Dresden Codex


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 reputation of the Maya as astronomers is based largely on these figures.

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▪ Mayan literature
Latin  Codex Dresdensis  
 one of the few collections of pre-Columbian Mayan hieroglyphic texts (Mayan hieroglyphic writing) known to have survived the book burnings by the Spanish clergy during the 16th century (others include the Madrid (Madrid Codex), Paris (Paris Codex), and Grolier codices). It contains astronomical (astronomy) calculations—eclipse-prediction tables, the synodical period of Venus—of exceptional accuracy. These figures have given the Maya a strong reputation as astronomers. The codex was acquired by the Saxon State Library, Dresden, Saxony, and was published by Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough, in Antiquities of Mexico (1830–48). King erroneously attributed the codex to the Aztecs (Aztec). The first scientific edition of the codex was made by E. Förstemann (Leipzig, 1880). See also Madrid Codex; Paris Codex.

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Universalium. 2010.

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