Dynastic Section

Codex Aubin_Fol.39v-40r.jpg

Dynastic succession, including rulers and events such as environmental phenomena and crop yields, fols. 39v - 40r.

Codex Aubin_Fol.35v-36r.jpg

Dynastic succession with sparse imagery, with some years featuring text only, fols. 35v and 36r.

The Aubin, like many other Aztec histories, includes a dynastic section listing the accessions and deaths of rulers of Tenochtitlan. Continuing its sparse description, this section of the book contains few events and is also simpler in format than the dynastic sections of some other manuscripts. Mixtec histories focus on genealogies, including marriages and offspring in their dynastic sections. Aztec histories, however, focus less on genealogy since rule was not passed from father to son but was kept within the royal family.

Beginning on folio 26v, the dynastic section contains pages of the ongoing year-count with changes in rulers noted and very little else, resulting in pages with few or even no events depicted for those years (each page contains five years, arranged vertically).  Folios 29v and 30r are a typical representation of this section of the manuscript, showing the accession of Huitzilihuitl (who ruled from 1 Reed/1395 to 5 Snake/1417) to the throne (the death of his predecessor is noted in the preceding year) and the passing of the fifth 52 year cycle noted with the event of grasshoppers coming down. This note may be one of the few times a natural or agricultural event is noted in the Aubin, which could be because its significance was somehow tied into the New Fire ceremony to commemorate a new 52 year cycle, or simply mean that the extent of the damage caused by the grasshoppers particularly impacted the city (another mention of grasshoppers later in the book notes that they caused a year of famine). 

Some years in the dynastic section contain no pictures, only text, seen in some years on folio 36. These instances again bring forth the encroachment of written language seen earlier in the book, seeming to fight for space with pictures. For these years, either the written word won out in importance, or the event was only considered notable by the scribe, rather than the illuminator.



Page showing the length of the reign of the tlatoani Tenetzin. 


Page showing the length of the reign of Don Cristobal de Guzman. 



A smaller list of dynastic succession occurs after the end of the annal's year count, in 1607, and was likely illustrated by a different aritst. This section simply depicts each ruler, accompanied by the number of years they reigned as shown by blue circles. Much like the main portion of the dynastic section, the early years contain little to no text (except to identify the figures), seen in folio 70r, while the rulers during the early years of the conquest are often accompanied by more text. The listing of rulers continues past the Aztec tlatoanis and into rule by Spaniards, seen on folio 77v with the rule of Don Cristobal de Guzman.