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In cinco de Noviembre demil & selecientos of cinqu años bagrice a Maria. hija de Anconia Ake Padrinos Miquel Koh, y & Francisca C

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Diego Lope


form. It began in 1648, and lasted two years, reducing the population of the country by one-half. Cogolludo wrote his work at intervals as his duties allowed him, while Superior of the Convent of Cacalchen. The MS. was sent to Spain, and published in Madrid in 1688 by Father Francisco de Ayeta, procurator-general of the Order of St. Francis for all the provinces of New Spain, having been granted a copyright by the king; the printer was Juan Garcia Infanzon. Copies of this first edition are now extremely rare. (Plate LXVII.)

NOTE III. (Page xxxi.)

(1) The Troano MS. is one of the books written for the use of the Maya priests and noblemen. It is one of the few analtes that escaped destruction at the hands of the over-zealous missionaries who came to Yucatan even before the conquest of that country by the Spaniards. How it was saved from their iconoclastic fury, it is difficult to surmise; nor is it known who brought it to Spain. Cogolludo, describing these Maya books,1 says: "They were composed of a scroll of paper ten or twelve varas (thirty to thirty-six feet) long, doubled up so as to form folds about eight inches (una palma) wide, placed between two boards, beautifully ornamented, that served as cover. Landa tells us that "the paper was manufactured from the roots of certain trees, and that when spread in sheets, these were coated with a white and unalterable varnish on which one could easily write." The written space on each leaf of the Troano MS. measures five by nine inches.


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The learned Abbé Brasseur, returning from his expedition to Yucatan, passing through Madrid, made the acquaintance of Señor Dn. Juan Tro y Ortelano, professor of palæography at the University of that city. That gentleman showed to Brasseur an old manuscript which he said was Mexican. The abbé at once recognized in it some of the characters of the Maya alphabet preserved by Landa. He asked, and was graciously



Cogolludo, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. iv., chap. v., p. 185.

Landa, Las Cosas de Yucatan, chap. vii., p. 44.

permitted, to make a copy of the document. The work was done by Mr. Henry Bourgeois, the artist who had accompanied Abbé Brasseur to Yucatan, and the task occupied two years and a half of the artist's time. It was published by the French Government under the title of "Manuscrit Troano," from the name of the owner of the original.

This Maya manuscript is, indeed, a most precious document, for it is a brilliant light that, besides the monumental inscriptions, now illuminates the darkness which surrounds the history of the ancient inhabitants of the peninsula of Yucatan. The second part, after describing the events that took place during the awful cataclysms that caused the destruction of ten different countries, one of which, called Mu, was probably Plato's Atlantis, is mostly dedicated to the recital of meteorological and geological phenomena that occurred in the "Land of the Serpent," also called Beb (tree), of which Mayab formed a part.

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