Capolteopan (Mdz33r)

Capolteopan (Mdz33r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Capolteopan includes two notable elements, a Mexican cherry tree (capolin) and a temple (teopantli) or teopancalli. This cherry tree has one main, green stem, with four two-tone green leaves, and above that, two sprigs, each one laden with red cherries. One, possibly additional leaf is white. The temple is to the left of the cherry tree. It is primarily white, with five large layers that get smaller as they rise. On the right side of the building there are many smaller steps. The viewer sees the temple in profile, and it is facing to the viewer's right. Atop the pyramid-like building is a smaller building with a classical calli shape. It has a t-shaped set of beams, terracotta in color, at the entrance. Above the horizontal beam or lintel is a black rectangle with a series of white stars or small circles. The calli is also in profile facing to the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

There is a much more elaborate Mexican cherry tree in this collection. See below, right. Having a temple devoted to the capulin tree is what this place name suggests, but an alternative is that the capulin is there to provide a phonetic approximation of calpulli, referring to a neighborhood temple. Capolteopan may have been a tributary of Tolocan (Toluca) (Wimmer 2004). The design at the top of the teopantli could be compared to that of the teocalli in the compound glyph Teocaltzinco (below). See also the teopantli found in our iconography category.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

capulteopā. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Capulteopan, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

trees, árboles, temples, templos, pirámides, plantas, cerezos, cherry trees

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"On the Temple of the Capulin" (apparently agreeing with Berdan and Anawalt) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Temple of the Capulin" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 176)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 33 recto,, image 76 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hold the original manuscript, the MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1. This image is published here under the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0).