123 results in English
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly called the Florentine Codex, the manuscript came into the possession of the Medici no later than 1588 and is now in the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence. Sahagún began conducting research into indigenous ...
The Oztoticpac Lands Map
Dated at approximately 1540, this map, a Mexican pictorial document with writing in Spanish and Nahuatl, relates to a lawsuit concerning the estate of Don Carlos Ometochtli Chichimecatecotl, an Aztec lord and one of the many sons of Nezahualpilli, ruler of Texcoco. Don Carlos was charged with heresy and publicly executed by the Spanish authorities on November 30, 1539. Litigation began on December 31, 1540, when a man identified as Pedro de Vergara petitioned the Inquisition to return to him certain fruit trees taken from the property of Don Carlos ...
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General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Introduction, Indices, and Book I: The Gods
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Sahagún followed the typology of earlier medieval works in organizing his research into “the divine, human, and ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book II: The Ceremonies
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book II deals with the feasts and sacrifices to the gods, made in accordance with the 20-day ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book III: The Origin of the Gods
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book III deals with the origin of the gods, in particular Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl, and includes appendices ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book IV: The Art of Divination
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book IV deals with the art of divination, or judicial astrology as practiced by the Aztecs, and ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book V: Omens and Superstitions
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book V deals with omens, auguries, and superstitions. As in Book IV, on divination, Sahagún cites ancient ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book VI: Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book VI is concerned with rhetoric and moral philosophy. It contains texts that Sahagún collected around 1547 ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book VII: The Sun, Moon, and Stars, and the Binding of the Years
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book VII is about the sun, the moon, and the stars. It contains an account of the ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book VIII: Kings and Lords
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book VIII is concerned with kings and nobles, forms of government, elections of rulers, and the customs ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book IX: The Merchants
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book IX is about merchants, officials responsible for gold and precious stones, and feather working. The pochteca ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book X: The People, Their Virtues and Vices, and Other Nations
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book X is about Aztec society and covers such subjects as the virtues and vices of the ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book XI: Natural Things
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book XI, the longest in the codex, is a treatise on natural history. Following the traditional division ...
General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book XII: The Conquest of Mexico
Historia general de las cosas de nueva España (General history of the things of New Spain) is an encyclopedic work about the people and culture of central Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590), a Franciscan missionary who arrived in Mexico in 1529, eight years after completion of the Spanish conquest by Hernan Cortés. Commonly referred to as the Florentine Codex, the manuscript consists of 12 books devoted to different topics. Book XII recounts the Spanish conquest of Mexico, which took place between 1519, when Cortés landed on ...
View of Saint Thomas in America with the Citadel Fort Christian
This colored drawing by an anonymous artist is a view of the Danish settlement on the island of Saint Thomas (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands) as it appeared in the 18th century. The settlement was established in 1672 by the Danish West India Company. Denmark claimed the nearby island of Saint John in 1683 and purchased the island of Saint Croix from France in 1733. The three islands became a Danish royal colony in 1754. The colony prospered as the import of slaves made possible a profitable plantation economy, and ...
The Dresden Codex
Only four Mayan manuscripts still exist worldwide, of which the oldest and best preserved is the Dresden Codex, held in the collections of the Saxon State and University Library. The manuscript was purchased for the Dresden court library in 1739 in Vienna, as a “Mexican book.” In 1853 it was identified as a Mayan manuscript. Consisting of 39 leaves, inscribed on both sides, and approximately 358 centimeters long, the manuscript originally was folded in an accordion-like manner. The chalk-coated writing material, amatl, is a paper-like matter produced from fig-tree fiber ...
Maps of Nicaragua, North and Central America: Population and Square Miles of Nicaragua, United States, Mexico, British and Central America, with Routes and Distances; Portraits of General Walker, Colonel Kinney, Parker H. French, and Views of the Battle of New-Orleans and Bunker Hill
This map reflects the tangled history of relations between the United States and Central America. In 1855-57, the American adventurer William Walker established himself as the dictator of Nicaragua with the help of disaffected Central Americans and a motley assortment of fellow adventurers from the United States. Walker had in mind the formation of a Central American federation with himself as leader. As a Southerner, he also was suspected of wanting to extend American slavery to new territories outside the United States. France and Britain, which had interests in Central ...
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The History of the Caribby-Islands
This early study of the Caribbean is an English translation of a French work published anonymously in Rotterdam in 1658 under the title Histoire naturelle et morale des iles Antilles de l'Amerique (Natural and moral history of the Antilles). The original author was Charles de Rochefort (1605-83), who identified himself in subsequent editions of the book. Not much is known about de Rochefort. The available evidence suggests he was a Protestant pastor sent to be a minister or chaplain to French-speaking Protestants in the Caribbean. He based his work ...
