Nahuatl Gazetteer of Morelos with 159 Glyphs

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505. REYES, V[icente]. Onomatología geográfica de Morelos por V. Reyes. Edicion especial mandada publicar por la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografia y Estadistica. Mexico: Imprenta de E. Dublán y Compañía, 1888. [1-3] 4-66 pp., 5 unattributed hand-colored lithograph plates (159 glyphs). 8vo (24 x 16 cm), modern tan three-quarter blind-ruled Mexican sheep over brown linen, raised bands, gilt-lettered red leather spine label. Except for light offsetting from plates and tear in blank margin of 37/38, very good. Very rare in commerce.

     First edition. The work also appeared in the Boletín de la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística, Series IV, Vol. I, pp. 180-243, with only 2 plates; see Bulletin of the New York Public Library (1909), “List of Works relating to Mexico,” p. 758. Palau 265662. Porrúa Catalogue 5 (1949) 8885. Ugarte 337. Not in Kenneth Croft’s update of Viñaza, “Six Decades of Nahuatl: A Bibliographical Contribution” in International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 19, No. 1 (January, 1953), pp. 57-73. Not in Glass’ entry on Codex Mendoza.

     The author states: “Es un Catálogo razonado de los nombres geográficos derividos del idioma náhuatl que se conservan en el Estado de Morelos, con expresión de sus etimologías y los geroglífocas que les servían de representación en las pinturas de los antiguos mexicanos” (p. [1]). The author’s self-effacing introduction, which ends on p. 21, notes the debts he owes to those who have researched these matters before him and gives an interesting disquisition on linguistic problems and complexities that confront a researcher in this area. He notes, however, that of the 159 names he examines, only 52 are found in the Códice Mendocino (i.e., Codex Mendoza). Finally, he states that the work was basically completed in 1883 but that publication difficulties delayed its appearance. For each term he gives the word’s etymology and the various forms it might assume; each of the glyph images is numbered for cross-references in the text. For example, he states that Cicatlacotla, a rancho in the Juarez district, comes from the word “tzicatlacotla,” which means a place with many ants. On the whole, a thorough, groundbreaking work on its topic.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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