Tizoc, the Seventh Aztec King (Reigned 1481–86)


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, shows Tizoc, holding a spear or scepter, standing on a reed mat and next to a basket-work throne. Above him is a leg pierced by an arrow. Tizoc (reigned 1481–86), grandson of Moctezuma I (also seen as Montezuma I) and brother to Axayácatl, was a weak ruler who probably was poisoned by his own nobles.

Last updated: October 26, 2012