Sahagún, Bernadino de, -1590. General history of the things of New Spain: Florentine codex: book 4 -- the soothsayers and book 5 -- the omens

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De La Arte Adívínatoría

Fourth Book, Which Telleth Of The Book Of Days Which The Mexicans Handed Down. This Was In Order That The Readers Of The Day Signs 1 Might Study The Good And Evil Days. In It Were Set Forth The Day Signs Here Recounted, And How Those Would Fare Who Were Born On Them. And This Book Of Days Is More Correctly Called Sorcery, For It Belonged To The Sorcerers.

First Chapter , Which Telleth Of The First Sign, Which Was Named One Crocodile, And Of The Good Fortune Which They Merited Who Were Born Then — Men Or Women. These Same Destroyed And Ruined It Because Of Their Negligence. 2

Second Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Second [day] Sign, Which Was Named One Ocelot, And Which Was Not A Good Day Sign For Those Who Were Born On It—men And Women—to Obtain Reward; But, Nevertheless, He Who Showed Prudence Might Well Be Saved Through Forethought; And Of Those Born On [this Day Sign] Almost All Became Slaves.

Third Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Third Sign, Named One Deer; And The Good Fortune Which Those Then Born—men Or Women — Merited. And If It Were Not Realized, These Lost It Through Laziness.

Fourth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Second House, When It Was The Time Of This Sign, Named Two Rabbit; And Those Then Born In It Did Nothing But Drink Wine.

Fifth Chapter , Which Telleth How Many Kinds Of Drunkards There Were.

Sixth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Still Another House On The Sign [one Deer], Called Three Water. It Was In Part Good, In Part Adverse, In Part Only In Between.

Seventh Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Fourth Sign, Named One Flower. And The Man Born Upon It, They Said, And It Was Averred, Would Be Happy, Quite Able, And Much Given To Song And Joy: A Jester, An Entertainer. And It Was Said That The Women Were Great Embroiders. It Was Said That This Sign Was Indifferent; That Is To Say, A Little Bad And A Little Good.

Eighth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Fifth Sign, Named One Reed. And It Was Not A Good Day, [nor] Those With It. It Was Said That Those Born Then, If They Were Born In The Ninth House, Named Nine Crocodile—they Said And It Was Averred That One Would Be A Slanderer And Bearer Of False Witness. And It Was Thought That This Sign Was The Day Of Quetzalcoatl. Therefore The Lords And Noblemen Then Paid Their Devotions And Made Offerings.

Ninth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Sixth Sign, Called One Death, And Of The Good Fortune Belonging To It. It Was Said To Be The Day Sign Of Tezcatlipoca. And Many Were The Offerings And Blood Sacrifices With Which They Did Him Honor. And Each Person Provided Much Pleasure To The Slaves.

Tenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Still Other Houses, Which Were Called In Part Good, And In Part Evil And Miserable.

Eleventh Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Seventh Sign, Named One Rain, And Of The Evil Day Signs Which Belonged With It. They Said That Those Then Born Were Sorcerers And Soothsayers And Demons.—and Tlacatecolotl Meaneth Demon. — Almost All The Houses Belonging To This [sign] Were Evil And Unfavorable. Only The Thirteenth Was Good. 1

Twelfth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Still Other Houses. Some Were Only Indifferent And Some Were In No Way Good.

Thirteenth Chapter. Here Is Told And Mentioned What Was An Evil Manifestation For Him Who Stumbled Or Fell At This Time; And The Evil Which Befell Those Born At This Time, In The Eighth House, Called Eight Death. Here Are Told All The Various Kinds Of Evil Which Belonged With [the Day Signs].

Fourteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Good Day Signs Which Correspond To The Four Houses In This Sign; And It Was Said That The Day Signs Of Those Then Born Were Good.

Fifteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Eighth Sign, Called One Grass, And The Evil Day Signs With It. But It Was Said That The Second House Was Good. And All The Others, Of Ninth Place, And All The Others Which Started With The Ninth—the Tenth, The Eleventh, The Twelfth, And The Thirteenth 1 —were Said All To Be Good. 2

Sixteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Ninth Sign, Called One Serpent. 1 It Was Considered A Good Day Sign, If Those Same Ones Then Born Did Not Harm It. And The Merchants Expected Much Of It, Because Of Their Way Of Livelihood.

