Thèse : Narrative and Ritual in the Codex Borgia: A Structural Analysis of this Postclassic Mexican Manuscript


  • Gerritse, Samantha
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N. Directeur


This thesis focuses on the interpretation of pages 29 to 46 of the Codex Borgia. This sequence of pages is unique in the corpus of Mexican manuscripts, and it contain very complex imagery. Because of this, these pages have been the centre of many interpretation efforts for already more than a decade. To this day no consensus has been reached about the meaning of the pages. To aid in this matter, this thesis contains three aims: (1) to give an overview of the interpretations made thus far, (2) to identify the specific problems in the interpretation process in order to recommend future lines of research, and (3) to expand upon the knowledge of the imagery through a structural analysis of them from the perspective of narratology. First, an overview of eight interpretations has been created. Secondly, these interpretations have been evaluated on the basis of the analogies that have been drawn in order to identify the problems in the interpretation process. Third and lastly, the narratological aspects time, space, events, actors, and focalization have been selected to analyse the structure (and thereby function) of the pages. It is concluded that that the pages represent various separate rituals in a ceremonial centre, and that the pages are of some kind of descriptive or prescriptive nature. It is very likely that the pages were used as a sort of guide for a variety rituals performed by a group of priests that was closely related to a Temple of Dark Wind, and in which hallucinations play a role.

Références bibliographiques

Citer ce billet
Olivier Jacquot (2021, 24 février). Thèse : Narrative and Ritual in the Codex Borgia: A Structural Analysis of this Postclassic Mexican Manuscript. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 18 mai 2024, à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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