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 traditionsa 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.
This introduction to the Florentine Codex contains the original prologues to each volume written by Bernadino de Sahagun, which detail his intentions and personal experiences in compiling the Codex. Authors Dibble and Anderson dig into Sahagun’s past in “Sahagun’s Historia” and “Sahagun: Career and Character,” and discuss dating the Codex in “The Watermarks in the Florentine Codex.” This volume also includes indices of subject matter, persons and deities, and places for all twelve books.