The Seventeenth Chapter Telleth Of The Admonitions Of The Old Merchants When They Counseled Their Sons As They Were About To Depart And Gain Their Livelihoods In Distant Places, When For The First Time They Wished To Go And Set Forth.

Eighteenth Chapter. Here Are Told [what] The Talk And Discourse Were Of These Same Old Merchants Which They Repeated To Their Sons Who Already Knew Distant Lands.

Nineteenth Chapter. Here Are Told The Offerings Which They Made For The Sake Of Those Who Traveled To Far Places, And How Respect Was Paid For The Sake Of Those Who Died.

Twentieth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Remaining Houses Belonging To The Sign Mentioned.

Twenty-first Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Tenth Sign, Called One Flint Knife. And It Was Said That It Was Of Good Fortune, And Claimed That Those Then Born Were Brave And Became Seasoned Warriors. And It Was Said That The Women Then Born Were Forceful; They Were Able In All Things And Made Their Goods Very Well. And It Was Said To Be The Day Sign Of Uitzilopochtli, To Whom It Was Dedicated. His Domain Was War. It Was Said Also To Be The Day Sign Of Camaxtli. And When This Sign Began, They Observed The Feast [of Uitzilopochtli]. And It Was Said That All The Day Signs Were Good — [all] Thirteen.

Twenty-second Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Eleventh Sign, Called One Monkey, And Of Its Fortune. It Was Said Of Those Then Born That One Was A Man Of Good Standing, Friendly, Amiable, And Happy, Given To Music And The Other Arts. And It Was Said That At This Time Descended To Earth Those Who Were The “goddesses”; And That Those Whom They Met On The Road Or In Paths Between Houses They Injured And Visited With Sickness. And For This Reason, When It Was This Day Sign, No One Could Fare Forth. And One Who Then Sickened The Physicians Forthwith Abandoned.

Twenty-third Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Twelfth Sign, Called One Lizard. It Was Said That Those Then Born Were As If Agile. Very Strong Were They Of Body And Spirit. The Fourth House, And The Fifth, And The Sixth, It Was Said, Were Unfavorable. And The Second And Eighth, It Was Stated, Came To Be Only Indifferent.

Twenty-fourth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Thirteen Sign, Named One Motion. And It Was Said [of] Those Then Born That, If They Performed Penances And If They Were Well Reared—it Was Said—good Would Befall Them. But If They Performed No Penances, It Was Said That Suffering Would Befall Them.

Twenty-fifth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Fourteenth Sign, Called One Dog. This, It Was Said, Was A Good Day Sign; And It Was Claimed That It Was The Day Of Xiuhtecutli, Whom They Called Tlalxictentica. 1 They Observed A Very Great Feast Day For Him. And At This Time The Rulers Were Elected. 2

Twenty-sixth Chapter , In Which It Is Told How These Rulers (upon The Day Sign Mentioned) Proclaimed War. And At That Time Were Sentenced Those Who Were To Die. 1

Twenty-seventh Chapter , In Which Is Mentioned The Fifteenth Sign, Named One House. And It Was Said To Be Evil. It Was Said That The Men Then Born Were Thieves, Patrons Of Vice And Sin. All Which Befell Them Was Bad. And It Was Said That The Women [then Born] Were Very Lazy And Much Given To Sleep, And Did Nothing Useful.

Twenty-eighth Chapter , Which Telleth Still More Of The Nature And Condition Of Women Born On This Sign.

Twenty-ninth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Sixteenth Sign. It Was Said To Be A Good Day Sign; And It Was Said That Those Then Born Became Aged. Nevertheless, It Was Not Certain That This Would So Come To Pass, Because Many Then Born Soon Died.

Thirtieth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Seventeenth Sign, Called One Water. It Was Said To Be An Evil Day Sign. And It Was Said Of Those Then Born That They Rejoiced A Little Only At The Beginning Of Their Lives, And That They Ended In Evil. And It Was Said Always To Be Evil When They Died. And It Was Said To Be The Day Sign Of Chalchiuitl Icue, Whose Feast Day The Water Folk Observed.

Thirty-first Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Eighteenth Sign, Named One Wind, And The Evil, The Bad, Which Was With It. It Was Said That Those Then Born Gained As Reward An Evil Day Sign.

Thirty-second Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Tears, The Lamentations, And The Misery Of Those Who Had Been Robbed, Whom Those Who Had Danced With The Dead Forearm Had Plundered; And Of The Rest Of The Houses Belonging To [one Wind].

