Florentine Codex, Book 12, Ch 15

This is Book 12, Chapter 15 of the Florentine Codex, also known as the General History of the Things of New Spain. This particular book is about the Spanish invasion of Mexico in 1519 and their eventual consolidation of power in the capital. James Lockhart has provided us with his transcription of the Nahuatl and its translation to English. The facsimile images come from the World Digital Library, but the original is held in the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence, Italy. Brandon Preo has done the data entry, matching the Spanish, Nahuatl, and English texts to the images of the pages.

Principal editor: 
James Lockhart

Transcriptions and Translations

Analytic Transcription English Translation Spanish Translation
[Transcription of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 21v., cont.] Inic caxtolli capitulo: vncan mitoa in quenin Espanoles,vmpa vallevaque in Itztapalapan inic acico mexico. Auh niman ie ic oalolini in ie ic oalcalaquizque nican Mexico; niman ie ic mocecencaoa, moiauchichioa; moolpia, vel quiilpia in iniautlatqui: niman ie iehoantinin incavallos: niman ie ic motetecpana, mocuecuētilia, movivipana, mocecēpantilia. Auh nauhteme in cavallos in iacattivitze, in atto vitze, in teiacantivitze, in teiacac onotivitze, in te [Translation of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] Fifteenth chapter, where it is said how the Spaniards came from Itztapalapan when they reached Mexico. Then they set out in this direction, about to enter Mexico here. Then they all dressed and equipped themselves for war. They girt themselves, tying their battle gear tightly on themselves and then on their horses. Then they arranged themselves in rows, files, ranks. Four horse[men] came ahead, going first, staying ahead, [Translation of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] Chapter Fifteen, of how the Spaniards departed from Itztapalapan to enter Mexico. The Spaniards departed from Itztapalapan all outfitted for war and ordered by squadrons. Some horsemen went ahead to see if there was some ambush; they also took the greyhounds ahead. Don Hernando Cortés went in the rear guard with many other Spaniards, all armed and in order. After them went the baggage and the artillery on its carriages. Many Indian warriors went along, with all their arms, many Tlaxcalans and Huexotzinca. In this order they [Translation of the Nahuatl into Spanish by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún; transcription of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 21v., cont.] Capitulo .15. de como los españoles, partieron de ytztapalapan, para entrar en mexico.  Partieron los españoles de Itztapalapan, todos adereçados a punto de* guerra, y en su ordenança, por esquadrones: fueron algunos de a cavallo, delante a descubrir, si auia alguna celada; lleuauā tanbien los lebreles delante yua en la retaguardia Don hernādo cortes con otros muchos españoles todos armados y en su ordenança, tras ellos yua el vagaxe y la artille** en sus carretones yuan muchos indios de guerra. Con todas sus armas muchos Tlaxcaltecas y vexotzincas desta manera ordenados en  ----------  *DE.  In the manuscript, the word is inadvertently repeated.  **ARTILLE.  For "artilleria." 
[Transcription of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 22r.] in teiacana;* mocuecueptivi, ommocuecueptivi, onteixnamictivi, havic tlachixtivi, nanacaz. tlachixtivitze, noviampa onitztivi in cacaltzalan,** tlaixtotocativitze, onacotlachixtivi in tlapanco; no iehoan in chichime in imitzcuinoan, iacattivitze, tlatlanecutivitze, neneciuhtivitze, nêneneciuhtivitze; yioca icativitz, iacattivitz, icel icativitz in quachpanitl quiquechpanoa, quitlatlavitzotivitz, quimamalacachotivitz, havic quitlatlaztivitz, mochichicauhtivitz, moquichquetzivitz, vel mocolotilia, mocoloquetztivitz, mocolonectivitz; quioaltoquilitivi tepuzmaquaveque, pepetlauhtivitz, in intepuzmaquauh, pepepetlacativitz, quiquequechpanoa, quiquequechpanotivitze, inchichimal, quauhchimalli, eoachimalli. Inic vntlaman ---------- *IN TEIACANA. In the manuscript, the letters "in te" are inadvertently repeated at the page break. **IN CACALTZALAN. Or "into the alleyways." [Translation of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] leading. They kept turning about as they went, facing people, looking this way and that, looking sideways, gazing everywhere between the houses, examining things, looking up at the roofs. Also the dogs, their dogs, came ahead, sniffing at things and constantly panting. By himself came marching ahead, all alone, the one who bore the standard on his shoulder. He came waving it about, making it spin, tossing it here and there. It came stiffening, rising up like a warrior, twisting and turning. Following him came those with iron swords. Their iron swords came bare and gleaming. On their shoulders they bore their shields, of wood or leather. The second contingent [Translation of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] entered Mexico. In all the rest of this chapter, nothing is said except the order that the Spaniards and the Indian allies kept when they entered Mexico. [Translation of the Nahuatl into Spanish by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún; transcription of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 22r.] traron en mexico. En todo lo restāte desde* capitulo, no se dize otra cosa, sino la orden que lleuauan los españoles: y los yndios amigos, quando entraron en mexico. ---------- *DESDE. For "deste."
