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NOTE II. (Page xxix.)
(4) Fray Diego Lopez de Cogolludo was a native of Alcala de Henares, Spain. I have been unable to obtain data concerning his family. The date of his birth and that of his death are unknown. Though always ready to bestow praise on each and every member of his Order, he is most reticent when speaking of himself. He seems to have been a man of superior intelligence, remarkably free-minded for his age and calling. From his "Historia de Yucathan," a great part of which is dedicated to the doings and sayings of his friends and associates in the evangelical labor of preaching the gospel and catechising the aborigines, we learn that he received the sacred orders in the Convent of St. Francis, in his native city, whence he came as missionary to Yucatan in 1634, being one of twenty-five monks brought to the country by Rev. Francisco Ximenes de Santa Maria. Father Juan Coronel, author of a Maya grammar published in Mexico, was his teacher of the Maya language. During the twenty-two years that elapsed from the time of his arrival until 1656, the last year mentioned in his work, he occupied many posts of importance in his Order. He visited the cities of Guatemala and Mexico, travelling on foot. While he was Superior or Guardian of the Convent of Motul, a great famine occurred in the country. The sufferings of the people are said to have been very severe, many dying of inanition. He also tells of a terrible epidemic, that, judging by the symptoms, minutely described, was yellow fever of the most virulent
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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.
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.