Thirty-third Chapter , In Which Is Mentioned The Nineteenth Sign, Named One Eagle. It Was Said To Be An Evil Day Sign, And He Who Was Then Born Was Boastful, And Brave, Daring, Fearing Nothing And No One. And It Was Said That The Women Also Were Daring, Of Ill Fame, Of Evil Tongue, Shameless, And Immodest. And It Was Said That At This Time Descended The Lesser Goddesses; And They Did Evil To The Small Children. Hence They Did Not Let Them Go Out Of Doors, Nor Did They Bathe Them At That Time. 1

Thirty-fourth Chapter , In Which Are Told And Mentioned What They Did When They Visited Women Recently Delivered, And Other Things Which Were Done Where A Woman Recently Delivered Dwelt.

Thirty-fifth Chapter. Here Is Told What Was Done When They Bathed Their Children, And How Food Was Eaten When They Gave Them Their Names; And The Discourse Which The Old People Gave When They Addressed The Child And The Mother.

Thirty-sixth Chapter , Which Telleth How A Feast Was Held, And What The Order Of Service Was, And How There Was Drinking Of Wine.

Thirty-seventh Chapter , In Which Is Mentioned How The Festivity Was Performed; And How The Rulers And Merchants Of Old Provided Banquets, Even As To This Day They Have Been Doing.

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Thirty-eighth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Twentieth And Closing Sign, Called One Rabbit. It Is Said That Those Then Born Were Ample Providers, Good Workers, And Rich.

Thirty-ninth Chapter , Which Speaketh Of All The Day Signs (those Which Have Been Mentioned).

Fortieth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Rest [of The Day Signs] Which Formed A Part Of The Day Count; Those Still Remaining, Belonging To The Day Sign [one Rabbit]. Also It Telleth Of The Chart And The Counters Of The Different Day Signs, And Of The Thirteen [numbers] Which Belonged To The Day Sign.

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Appendix Of The Fourth Book, In The Spanish Vernacular, Which Is Justification In Defense Of The Truth Contained Herein.

Introduction And Explanation, Newly Made, Of The Calendar Of The Indians Of Anauac, That Is, Of New Spain.

Refutation Of The Above 1

The Treatise By That Member Of A Religious Order Proceedeth.

Refutation Of The Above.

To The Reader.

Here Followeth The Reckoning Of All The Time-counts Which These Natives Had.

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De Los Agueros

Fifth Book, In Which Are Told The Omens In Which The Mexicans Believed.

First Chapter. Here Are Related The Omens In Which They Believed When, At Night, Someone Heard Tome Wild Animal Cry Out, Or When It Seemed As If Some Old Woman Wept; And Also What The Readers Of The Day Signs Said, They Who Were Called Wise Ones.

Second Chapter , In Which Is Related The Evil Omen Which They Regarded In Two Ways: So It Was When They Heard That The White Hooded Hawk 1 Cried, Out; And What The Merchants Did When Somewhere On The Road Such Befell Them; Perhaps It Cried Out At Them.

Third Chapter , In Which Is Told The Omen Taken As A Portent When At Night They Heard As If Someone Shot Iron Arrows Into Something Or As If He Chopped Wood; This They Called The Night Axe.

Fourth Chapter , In Which Is Told The Omen Taken As A Portent When The Horned Owl 1 Hooted.

Fifth Chapter , In Which Is Told What Was The Omen Of The Screech Owl. 1

Sixth Chapter , In Which Is Told What The Omen Was, So That They Took It As A Portent, When Someone Saw A Weasel Which Crossed In Front Of Him.

Seventh Chapter , In Which Is Told The Omen So Taken As A Portent Concerning The Rabbit When They Saw That Now It Entered One's House.

Eighth Chapter , In Which Is Told The Omen Which All Took As A Portent When They Saw The Chafer. 1

Ninth Chapter , In Which Is Related The Omen Which They Regarded As A Portent When An Animal Of Strong Stench, Called A Skunk, 1 Now Entered One's Home Or Else Sprayed And Loosed An Odor.

Tenth Chapter , In Which Is Related The Omen, By Which A Portent Was Drawn, Of Ants Or Frogs, And Mice.