[Transcription of the Nahuatl by James Lockhart:] [f. 22v.] tirivitze, inic vmpantitivitze cavallos temamativitze, imiichcavipil, imeeoachimal intetepuztopil, yoan intetepuzmaquauh inquezpā pipilcativitz in cavallosme, cocoiolloque, coioleque, coiollotivitze iuhquin xaxamaca in coiolli, daxamacan coiolli in cavallosti; in mamaça pipitzca, dapipitzca, cenca mitonia, iuhquin ad intechpa temo: auh in intepopucoquillo chachapaca tlalpan, iuhquin amulli chachapani; auh inic nenemi cenca tlatiticuitza, datetecuitza: dacocomotza, iuhquin datemotla, niman cocoioni, cocomolivi in dalli in vncan quiquetza imicxi, yioca momamana in vncan quiquequetzdvi in imicxi, in inma. Iniquepantin tepuztlavitoleque, tepuzdavitoloani inmac onotivitz in tepuztlavitolli, daeiecorivitze, dadaieecotivitze, quiixcatzitzdvitze. Auh in cequindn quiquechpanoa, quiquequechpanotivitze [Translation of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] and file were horses carrying people, each with his cotton cuirass, his leather shield, his iron lance, and his iron sword hanging down from the horse's neck. They came with bells on, jingling or rattling. The horses, the deer, neighed, there was much neighing, and they would sweat a great deal; water seemed to fall from them. And their necks of foam splatted on the ground, like soapsuds splatting. As they went they made a beating, throbbing, and hoof-pounding like throwing stones. Their hooves made holes, they dug holes in the ground wherever they placed them. Separate holes formed wherever they went placing their hindlegs and forelegs. The third file were those with iron crossbows, the crossbowmen. As they came, the iron crossbows lay in their arms. They came along testing them out, brandishing them, <aiming them>. But some carried them on their shoulders, came shouldering [Translation of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] (intentionally blank) [Translation of the Nahuatl into Spanish by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún; transcription of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 22v., tres dibujos; sin texto en español]
[Transcription of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 23r.] in tepuztlavitolli: auh in inmicon iniomotlan pipilcatiuh, inciacacpa quiquiztiuh, vel tetentiuh, cahcacatzcatiuh in mitl, in tepuzmitl, imiichcavipil, intlanquac ahacitiuh, vel titilaoac, vellatepizçotl, ixachi titilacpopul iuhquin tepetlatl: auh in intzontecon ic quimilivi çanno ie in ichcavipilli, yoan inquequetzal imicpac conquequetztivi, xexeliuhtiuh, momoiaoatiuh. Inic nappantin çanno iehoantin in cavallotin, çan ie no iuhqui in innechichioal in iuh omito. Inic macuillamantli iehoātin in matlequiquiceque, in matlequiquiçoani, quiquequechpanoa in matlequiquiztli; cequintin quitecativitze. Auh in iquac in ocalaquico in vei tecpan, in tlatocan; quitlazque, quitlatlazque in matlequiquiztli, ie oncuecueponi, ie oncuecuepoca, xixitica, tlatlatzini, oaoalaca, poctli moteca, poctli moteteca, poctica tlaioa [Translation of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] the crossbows. Their quivers went hanging at their sides, passed under their armpits, well filled, packed with arrows, with iron bolts. Their cotton upper armor reached to their knees, very thick, firmly sewn, and dense, like stone. And their heads were wrapped in the same cotton armor, and on their heads plumes stood up, parting and spreading. The fourth file were likewise horse[men]; their outfits were the same as has been said. The fifth group were those with harquebuses, the harquebusiers, shouldering their harquebuses; some held them [level]. And when they went into the great palace, the residence of the ruler, they repeatedly shot off their harquebuses. They exploded, sputtered, discharged, thundered, <disgorged>. Smoke spread, it grew dark with smoke, [Translation of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] (intentionally blank) [Translation of the Nahuatl into Spanish by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún; transcription of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 23r. tres dibujos; sin texto en español]
