Codices Becker I/II

Codices Becker I/II

Mexico — First half of the 16th century

Religion, history, and politics documented over 21 years: some of the rarest and most valuable sources on the culture of ancient Mexico

  1. Chronologically organized information about dynasties, religion, and customs in Pre-Columbian Mexico

  2. Three preserved pieces encompass a time period of 21 years and involve the saga of two Mixtec dynasties

  3. Religious, historical, and genealogical data gives an impression of religion's place within Mixtec daily life

Codices Becker I/II

Inv.-Nr. 60306 und 60307 Museum für Völkerkunde (Vienna, Austria)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Codices Becker I/II

Pre-Columbian manuscripts are among the rarest hand-written documents to exist today, and some of the most coveted for their historic as well as artistic value. They offer a glimpse into a world now forever lost, whose civilizations were devastated by disease and who culture was lost in the frenzy of conquest and Christianization. Codices Becker I/II represent just such texts, offering chronologically organized information about dynasties, religion, and customs before the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico.

Codices Becker I/II

The Codices "Becker I and II" – were named according to the previous owner from Darmstadt, and it is here that it was placed in the Ethnology Museum in 1897 (formerly k.k. Naturhistorisches Hofmuseum). The codices are among a few of the remaining preserved manuscripts of their kind, making them one of the most valuable of old Mexican manuscripts. The Codex Becker I concerns itself with subject material primarily from a pre-Spanish source. The three preserved pieces (altogether 16 pages) encompass the short time period of 21 years and involve the saga of two Mixtec dynasties (including numerous relatives and siblings from this dynasty of princes). The exact chronological placement is explained by yearly hieroglyphics portrayed in a meanderingly arranged pattern of highly-detailed painted pictures. The preserved Codex Becker II is a copy of a pre-colonial manuscript from the first half of the 16th century and contains 5 pages which provide a list of monarchies and genealogical data; a historical document in which a patriarchal social order is clearly visible (the women are shown following the men to their domiciles). Religious interests (i.e. the highly detailed description of ceremonies and temple rituals), as well as certain historical writings, play the main role and give an impression of the predominant place that religion held within the daily life of the Mixtecs.


Available facsimile editions:
Codices Becker I/II – Inv.-Nr. 60306 und 60307 – Museum für Völkerkunde, Wien (Vienna, Austria)
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1961
Facsimile Editions

#1 Codices Becker I/II

Binding: Leporello folding with cloth backing. Together with commentary in half leather case.
Commentary: 1 volume by Karl A. Novotny
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€)
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