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Huexotzinco Codex, 1531
The Huexotzinco Codex is an eight-sheet document on amatl, a pre-European paper made in Mesoamerica. It is part of the testimony in a legal case against representatives of the colonial government in Mexico, ten years after the Spanish conquest in 1521. Huexotzinco is a town southeast of Mexico City, in the state of Puebla. In 1521, the Nahua Indian people of the town were the allies of the Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortés, and together they confronted their enemies to overcome Moctezuma, leader of the Aztec Empire. After the conquest, the ...
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Tortuguero Box
This object, called the Tortuguero box because its inscriptions are comparable to those found in Tortuguero, Mexico, is a diminutive offering box, one of very few surviving Mayan personal objects made of wood. The full-length portrait of a Mayan lord on the cover of the box and the 44 hieroglyphic signs tell a story that yields important insights into the Mayan social system. The narrative begins with the image of the box’s owner, Aj K'ax B'ahlam, the holder of an important position under the patronage of the ...
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Cycloramic Birds-Eye Views of Belize, British Honduras
This panoramic photograph shows Belize City as it appeared around 1914. “Panoramic” photographs employ a variety of techniques to create a wide angle of view. This panoramic view is comprised of eight photographs spliced together to provide a broader image than would be practical with a single photograph. Belize was the main city and major port of the crown colony of British Honduras. The country changed its name to Belize in 1973 and became fully independent from Britain in 1981.
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Codex Totomixtlahuaca
This indigenous pictographic document is a colonial-era map from the Mixtecan, Tlapaneca, and Nahua cultural area in the present-day state of Guerrero, Mexico. It refers, principally, to the settlement called Totomixtlahuacan and states that the document was written in 1584. It is an indigenous colonial map that makes abundant use of Mesoamerican pictorial conventions and includes many texts written in Nahuatl, the most widespread Mesoamerican language. The map describes a geographical area, framed by various identified towns and crossed by two rivers. Different individuals, probably noble landowners, are mentioned in ...
Native Drummers
This photograph from Haiti shows two drummers playing on elaborately-decorated drums. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for ...
Creation of the Fifth Sun Festival
The creation of the fifth sun is an important element in Aztec mythology about the origins of the world. This photograph from Mexico of a festival celebrating the creation of the fifth sun shows musicians in costume wearing distinctive headdresses. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established ...
Mazatlán Carnival
This photograph of a carnival parade in Mexico shows elaborately decorated floats on a street crowded with onlookers. The Coca Cola logo is displayed on the first float; the Coca Cola bottle is the subject of the float behind it. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established ...
Indian Style Ferris Wheel
This photograph from Mexico shows a type of indigenous Ferris wheel: there are no seats, and the bodies of the individuals are held against the length of the poles as they revolve around the wheel in the middle. Each individual on the wheel wears a large, circular, decorated headdress that is itself like a wheel. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs ...
Oaxacan Feather Dancer
This photograph from Mexico shows the imposing figure of an Oaxacan dancer in an elaborate costume that features intricate, detailed designs of feathers and beads on the headdress, breastplate, and shield. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western ...
Cart Ride Ocean-Front
This photograph of a woman and her children in Nicaragua is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other’s ...
Women Doing Laundry
This photograph from St. Lucia shows an everyday scene with women and children. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and ...
Aucaner Signal on Apintie
This photograph from Suriname shows a Maroon in a seated position beating an apintie, a drum made out of wood and wild boar skins. Maroon refers to fugitive slaves from the West Indies and the northern part of South America, and their descendants. The Maroon community was especially numerous in Suriname, a former Dutch colony in which many slaves managed to escape to the jungle. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of ...
The Splendid Narrative of Ferdinand Cortes About the New Spain of the Sea and Ocean Transmitted to the Most Sacred and Invincible, Always August Charles Emperor of the Romans, King of the Spaniards in the Year of the Lord 1520: In Which is Contained Many Things Worthy of Knowledge and Admiration About the Excellent Cities of Their Provinces…Above All About the Famous City Temixtitan and Its Diverse Wonders, Which Will Wondrously Please the Reader
Between July 1519 and September 1526, Hernando Cortés (1485-1547), the soldier and adventurer who in 1519-21 conquered for Spain what is now central and southern Mexico, sent five extended letters to Emperor Charles V in which he described his exploits and placed himself and his actions in a favorable light. This book contains the first Latin edition of Cortes’s second letter. In it, Cortés gives an account of his first meeting with the Aztec emperor, Montezuma II. Dated October 30, 1520, the letter was translated from Spanish into Latin ...
Contributed by John Carter Brown Library
Newspaper About the Country that the Spaniards Found in 1521, Called Yucatan
This small tract contains one of the first European descriptions of the Aztec civilization of Mexico and the earliest known European attempt to picture the city of Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City). Most likely published in Augsburg in 1522, the work is a translation into German of an earlier Spanish account of Hernando Cortes’s expedition to Tenochtitlán in 1519-20. The city is pictured rather fancifully as having five towers and five bridges. Another woodcut shows an Aztec religious ceremony involving human sacrifice. Cortés first reached Tenochtitlán in November 1519. He ...
