ochpantli (Mdz20v)

ochpantli (Mdz20v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for highway (ochpantli) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Aochpanco. It is a horizontal rectangle, painted a terracotta color. It has two alternating, black footprints heading toward the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This same sign can stand for road (otli), as shown below. Of course, the "o" of otli is present in ochpantli. Highways were roads known for their width, as can be seen in our online dictionary. Adjectives for the ochpantli include "royal," and it has been called a "highway" and a "main road." Attestations of the word in our dictionary show it to have measured up to 15 arm-lengths wide. Footprints can be interpreted as roads or pathways, and they can stand for "xo" (things relating to pedestrians and feet).

Footprint glyphs have a wide range of translations. In this collection, so far, we can attest to yauh, xo, pano, -pan, paina, temo, nemi, quetza, otli, iyaquic hualiloti, huallauh, tepal, tetepotztoca, totoco, otlatoca, -tihui, and the vowel "o." Other research (Herrera et al, 2005, 64) points to additional terms, including: choloa, tlaloa, totoyoa, eco, aci, quiza, maxalihui, centlacxitl, and xocpalli.

Added 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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Xitlali Torres and Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

highways, calzadas

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

royal road

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 20 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 51 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).