Itzcoatl (TR41v)

Itzcoatl (TR41v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This colorful example of the compound glyph of the personal name for Itzcoatl, the fourteenth Mexica ruler, shows a striped serpent (coatl) with ten black obsidian points (itztli) across its curving back. The snake is shown in profile, looking toward the viewer's right. Its white eye is open (with a visible iris), and its bifurcated tongue is protruding. The serpent's tail is a white rattle. The back of the snake is orange, and its stomach is red.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The contextualizing image shows Itzcoatl sitting on his icpalli and petlatl (symbols of his authority), although he is deceased and shrouded. His shroud is gray with a red and white striped diamond shape on his back and red and white fringe near his feet.

See other examples of the personal name Itzcoatl (and Itzcoa) in the glyphs below.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


Itzcoatzin, rulers, gobernantes, Mexica, Tenochtitlan, serpientes, cuchillos, obsidiana, muerto, icpalli

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

Itzcoatl, fourteenth Mexica ruler,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Serpiente de Obsidiana, o Navaja-Culebra (Itzcoatzin, un gobernante Mexica)

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 41 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection,

Image Source, Rights: 

The non-commercial reuse of images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is free as long as the user is in compliance with the legislation in force and provides the citation: “Source / Bibliothèque nationale de France” or “Source / BnF.”

Historical Contextualizing Image: