This manuscript, known as the Codex Azcatitlan, most likely dates from only a few years after the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico. It recounts the history of the Aztecs (also known as the Mexica), including their migration to Tenochtitlan (forerunner of present-day Mexico City) from Aztlán, the ancient or mythical birthplace of Aztec civilization. The codex depicts the succession of Aztec rulers, the arrival of Spanish troops headed by Hernán Cortés, and the introduction of Christianity. Of all the known manuscripts recounting Aztec history, the Codex Azcatitlan is probably the most valuable and important. In contrast to other histories written later in the colonial period, it is known for the unique way in which it records indigenous memories from the pre-Hispanic past. Like other Aztec codices, it is written in pictograms. These are very carefully drawn, by a scribe who obviously was very skilled. The codex is copied on 25 folios of paper imported from Europe to Mexico in the 16th century. Each episode in the history is presented on a double folio for easier reading. On the first folio, the author introduces a group of people whom scholars have not yet identified. They could be tlatoanis, or high-level Mesoamerican rulers or heads of state. From folio 2 to folio 25, the scribe describes the migration of the Mexica tribes to the promised land of Tenochtitlan.
In Gleason and Podrug's undistinguished fourth entry in the Jennings franchise (after Apocalypse 2012), set mostly in 16th-century Mexico, Pakal the Storyteller saves the life of the king's architect by killing a rare white jaguar. This heroic act leads to Pakal's getting an assignment to track down the Dark Rift Codex, a document crucial to the survival of Mayan society. In the present, covert U.S. operatives search for the codex, believed to contain details about how the world will end in 2012. At tedious length, the American president receives lectures on the growing signs of ecological catastrophe. Overwrought prose doesn't help (e.g., "Reets... took out a fleeing bandit herself, Coop still doing the heavy work, the hard precision shooting, firing that weapon like she and the PDW were born together, conceived together in the same uterus, her eyes unblinking over its iron sights, empty and expressionless as the Martian moons, cold and compassionless as her violent moonshiner youth").
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.