[Transcription of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 23v.] in poctli centlalli momana cēltalli moteca: inic xoquiiac teixivinti, teiolmoiauh: auh ça tlatzacutiuh, tetzinpachotiuh in iautachcauh in ma iuhqui tlacateccatl momati in iautlatoani, in iautecani, cololhuitivi, quitepevitivi, quitzcactitivi, quitlamatilitivi, quitzatzacutivi in itiacaoan, in itlavicecaoan, in imananquilloā,* in ma iuhqui quaquachictin, in ma iuhqui otomi in ichicavilloā, in inechicaoalhoan, in inetlaquechilhoan, in itlaxilloan altepetl, in iiolloan, in itetzonoan: niman ie ixquich in aoa tepeoa, in tlateputzcatl, in tlaxcaltecatl, tliliuhquitepecatl, in vexotzincatl: tlatoquilitivitze, moiauhchichiuhtivitze imiichcavipil, inchichimal, intlatlavitol, inmimicon tetentiuh, cacacatzcatiuh in totomitl, cequi chichiquilli, cequi tihpontli, cequi itzmitl: momamantivi, motenvitec [Translation of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] everyplace filled with smoke. The fetid smell made people dizzy and faint. And last, bringing up the rear, went the war leader, thought to be the ruler and director in battle, like [among us] a tlacateccatl. Gathered and massed about him, going at his side, accompanying him, enclosing him were his warriors, those with devices, his [aides], like [among us] those with scraped heads [quaquachictin] and the Otomi warriors, the strong and valiant ones of the altepetl, its buttress and support, its heart and foundation. Then all those from the various altepetl on the other side of the mountains, the Tlaxcalans, the people of Tliliuhquitepec, of Huexotzinco, came following behind. They came outfitted for war with their cotton upper armor, shields, and bows, their quivers full and packed with feathered arrows, some barbed, some blunted, some with obsidian points. They went crouching, hitting their mouths with their hands [Translation of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] (intentionally blank) [Translation of the Nahuatl into Spanish by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún; transcription of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 23v.; dos dibujos; sin texto en español]
[Transcription of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 24r.] tivi, motenpapavitivi, tocuileuhtivi, tlatlanquiquiztivi, moquacuecuechotivi. Auh in cequintin tlamama, itacamama, cequintin tlaixquamama, cequintin tlaelpanmama, cequintin tlacacaxvia, cequintin tlaoacalhuia, cequintin tlatompiavia, cequintin tlaquimilhuia, manoço tlaquimilmamama, cequintin quivilana in vevei, in totomaoac tlequiquiztli, quauhtemalacac oonotiuh, quicavatztivitze. [Translation of the Nahuatl (right-hand column) by James Lockhart:] and yelling, singing in Tocuillan style, whistling, shaking their heads. Some bore burdens and provisions on their backs; some used [tump lines for] their foreheads, some [bands around] their chests, some carrying frames, some board cages, some deep baskets. Some made bundles, perhaps putting the bundles on their backs. Some dragged the large cannons, which went resting on wooden wheels, making a clamor as they came. [Translation of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] (intentionally blank) [Translation of the Nahuatl into Spanish by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún; transcription of the Spanish (left-hand column) by James Lockhart:] [f. 24r., la parte de arriba; dos dibujos; sin texto en español]