NAHUATL BIBLE WITH AZTEC LABOUR TRIBUTE

MS 1692
MS Short Title NAHUATL BIBLE WITH AZTEC LABOUR TRIBUTE
Text
  1. BIBLE: ACTS 9:1 - 19; 22:5 - 16; 26:12 - 18, WITH ADDED RHETORIC AND DETAILS, INCLUDING MANY ELEMENTS DRAWN FROM THE PRE-CORTEZIAN CULTURE OF THE AZTECS
  2. CENSUS OR LEGAL DOCUMENT OF LABOUR TRIBUTE, INCLUDING NAHUATL NAME GLYPHS INVOKING THE SIGNS FROM THE SET OF 20, USED TO NAME BIRTHDAYS IN THE OLD AZTEC CALENDAR: EARTHQUAKE, REED, SNAKE, STONE AND SCORPION
Description MS in Nahuatl on paper (text 1) and figtree bark paper (amatl) (text 2), Mexico, ca. 1525-1550, 1+8 ff. (complete), 16x12 cm, single column, (12x8 cm), 15-19 lines in a Hispano-Aztec rounded book script by 3 probably Aztec scribes, 9 decorated initials (text 1), and Aztec hieroglyphs (text 2), 64 Indian heads, arranged in 8 lines, drawn in black, some coloured in blue-green and pink (text 2).
Binding Mexico, ca. 1525-1550, limp vellum cover made of 2 sheets, one using an old choirbook leaf, 6 sewing stations, title in red ink: "Convezzion de Sanct Pablo", upper pastedown of Aztec figtree bark paper (amatl).
Provenance 1. Tom Schwarz, California (-1993); 2. Sam Fogg, London. Deaccession May 2010.
Commentary The earliest surviving MS of the Scriptures in the Americas. This is a primary document of the introduction of Christianity into the New World. The destruction of the pre-Columbian civilisation of Mexico was so thorough, and the burning of books so systematic, that only about 20 wholly pre-Cortezian Aztec MSS have survived. From the immediate post-contact period there are only around 200 MSS extant. The present MS has been previously unrecorded.
Exhibited "The Story of Time", Queen's House at the National Maritime Museum and The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Dec. 1999 - Sept. 2000.
Place of origin Mexico
Dates ca 1525 - 1550 AD

Location