One of the great documents of colonial Mexico, the Codex Chimalpopoca chronicles the rise of Aztec civilization and preserves the mythology on which it was based. Its two complementary texts, Annals of Cuauhtitlan and Legend of the Suns, record the pre-Cortésian history of the Valley of Mexico together with firsthand versions of that region's myths.
Of particular interest are the stories of the hero-god Quetzalcoatl, for which the Chimalpopoca is the premier source. John Bierhorst's work is the first major scholarship on the Codex Chimalpopoca in more than forty years. His is the first edition in English and the first in any language to include the complete text of the Legend of the Suns. The precise, readable translation not only contributes to the study of Aztec history and literature but also makes the codex an indispensable reference for Aztec cultural topics, including land tenure, statecraft, the role of women, the tribute system, warfare, and human sacrifice.