- Dresden Codex
The Dresden Codex, also known as the Codex Dresdensis, is a pre-Columbian Maya book of the eleventh or twelfth century of the Yucatecan Maya in Chichén Itzá. The Maya codex is believed to be a copy of an original text of some three or four hundred years earlier. It is the oldest book written in the Americas known to historians.
Johann Christian Götze, Director of the Royal Library at Dresden, purchased the codex from a private owner in Vienna in 1739. How it came to Vienna is unknown. It is speculated that it was sent by Hernán Cortés as a tribute to King Charles I of Spain in 1519. Charles had appointed Cortés governor and captain general of the newly conquered Mexican territory. It has been in Europe ever since. Götze gave it to the state library of Saxony, the Royal Library in Dresden, in 1744. The library first published the codex in 1848.
The library that held the codex was bombed and suffered serious damage during World War II. The Dresden Codex was heavily water damaged during the firebombing of Dresden. Twelve pages of the codex were harmed and other parts of the codex were destroyed. The codex was meticulously restored after this damage. According to historian Salvador Toscano, it is still a faithful representation of the precocity and elegance of the ancient Maya in spite of its restoration from severe damage.
The Dresden Codex is considered the most complete of the three undisputably authentic Mayan codices. The names of the codices indicate where they were kept originally. The Dresden Codex is made from Amatl paper ("kopó", fig-bark that has been flattened and covered with a lime paste), doubled in folds in an accordion-like form of folding-screen texts. The codex of bark paper is coated with fine stucco or gesso and is eight inches high by eleven feet long.
The Dresden Codex was written by eight different scribes using both sides. They all had their own particular writing style, glyphs and subject matter. The codex totals 74 pages in length. Its images were painted with extraordinary clarity using very fine brushes. The basic colors used from vegetable dyes for the codex were red, black and the so-called Mayan blue.
The Dresden Codex contains astronomical tables of outstanding accuracy. It is most famous for its Lunar Series and Venus table. The lunar series has intervals correlating with eclipses. The Venus Table correlates with the apparent movements of the planet. The codex also contains almanacs, astronomical and astrological tables, and ritual schedules. The specific numen references have to do with a 260 day ritual count divided up in several ways. The Dresden Codex contains predictions for agriculturally-favorable timing. It has information on rainy seasons, floods, illness and medicine. It also seems to show conjunctions of constellations, planets and the moon.
- Anzovin, Steven et al., Famous First Facts International Edition, H. W. Wilson Company (2000), ISBN 0-8242-0958-3.
- Aveni, Anthony F., Empires of Time, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2000, ISBN 1-86064-602-6.
- Thompson, J. Eric S., A Commentary on the Dresden Codex: A Maya Hieroglyphic Book, Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1972.
- Ruggles, Clive L.N., Ancient Astronomy, ABC-CLIO, 2005, ISBN 1-85109-477-6.
- Sharer, Robert J. et al., The Ancient Maya, Stanford University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8047-4817-9.
- Teresi, Dick, Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science—from the Babylonians to the Maya, Simon and Schuster, 2002, ISBN 0-684-83718-8.
- Van Stone, Mark (2008). "It's Not the End of the World: What the Ancient Maya Tell Us About 2012." Located online at the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies website.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- The Dresden Codex Facsimiles of the codex at the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc., with PDF downloads
- The Dresden Codex Lunar Series and Sidereal Astronomy
- Dresden Library Scans High-res Scans of the Dresden Codex (site in German, PDF link at right)
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Dresden Codex — Version von Förstermann, 1880 Der Codex Dresdensis (Dresdner Kodex) ist eine der vier erhaltenen Handschriften der Maya. Er befindet sich in Dresden im Buchmuseum der Sächsischen Landes und Universitätsbibliothek. Die anderen drei Codizes werden… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Dresden Codex — Latin Codex Dresdensis One of the few pre Columbian Maya codices to survive book burnings by Spanish clergy. It contains exceptionally accurate astronomical calculations, including eclipse prediction tables and the synodic period of Venus. The… … Universalium
Codex Maya — Page 9 du Codex de Dresde (édition Föstermann 1880). Les codex mayas sont des assemblages de feuilles ou cahiers rédigés en écriture maya par des scribes de la civilisation maya précolombienne. Ces codex ont reçu les noms des villes dans… … Wikipédia en Français
Codex mayas — Codex maya Page 9 du Codex de Dresde (édition Föstermann 1880). Les codex mayas sont des assemblages de feuilles ou cahiers rédigés en écriture maya par des scribes de la civilisation maya précolombienne. Ces codex ont reçu les noms des villes… … Wikipédia en Français
Dresden (disambiguation) — Dresden most commonly refers to the capital city of the German Federal Free State of Saxony, or as shorthand for the Allied bombing campaign in World War II that devastated the city. Dresden may also refer to: Contents 1 Other places 2 Vessels 3… … Wikipedia
Codex Boernerianus — Manuskripte des Neuen Testaments Papyri • Unziale • Minuskeln • Lektionare Unzial 012 Name … Deutsch Wikipedia
Codex maya — Page 9 du Codex de Dresde (édition Föstermann 1880). Les codex mayas sont des assemblages de feuilles ou cahiers rédigés en écriture maya par des scribes de la civilisation maya précolombienne. Ces codex ont reçu les noms des villes dans… … Wikipédia en Français
codex — /koh deks/, n., pl. codices /koh deuh seez , kod euh /. 1. a quire of manuscript pages held together by stitching: the earliest form of book, replacing the scrolls and wax tablets of earlier times. 2. a manuscript volume, usually of an ancient… … Universalium
Codex — A handwritten book of the Maya. Made of a bark paper strip, covered with a thin layer of plaster and folded like an accordion. Only four still exist, named for the cities where they were found, or for their first publisher: the Dresden Codex;… … The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology
Codex Boernerianus — El Codex Boernerianus (Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek (A 145b); Gregory Aland no. Gp o 012) es un manuscrito uncial del siglo IX. El codice contiene los Epístolas paulinas. El códice consiste de un total de 99 folios de 25 x 18 cm. El texto … Wikipedia Español