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Junior Chronoi Talk: “The Nocturnal Realm in Aztec Cosmovision” (Hybrid)

Valery A. Berthoud Frías

November 2, 2023

3 - 4 pm (CET)

Valery A. Berthoud Frías

Comprehending the units of time is essential for grasping any civilization's concept of time. In the Aztec world, nine distinct divisions served as temporal markers of the progression of day and night. Within the second volume of the Florentine Codex (dedicated to ceremonies) a passage reveals the division of the day into four segments and the night into five temporal demarcations.

This presentation will examine the moment at which the Aztec day started. Furthermore, drawing from the information found in the Florentine Codex, we will gain insight into the ancient Nahua's reverence for nocturnal deities and their understanding of the sacred dangers of the night. Additionally, we will explore the significance attributed to the "lords of the night" within Aztec mythology. It is noteworthy that while the Florentine Codex does not explicitly reference these designated "lords of the night," credit is due to Eduard Seler, who identified a recurring series of nine deities across various almanacs. Seler relied on early sources from New Spain, specifically Jacinto de la Serna—the head of the Pontifical University of Mexico who initially designated these deities as the "señores o dueños de la noche" (lords or owners of the night). And the identities of these nocturnal deities, patrons of the night, are known through their mention in the Telleriano-Remensis and Tudela codices.

Participants can join the online Chronoi Talk by clicking on the following link:

The conference room can be accessed using the following methods:

  • Joining directly in your browser; simply click the link above, and look for a button with this option near the bottom of the webpage.

  • Downloading the program to your computer (instructions can be found by following the meeting link)

  • Using the smartphone app called “Cisco Webex Meetings."

You are welcome to enter the online conference room up to 15 minutes in advance of the start time.

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