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The Codex Fejérváry-Mayer (ca. 1450)

The Codex Laud is a member of the Borgia Group.

The Fejérváry-Mayer also bears the name Tonalamatl de los pochtecas. The pochtecas were “professional, long-distance traders [who] brought to highland markets the most expensive goods from distant lands.” Miguel León-Portilla identifies this codex as being of interest to the pochtecas because many the almanacs featured within bear depictions of travelers. This suggests the merchants would use this document to coordinate and stay abreast of their journeys between distant markets (see the displayed folios 9-10).

The re-naming of the Tonalamatl de los pochtecas is part of a larger trend to describe the codices by their form, function, and origins. In the past, were named for their collectors or current locations, facts that have no bearing on their interpretation. In fact, it is apparent that the very distance (both cultural and physical) that their former names communicate has been a hindrance to their study and decipherment, as they reside thousands of miles from their cultures of origin. For more on the utility of contemporary local interpretations of codices, see the Codex Egerton in this exhibit.

Which of the four categories of CONTINUITY apply to the Codex Fejérváry-Mayer?


Boone, Elizabeth H. "Fejérváry, Codex." The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 13 Sep. 2018.

Jansen, Maarten E.G.R.N., and Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez. “Renaming the Mexican Codices.” Ancient Mesoamerica, vol. 15, no. 2, 2004, pp. 267–271.

Valero de García Lascuráin, Ana Rita. Entre Códices. México: Universidad Anáhuac México Norte, 2012, pp. 51-53.

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Photo Source

All scans courtesy of University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center and carried out by Jacob S. Neely.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License