Coatitlan (Mdz17v)

Coatitlan (Mdz17v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Coatitlan features two elements, a full-length snake {coatl) in profile, facing to the right, and a set of two front teeth {tlantli), which provides the phonetic value for the locative suffix -tlan. The snake or serpent is a two-tone golden brown, with a white belly, and a rattler for a tail. Its bifurcated tongue is yellow.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Note how the teeth are four, which is more than is often the case, but they fill the curve in the body of the snake, which might be an example of artistic license. A similar case is the compound glyph for Chontal Coatlan (below, right). Many snakes have a red tongue; it is not clear why this one is yellow or if it has an iconographic significance. The rattler can also be a different color from the body, but here is it not. Finally, the white stomach is sometimes segmented, but not here.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Coatitlan, 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: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

snakes, serpents, culebras, serpientes

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Among the Snakes" (Karttunen she does not offer an alternative reading to the Berdan and Anawalt reading) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Among the Snakes" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 179)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 17 verso,, image 45 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).