This work is a comparative survey of 20 of the finest surviving Mexican codices in UK collections, and of the evidence they give us for ancient Mesoamerican culture and history.;The painted books of ancient Mexico constitute a particularly important chapter of world literature. The work of the tlacuilo, or scribes, goes back thousands of years before the Spanish Conquest; their manuscripts were written and drawn on native paper or skin and, later, on European paper. The vast majority of these codices were destroyed by the conquistadors; a precious few have survived. About 20 of the finest of these are in UK collections and Professor Brotherston has undertaken a close study of these, comparing them with other Mexican book in the USA and elsewhere.;Besides being works of art in their own right, the codices offer insights into the history, religion and legends of the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica. The books record wars, conquests, dynastic disputes and the biographies of rulers like the Mixtec king, Eight Deer. Complex ritual calendars give a framework for the religious observances of these peoples and offer testimony to their obsession with dates and record-keeping; maps record the spread of the Mexica, Chichimec and Mixtec across Mesoamerica. After the Conquest most of the "pagan" books were burned, but the book-making tradition continued and still retained many of the old forms and conventions.
The book is in very good condition.