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The Codex Cospi, folios 19-20
  • Jacob S. Neely, University of Kentucky

The Codex Cospi (ca. 1500-1530)

The Codex Cospi, sometimes referred to as the Codex Bologna, is also a member of the Borgia Group. However, there is disagreement between scholars about whether it is in fact one-hundred percent pre-Hispanic.

Like its sister codices, it contains a Tonalpohualli (260-day calendar) and primarily serves as a ritual calendar marking the passage of the twenty trecena festivals. However, its elaboration seems to have been the work of different generations. The main section is the product of highly skilled tlacuilos (painter-scribes) but later sections employ a “careless” and “clumsy” style. The stylistic difference between the two sides even includes the types of paint used. Taken together, scholars date the later passages the end of the pre-Hispanic period, or even perhaps the early Colonial period.

On display are folios 19-20, which comes from the later section. Take a moment to compare this page with the rest of the Borgia Group. You will notice that it employs fewer, less vibrant colors. In addition, it has a divergent layout, such as some unpainted figures and asymmetrical placement.

Which of the four categories of CONTINUITY apply to the Codex Cospi?


Buti, D., et al. “Colouring Materials of Pre-Columbian Codices: Non-invasive in situ Spectroscopic Analysis of the Codex Cospi.” Journal of Archeological Science, vol. 39, no. 3, 2012, pp. 672–679.

Valero de García Lascuráin, Ana Rita. Entre Códices. México: Universidad Anáhuac México Norte, 2012, pp. 46-49.

van der Loo, Peter Lodewijk. "Cospi, Codex." The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 13 Sep. 2018.

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

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Citation Information
Jacob S. Neely. "The Codex Cospi, folios 19-20" (2018)
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