History and Publications

FIGURE 2. The cover of the Codex Selden.

FIGURE 2. The “cover” of the Codex Selden.

FIGURE 3. The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Photo by Byron Hamann.

FIGURE 3. The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Photo by Byron Hamann.

The final date recorded in the Selden’s narrative can be correlated to 1556, and the date on the front cover may refer to 1560, thus placing the completion of the Selden in the mid-sixteenth century (Figure 2).1 A century later the screenfold was in England, in the collection of John Selden. In 1659, five years after Selden’s death, much of his collection was acquired by the Bodleian Library at Oxford University (Figure 3). The Codex Selden is still housed there.2

The first reproduction of the Selden was a lithographed version included in Lord Kingsborough’s 1830-1843 Antiquities of Mexico. A photographic facsimile edition was published in 1964 by the Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologí­a, with a book of commentary by Alfonso Caso. A more recent commentary, with new color photos of the original document, was published in 2007 by Maarten Jansen and Gabina Aurora Pérez Jimenéz.

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1 Smith 1994, 122-123.

2 Caso 1964, 61. Jansen and Pérez Jimenéz proposed renaming this document the Codex Sicuañe in 2000 (Jansen and Pérez Jimenéz 2000, 5) and the Codex Añute in 2004 (Jansen and Pérez Jimenéz 2004, 268).