Eleventh Chapter , In Which Is Told The Omen From Which A Portent Was Drawn When, At Night, They Saw The Towering Men, The Giants. 1

Twelfth Chapter , In Which Is Related What Was Another Omen, Whose Name Was “bundle Of Ashes.” 1

Thirteenth Chapter , In Which Are Told The Rest Of The Omens Which Showed Themselves At Night.

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Behold The Appendix Of The Fifth Book. Here Are Told The Different Things Which God's Creatures, The Idolaters, Wrongly Believed.

First Chapter , Which Telleth Of The White Amaryllis. 1

Second Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Poinsettia. 2

Third Chapter , Which Telleth Of Flowers Artificially Arranged. 3

Fourth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Dried Grains Of Maize.

Fifth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Stepping Over One.

Sixth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Drinking. 5

Seventh Chapter , Which Telleth Of Him Who Dipped Into The Cooking Pot.

Eighth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Tamales Stuck [to The Cooking Pot].

Ninth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Umbilical Cord. 7

Tenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Pregnant Woman.

Eleventh Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Woman Lately Delivered.

Twelfth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Earthquakes.

Thirteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The [three] Hearth Stones.

Fourteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Tortilla Doubled Over On The Griddle.

Fifteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Small Children Who Licked The Surface Of The Grinding Stone.

Sixteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Him Who Leaned Against A Square Pillar.

Seventeenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Maidens Who Ate Standing.

Eighteenth Chapter , Which Telleth How Maize Cobs Were Burned.

Nineteenth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Woman With Child.

Twentieth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Monkey's Hand.

Twenty-first Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Pestle And The Griddle.

Twenty-second Chapter , Which Telleth Of Mice.

Twenty-third Chapter , Which Telleth Of Turkey Hens.

Twenty-fourth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Turkey Chicks. 26

Twenty-fifth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Her Who Wove With Yarn.

Twenty-sixth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Hail.

Twenty-seventh Chapter , Which Telleth Of Sorcerers.

Twenty-eighth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Gnawed Leavings Of A Mouse.

Twenty-ninth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Nails.

Thirtieth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Sneezing.

Thirty-first Chapter , Which Telleth Of Small Children.

Thirty-second Chapter , Which Telleth Of Green Talks Of Maize.

Thirty-third Chapter , Which Telleth Of Creaking Roof Beams.

Thirty-fourth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Grinding Stones.

Thirty-fifth Chapter , Which Telleth Of Drilling A New Fire In The House.

Thirty-sixth Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Sweat House.

Thirty-seventh Chapter , Which Telleth Of The Time When The Teeth Of Small Children Dropped.

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: General history of the things of New Spain: Florentine codex: book 4 -- the soothsayers and book 5 -- the omens

Published By: Original publisher Sante Fe, New Mexico: The School of American Research and the University of Utah. 1957. xviii, 196 p., 20 plates ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Fray Bernadino de Sahagún ; translated from the Aztec, with notes and illustrations, by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2017. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Aztecs (NU07)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Revelation and divination (787); Luck and chance (777); Ordering of time (805); Naming (553); Magicians and diviners (791); Sex and marital offenses (684); Spirits and gods (776); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Alcoholic beverages (273); Mercantile business (441); Travel (484); Sacred objects and places (778); Social placement (851); Visual arts (5311); Techniques of socialization (861); Ethnometeorology (821);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document The Franciscan missionary Sahagún presaged modern ethnography when, beginning the 1540s, he initiated a project to better comprehend pre-Conquest Aztec ideology and culture, interviewing elderly elites and having the data transcribed and illustrated by multilingual native scholars over a period of some thirty years. This is English language translation combines two books of the original side-by-side Spanish and Nahuatl text. Book 4 deals with the predicted fortunes of individuals born under each day sign of the calendar. A fairly large amount of information on religious beliefs and social practices was incorporated into the predictions, which also provide an example of Aztec literary art. The appendix to Book 4 is a discourse by Sahagún (written in Spanish only) on Aztec calendrics and associated ceremonials. Book 5 is a collection of omens and superstitious beliefs, including some information on childbirth; most superstitions listed in the appendix likely persisted to the time they were recorded.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 17

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nu07-017

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English translation from Aztec

Note: Uniform title: Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España. English & Aztec

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1540-1579

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Missionary-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Robert Lee ; 1958

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1500-1579

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) central highland Mexico

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Indians of Mexico--Antiquities/Aztecs/Natural history--Mexico/Mexico--History--Conquest, 1519-1540/Mexico--Antiquities

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