Codex Dresdensis

Codex Dresdensis

Central America — 1200-1250

A practical calendar, testimony to science, and artistic riddle to this day: the most richly decorated of the only four Mayan manuscripts still preserved today

  1. With 42 artistically illustrated pages (originally folded as a leporello), the most richly illustrated of the only four surviving Mayan manuscripts

  2. Celestial observations, numerical mysticism, and a practical calendar for the worship of certain gods, hunting, or home construction

  3. This codex represents one of the most important ethnographic sources on the Maya today

Codex Dresdensis

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Codex Dresdensis

Of the three surviving Mayan manuscripts with hieroglyphs, the Codex Dresdensis is considered to be the most richly decorated: it boasts 42 illustrated pages. Aside from its aesthetic value, it represents one of the most important ethnographic sources on the Maya that has survived to the present.

Codex Dresdensis

"Only three of the native books of pictures with explanatory hieroglyphs, usually called codices, have survived. Although imperfectly understood, they have added considerably to our knowledge of the Maya deities."
J. E. S. Thompson, The Civilizations of the Mayas, Chicago 1958, p. 26

An Artistic Gem

"... Codex Dresdensis, which besides being the most important of the three Maya codices, is also considered as the most artistic. It has been printed in Graz with the most up-to-date techniques, and the photography of almost all of the codex´s 78 pages is entirely new. Included with the full color Graz facsimile of the codex, which is in its original screen-like form, is a supplementary 135-page book that contains commentaries by Helmut Deckert and Ferdinand Anders on the history and early editions of the manuscript. The book also has 42 pages of illustrations, including the codex as it was printed in black and white by the Villacortas in 1930, and examples of the color reproductions of Ernst Forstmann and Lord E. K. Kingsborough. The codex and the book come packed together in a heavy cardboard box with a leather spine and are a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in Maya codices."
H. C. Ball, Newsletter (Inst. of Maya Studies) jan. 1977 (Miami Museum of Science)


Alternative Titles
Codex Dresden
Dresden Codex
Size / Format
78 pages / 20.5 × 9.0 cm
74 full-page miniatures
Previous Owners
Johann Christian Götze (1692–1749)

Available facsimile editions:
Codex Dresdensis – Mscr. Dresd. R 310 – Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats - und Universitätsbibliothek (Dresden, Germany)
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1975
Facsimile Editions

#1 Codex Dresdensis

Binding: Bound as a folding book. Half leather case.
Commentary: 1 volume (93 pages) by Ferdinand Anders and Helmut Deckert
Language: German

39 pp. with black-and-white reproduction of the codex, 10 color plates.
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
You might also be interested in:
Codex Vaticanus A (3738)
Codex Vaticanus A (3738)
Mexico – ca. 1580

The culture of ancient Mexico is vividly documented: cosmology, mythology, and ethnography in a rare Italian manuscript

Experience More
Vaticinia Pontificum of Benozzo Gozzoli
Vaticinia Pontificum of Benozzo Gozzoli
Florence (Italy) – 1431 – ca. 1447

Inspiration for even the great Nostradamus: 30 impressively illustrated prophecies about the fate of the popes

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection