Two of the world’s leading scholars of the Aztec language and culture have translated Sahagún’s monumental and encyclopedic study of native life in Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. This immense undertaking is the first complete translation into any language of Sahagún’s Nahuatl text, and represents one of the most distinguished contributions in the fields of anthropology, ethnography, and linguistics.
Written between 1540 and 1585, the Florentine Codex (so named because the manuscript has been part of the Laurentian Library’s collections since at least 1791) is the most authoritative statement we have of the Aztecs’ lifeways and traditions—a rich and intimate yet panoramic view of a doomed people.
The Florentine Codex is divided by subject area into twelve books and includes over 2,000 illustrations drawn by Nahua artists in the sixteenth century.
Book Eight lists the rulers of Tenochtitlan from the first, Acamapichtli, to the sixteenth, Don Cristobal Cecepatic. It also documents the rulers of the ancient Aztec cities of Tlatillco, Texcoco, and Uexotla. Several chapters are devoted to describing the various articles of clothing that the rulers and noblemen wore and the foods they ate for differing ceremonies and activities.