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Aztec and Maya Law


Primary Sources of Aztec and Maya Law and History

Alvarado, Pedro de. An Account of the Conquest of Guatemala in 1524. Translated by Sidley J. Mackie. Boston: Milford House, 1972.

Anders, Ferdinand et al., eds. Codex Matrícula de Tributos (Codex Moctezuma). Graz, Austria, and México: Akademische Druck und Verlagsantalt/Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997.

Berdan, Frances F., and Patricia Reiff Anawalt, eds. The Codex Mendoza. 4 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

"Highly important pictorial manuscript prepared (ca. 1541) by Indian artist for Viceroy Mendoza was deposited in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Consists of 71 folios depicting Aztec conquests, tribute lists, and ethnographic data. Impeccable scholarship and excellent drawings characterize this luxurious edition of a primary source for the study of prehispanic Central Mexico." -- HLAS. This book additionally includes several depictions of Aztec courts and crimes. The editors have also published a one-volume abridgment, The Essential Codex Mendoza, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

Boone, Elizabeth Hill, ed. Painted Books and Indigenous Knowledge in Mesoamerica: Manuscript Studies in Honor of Mary Elizabeth Smith. New Orleans: Middle American Research Institute, 2005.

This book includes an analysis of various Aztec and Mayan codices, including the Madrid and Dresden Codices.

Boone, Elizabeth Hill. Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.

"[Boone] takes the reader through dozens of central Mexican and Oaxacan manuscripts... At the end, the reader not only knows what is in any given manuscript, according to Boone's reading, but also how to find one's own way through a manuscript." -- Hispanic American Historical Review

Bricker, Victoria, and Gabrielle Vail, eds. Papers on the Madrid Codex. New Orleans: Middle American Research Institute, 1997.

Cervantes de Salazar, Francisco. Crónica de la Nueva España (1558). Madrid: Ediciones Atlas, 1983.

Cogolludo, Diego López. Historía de Yucatán. Madrid: 1688.

Cortés, Hernán. Letters from México (1521–1526). Translated and edited by Anthony Pagden. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986.

Craine, Eugene R., and Reginald C. Reindrop. The Codex Pérez and the Book of Chilam Balam of Maní. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. La Verdadera Historia de la Conquista de México (1568). México, D.F.: Editorial Porrúa, 1993.

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. The Conquest of New Spain. Translated by J. M. Cohen. London: Penguin Books, 1963.

Durán, Fray Diego. Historia de las Indias de Nueva España y Islas de Tierra Firme (1579–1581). México: Editorial Porrúa, 1967.

Durán, Fray Diego. The History of the Indies of New Spain. Translated by Doris Heyden. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.

Echeagaray, José Ignacio. Códice Mendocino, ó, Coleccion de Mendoza: Manuscrito Mexicano del Siglo XVI que se Conserva en la Biblioteca Bodleiana de Oxford. México: San Angel Ediciones, 1979.

The Codex Mendoza manuscript is housed at the Bodleian Library, and is "a pictorial history of the Aztec empire from 1325 to 1521; an illustrated catalogue of the annual tribute paid by the towns of the empire to the last emperor, Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (Montezuma II); and an illustrated account of Aztec life-cycles, male and female, from birth to death." -- Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Edmonson, Munro S. Sixteenth-Century Mexico: The Work of Sahagún. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

García Icazbalceta, Joaquín. Nueva Colección de Documentos para la Historia de México. 5 vols. México: Andrade y Morales, sucesores, 1886-92.

This work includes a discussion of the work of the Franciscan order in New Spain, including a biographical sketch and the letters of Father Gerónimo de Mendieta. The accounts and codices of members of religious orders are an important source of information about Aztec law and culture.

Hironymous, Michael O. Mesoamerican Codices.. Austin: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin, March 1991.

This imprint is No. 59 in the Benson Collection's "Biblionoticias" series. It contains annotated references to published reproductions of 61 Mesoamerican codices and is available online.

Klor de Alva, José Jorge, Henry B. Nicholson, and Eloise Quiñones Keber. The Work of Bernardino de Sahagún: Pioneer Ethnographer of Sixteenth-Century Aztec Mexico. Albany, N.Y.: Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, 1988.

Landa, Diego de. Relación de las cosas de Yucatán. Translated and annotated by Alfred M. Tozzer. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 18. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1941.

Landa (1524-1579), a Franciscan who became bishop of Yucatan, is famous for his account of ancient Maya culture and infamous for having orchestrated the destruction of Mayan manuscripts.

Landa, Diego de. Relación de las Cosas de Yucatán. México: Porrúa, 1959.

Introduction by Ángel M. Garibay K. Reprinted numerous times (1966, 1973, 1978, and 1986). "[The 1959 edition is] [e]ssentially a new edition of the Pérez Martínez edition of 1938, without the notes, plus a new introduction. Completely lacking in annotations or footnotes, the present edition nonetheless provides one of the best versions of the original Spanish text and includes all the illustrations. The inclusion of the 12 supplementary documents containing information relevant to early Yucatan, which appeared in the Pérez Martínez edition, enhances considerably the value of this latest addition to the Landa bibliography." -- HLAS

Landa, Diego de. Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. Translated by William Gates. Mérida, México: Editorial San Fernando, 1987.

This book is an English language translation of Relación de las Cosas de Yucatán.

Las Casas, fray Bartolomé de. Los indios de México y Nueva Easpaña, antología. 6th ed. México: Editorial Porrúa, 1987.

Las Casas, Bartolomé de. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Translated and edited by Nigel Griffin. London: Penguin Books, 1992.

López Cogolludo, fray Diego. Historia de Yucatán. Colección "Grandes Crónicas Mexicanas." México: Editorial Academia Literaria, 1957.

Motolinia (Fray Toribio de Benavente). Memoriales o Libro de las Cosas de la Nueva España y de los Naturales de Ella. Appendix by Edmundo O’Gorman. México: UNAM, 1971.

Motolinia (Fray Toribio de Benavente). History of the Indians of New Spain. Translated by Elizabeth Andros Foster. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977.

Robertson, Donald. Mexican Manuscript Painting of the Early Colonial Period. The Metropolitan Schools. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.

Roys, Ralph L. The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel. Reprint of 1933 edition. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967.

Sahagún, Bernardino de. General History of the Things of New Spain: Florentine Codex. Edited and translated by Arthur J.O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble. 12 vols. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1950-1982.

Sahagún, (d. 1590), a Franciscan missionary, made extensive use of Indian informants to compile a monumental encyclopedia of Aztec society and culture, an ethnohistory considered to be centuries ahead of its time. The original Nahuatl text and English translation are presented in parallel columns.

Sahagún, Bernardino de. Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España; Codice Florentino (1540-1577). Edited by Alfredo López Austin and Josefina García Quintana. México, D.F.: CONACULTA, 2000.

Sahagún, Bernardino de. Primeros memoriales. Paleography of Nahuatl text and English translation by Thelma Sullivan. 2 vols. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993–98.

Thompson, J. Eric S. A Commentary on the Dresden Codex. American Philosophical Society Memoir 93. Philadelphia, 1972.

Van Doesburg, Geert Bustiaan. Codex Ixtlilxochitl. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt, 1996.