Mendoza combines volumes 2 and 4 of the four-volume edition of The Codex Mendoza published by the University of California Press in 1992. That publication includes a collection of interpretations and appendices (volume 1), page-by-page descriptions of the codex (volume 3), a color facsimile of Codex Mendoza (volume 2), and parallel-image replicas of each pictorial folio with transcriptions and translations of the Spanish commentaries and translations of the Spanish glosses (volume 4). Volumes 2 and 4 thus provide, in detail, the basic pictorial and descriptive information contained in the original codex; these are the "essentials" that make up the paperback edition. With the exception of a few minor emendations, this current book reproduces the pages of these two 1992 volumes, plus sixteen color folios from the facsimile, volume 3.
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