The Codex Mendoza

The Codex Mendoza


The manuscript is a pictorial book made for Antonio de Mendoza, the first viceroy of New Spain. Mendoza most likely received this manuscript in the early 1540s. This is one page out of 71 that depict the history of the Aztec people. Split into three sections, the first covers the history of the Aztecs. The second section is a pictorial representation of the tributes paid by all the towns in the empire to the last emperor Montezuma II. The third section depicts Aztec lifestyles from birth to death, for males and females. A manuscript made of European paper and format in the Mexican region in the early 1540s. The artwork is done by an unknown Mexican painter. This piece is historically important because it represents an effort by the Spanish to understand the culture of the Aztecs. The Aztec culture remained a major influence over the Native cultures.


early 1540s. The ‘Codex Mendoza’, pt. I., Folio #: fol. 016r. Manuscript. Place: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford,

Current Location: Manuscripts and Early Printed Books (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)

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