ilhuitl (Azca12)

ilhuitl (Azca12)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for the day sign (ilhuitl) shows three concentric circles. The space between the outermost circle and the next one going inward is filled with alternating, spiraling red and white areas, two of each color. In the middle are two smaller concentric circles, just left natural. Around the outer perimeter of the largest circle are four tiny circles placed in what would be an X pattern if lines were drawn between them. The effect is to have the ilhuitl be shimmery or vibrant (perhaps with the small circles of tonalli), a form of movement that draws the viewer's eye around the circle.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

While the coloration is different from the ilhuitl glyph in the Codex Mendoza, the similarity is still significant. See below. Also, see the contextualizing image that includes the signs for the three days and four nights, during which time the comet was visible.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

eyi ilhuitl (or eyilhui)

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

post-1550, but content about the migration from Aztlan to about 1527

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

perhaps Tlatelolco, Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


days, días, suns, soles

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Image Source: 

The Codex Azcatitlan is also known as the Histoire mexicaine, [Manuscrit] Mexicain 59–64. It is housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and hosted on line by the World Digital Library and the Library of Congress.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Library of Congress is “unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection.” But please cite Bibliothèque Nationale de France and this Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs.

Historical Contextualizing Image: