Parution : The Ancient Cities of the New World : being voyages and explorations in Mexico and Central America from 1857-1882

The Ancient Cities of the New World, New York : Harper & Brothers
The Ancient Cities of the New World, New York : Harper & Brothers


Compte rendu

This interesting volume, now offered to American readers, is the outcome of an expedition which received strong support in the United States, and enriched the museums of Paris and Washington with valuable collections. * * * The expedition aimed at the careful reproduction of Central American monuments, and a systematic investigation of the ruined cities and other remains of ancient civilization in Central America and Mexico. It was dispatched under the joint auspices of the governments of the United States and France. The means were provided not only of photographing bas-reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions, but of making careful casts of them. Copies of these casts were to be presented to the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, and to the French Government. The collection and preservation of these reproductions formed one of the most valuable features of the enterprise, offering as they now do, to students of all countries, an ample field for investigation, and possibly the materials requisite for a solution of the language problem by some future Champollion. “In the face of great difficulty and discouragement M. Charnay has succeeded in securing and safely transporting numerous casts of the important palaces and temples of Central America, now on exhibition in the museums of Paris and Washington, after the destruction if the first collection of hostile Indians. * * * These monuments are of surpassing grandeur; their annals and the tale that their hieroglyphics strive to tell are still unsolved. * * * Yet how few Americans of our day have any conception of the stately edifices of monumental Mitla, or of Palenque, with its magnificent palaces, its terraces, and temples, its pyramids and sculptured ornaments. The story of Spanish rule in America is familiar to all, but comparatively few have any knowledge of those splendid relics that crown the entire nucleus of New Spain, and which, despite the havoc of time, speak to us so eloquently of a noble culture reaching back beyond the Conquest. More, no doubt, would have been known but for the untimely end of the distinguished traveler, John L. Stephens.

Autumn leaves1, 1889, vol. II, n° 5, p. 225 ?-229. Disponible en ligne, url : <>.

Informations pratiques

  • Éditeur : New York : Harper & Brothers
  • Date de parution : 1888
  • Description matérielle : 1 vol. (XLVI-514-2 p.) : ill., carte
  • Trad. de : “Les anciennes villes du nouveau monde”


Frontispice de Désiré Charnay
Frontispice de Désiré Charnay
Carte des migrations toltèques
Carte des migrations toltèques avec des routes marquées en bleu, vert, rouge et jaune.
The Ancient Cities of the New World
The Ancient Cities of the New World, New York : Harper & Brothers
The Ancient Cities of the New World, New York : Harper & Brothers
The Ancient Cities of the New World, New York : Harper & Brothers
  1. Périodique mormon, cf. : <>. []

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de la valorisation et des données de la recherche > Coordination de la recherche > Délégation à la Stratégie et à la recherche > Bibliothèque nationale de France

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