Huitziláihuitl, the Second Aztec King (Reigned 1395–1417)


The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section, an illustrated history of the Aztecs, forms the main body of the manuscript. The third section contains the Tovar calendar. This illustration, from the second section, depicts Huitziláihuitl, holding a spear or scepter, standing on a reed mat and next to a basket-work throne. Above him is a hummingbird. Huitziláihuitl (or Huitzilihuitl, reigned 1395–1417), whose name is derived from the hummingbird symbol of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli (the god of the sun and war), was the second emperor of the Aztecs. He is dressed in the clothes of the highest priests. The designs on his sandals are associated with the god Quetzalcoatl and with his Toltec ancestors.

Last updated: October 26, 2012