Chimalpopoca, the Third Aztec King (Reigned 1417–27)


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 is an illustrated history of the Aztecs. The third section contains the Tovar calendar, which records a continuous Aztec calendar with months, weeks, days, dominical letters, and church festivals of a Christian 365-day year. This illustration, from the second section, shows Chimalpopoca, holding a spear or scepter, standing on a reed mat and next to a basket-work throne. Above him is a smoking shield. Chimalpopoca (reigned 1417–27), whose name means smoking shield, was the third emperor of the Aztecs. He is depicted here dressed in the clothes of the highest priests.

Last updated: October 26, 2012