Contributed by John Carter Brown Library
Royal Writ of the Foundation of the City of Tlaxcala
This royal writ or decree, by order of the Emperor Charles V, confers upon the city of Tlaxcala, Mexico, a coat of arms and the title of "Loyal City," in recognition of the services "which the noblemen and towns of the said province have accomplished for us." It was the first of only three such titles given by the emperor to cities in New Spain. This direct recognition by the emperor of the indigenous noblemen of Tlaxcala went on to determine the course of Tlaxcalan history, as the indigenous province ...
Plan for Independence of América Septentrional (Mexico)
Agustin de Iturbide was a Royalist officer in the Mexican War of Independence who fought the insurgent leader Vicente Guerrero. Failing to defeat the insurgency, Iturbide adopted the cause of independence and allied with Guerrero (an event known as the "Embrace of Acatempan"), thereby making it possible to end the war and secure independence from Spain. On February 24, 1821, Iturbide proclaimed the Plan of Iguala (named for a city in the present state of Guerrero, in the south of the country), and with it declared the independence of the ...
Declaration to the World by Agustin de Iturbide or Rather Notes for History
This manuscript, tinged with blood and found between the sash and shirt of Agustín de Iturbide after his execution by firing squad on July 19, 1824, is an emotional defense of Iturbide’s public career. A former Royalist officer who joined the Mexican struggle for independence, Itrubide was crowned emperor of Mexico on May 21, 1822, under the name Agustín I. However, he was unable to achieve peace and abdicated on March 19, 1823, and went into exile. Without knowing that he had been declared a traitor and an outlaw ...
Plan of Ayala
John Womack, historian of the Mexican Revolution, has called the Plan of Ayala the "Sacred Scripture" of the Zapatistas. Written by Emiliano Zapata and Otilio Montaño, and signed on November 25, 1911, the plan was proclaimed in Ayala, Morelos, on November 28 of the same year. It became the blueprint for the Zapatista rebellion after its break with the initiator of the Mexican Revolution, Francisco I. Madero. Besides condemning the "treason" of the more conciliatory Madero, the Plan of Ayala puts forward the demands of the Zapatista agrarian rebellion: restitution ...
Codex of Huamantla
The context in which this codex was created is unknown, but its purpose clearly is to tell the story of the Otomi people of Huamantla. The center of the painting depicts the migration of a group of Otomi from Chiapan, in the present-day state of Mexico, to Huamantla, which is located in present-day Tlaxcala state. The migration, which took place in the Post-Classical period, was undertaken under the protection of the goddess Xochiquétzal and of Otontecuhtli, lord of the Otomi and of fire. The glosses contain the names of the ...
Codex Colombino
This document was created to record the 11th-century military and political feats of the Mixtec Lord Eight-Deer (also known as Tiger Claw) as well as those of another ruler, Four-Wind, along with the religious ceremonies marking these feats. The codex, thought to have been created in the 12th century, was acquired by the National Museum around 1891 and was reproduced in 1892. The life of Eight-Deer, depicted in all pre-Hispanic Mixtec codices known to exist, included his conquests of two important Mixtec domains: Tilantongo and Tututepec. Through this and other ...
Chavero Codex of Huexotzingo
The Chavero Codex concerns economics and taxation. It is written in Latin characters and contains 18 plates of glyphs and numerical counts using the Mesoamerican system of numbers and measurement, with variations that originated in the region of Huexotzingo (in present-day Puebla, Mexico). The codex is a part of the documentation of a judicial proceeding in the royal court, initiated by the community of Huexotzingo against indigenous officials accused of levying unjust and excessive taxes. The officials, responding to a questionnaire, describe the different taxes paid by the 21 districts ...
The Sigüenza Map
This map is a cartographic history of the migration of the Aztec from Aztlán to Tenochtitlan. Created in the pictographic style typical of the central Mexican and Puebla valleys during the Post-Classical period, it is the only map of its kind known to exist. It is thought to date from the 16th century. The map shows the path of the migration, along with the story of the places passed and of the migration itself. Alongside the glyph for each location are symbols representing the amount of time spent in each ...
Tribute Roll
The Matrícula de tributos (Tribute roll) records in pictographic writing the tributes that subject towns paid to Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the center of the triple alliance of Mexico, Tetzcoco, and Tacuba in the period just before the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish. The roll was very likely copied or elaborated on from a pre-Hispanic original circa 1522-30 by order of the conqueror Hernán Cortés, who wanted to learn more about the economic organization of the alliance's empire. Each page of the Matrícula represents one of 16 tributary provinces. The main ...
A Mule in Havana
This photochrome view of a street scene in Havana, taken around 1900 by William Henry Jackson (1843-1942), is one of 15 views of Cuba in the catalog of the Detroit Photographic Company. The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr. and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained the exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This process permitted the ...
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