Codex lxtlilxóchitl

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The Codex lxtlilxóchitl is a ritual calendar and an invaluable historical source created around 1550 AD in Mexico City. It details the festivities and ceremonies held in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, based on the Xiuhpohualli system, which consists of 365 days distributed in 18 months of 20 days each, with an additional period of five days at the end of the year.
The Codex lxtlilxóchitl is composed of three fragments of a larger volume, composed of several texts of different origins and independent, belonging to the Tetzcocan Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl (1578-1650) and Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora.

  1. Part One: Composed of 11 folios with explanatory texts in Spanish related to the rites of the 18-month civil calendar, religious ceremonies and gods. This section could be a copy of a document now lost, as it shows parallels with other codices of the time.
  2. Part Two: It contains 6 sheets of European paper with high quality paintings of the rulers of Texcoco, drawings of the Templo Mayor and the god Tlaloc. These visually rich representations provide insights into the culture and religion of the time.
  3. Third: Formed by 10 folios written by Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl, it is a copy of the work of Fray Bernardino de Sahagún and narrates again the 18 twenties of the Nahua year, trying to correlate the native calendar with the European one.

After several transfers and divisions of the collection, the Codex lxtlilxóchitl is finally in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.
The original manuscript collection that Ixtlilxóchitl had assembled passed through various hands, including notable historical figures and collectors, reflecting its importance and value to Mesoamerican history and culture.
Although it existed for centuries, the document was not published until 1971.
The Codex lxtlilxóchitl is more than just a calendar; is a complex and multifaceted testimony to the history, culture, religion and life in pre-Hispanic Mexico. It provides a unique window into an otherwise lost world. Their continuous analysis and comparison with other codices of the time can offer even more knowledge and understanding of a rich and complex civilization. Its preservation and study are fundamental to the understanding of Mexico’s cultural heritage and history.

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