Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

Mexico — First half of the 16th century

A visual mirror of Mixtec culture combined with Indian and European book illumination

  1. A unique witness to the emerging hybrid culture of the Spanish colonies in the "New World"

  2. Gives a description of the genealogies where the structural emphasis is placed on the female lineage

  3. The illumination blends Native American and European traditions, a visual mirror of the emerging culture

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Please ask for a quote!
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

The Codex Egerton is a unique witness to the emerging hybrid culture of the Spanish colonies in the "New World". This is also represented in the form of the manuscript itself with blends Native American and European traditions with respect to decoration, or e.g. with the design and concept of geneologies, which are traced through the female lines here.

The unique position that the Codex Egerton has amongst the genre of Mixtecan manuscripts lies in it‘s verifiable date of origin. During the first half of the 16th century as the Conquistadors were conquering the Central American regions in the name of the Spanish throne, two high cultures clashed, and it is out of this time period that the Codex Egerton emerges. Within the codex two vastly different traditions, indigenous American and European, find themselves merging together to form a new, unique culture. The content predominantly deals with local traditions presented through the historiography, giving a description of the genealogies where the structural emphasis is placed on the female lineage. There is a strong European influence in the style of the pictures visible through the use of enlarged figures arranged in an unstructured way and which represent a signifigant departure from the normally formal concentration found in pre-Columbian handwriting.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Codex Waecker Götter
Size / Format
64 pages / 27.0 × 21.0 cm (total length: 4.4 m)
Origin
Mexico
Date
First half of the 16th century

Available facsimile editions:
Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter) – Egerton 2895 – British Museum (London, United Kingdom)
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1965
Detail Picture

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

Migration Legend

These are the first two of seven heroes carrying divine symbols who proceed from a sacred temple with a red stone head representing the Old Fire God. Similar processions can be found in other Mixtec manuscripts from the latter half of the 10th century, and they likely represent the bringing of the symbols of power to the land of the Mixtecs after the sack of Tula, the capital of the Toltec Empire. This event sets the stage for the following genealogy of twenty-six generations of a Mixtec noble family.

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)
Single Page

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

Origins of the Mixtecs

The highly symbolic opening page of the manuscript shows a mountain with an ocelot. There is a water sport on one of its paws in the center of the page and near it a brown stain appears on the year-sign of Ācatl, a reed. Above the ocelot, a small human figure in a frame edged by sacrificial knives leaps upwards where a sun eagle is perched.

This image has a great deal of philosophical significance, and it expresses the same concept as the more famous Aztec symbol of an eagle sitting on a cactus with a snake in its beak: it is the legend of a national beginning. The three dates on the right symbolize the years Ācatl, Calli, and Tecpatl, each with the numeral 13 and a day sign, the last of which corresponds to ca. 960 in the Gregorian calendar.

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter)

Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter) – Egerton 2895 – British Museum (London, United Kingdom)
Codex Egerton 2895 (Codex Waecker Götter) – Egerton 2895 – British Museum (London, United Kingdom) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Binding: Folding book in half leather case with commentary
Commentary: 1 volume (30 pages) by Cottie A. Burland
Language: German
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
Please ask for a quote!
You might also be interested in:
Golden Bull
Golden Bull
Prague (Czech Republic) – 1400

The constitution of the Middle Ages: King Wenceslas IV's Bohemian luxury codex adorned with golden miniatures.

Experience More
De Aetatibus Mundi Imagines
De Aetatibus Mundi Imagines
Évora/Lisbon (Portugal) – 1540–1573

First Michelangelo's pupil, then one of the greatest artists of the Iberian Renaissance: Francisco de Holanda's uniquely illuminated world chronicle

Experience More
Blog articles worth reading
Filter selection
Publisher