Teonochtitlan (Mdz42r)

Teonochtitlan (Mdz42r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph stands for the place name Teonochtitlan (or Tenochtitlan). It consists of a cactus bearing fruit (nochtli) sitting atop a glyph for teotl) (divine or sacred force or forces), which resembles a half sun/day (tonatiuh). The upright cactus, with a leader and two branches, is likely a nopalli, which is silent here. The emphasis is on the fruit, which was eaten. The fruit, when red, could produce a red juice. The thorns on the cactus are red and white. The ligature and the locative suffix (-titlan) are not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

If the start of this place name was simply meant to be "Te-" a stone could serve in place of the glyph for teotl, which gives the prefix relating to divine force(s), "Teo-." See the example below. The cactus could also have a religious significance, implied in the blood-like juice of the red fruit (the tuna in Spanish), the thorns that could be used for blood letting, and the cochineal insects that grow on the cactus and that produce a red dye that, when smeared on the hand also resembles blood.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

teonochtitlā. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Teonochtitlan, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

divinidad, suns, soles, days, días, cactus plants, cactos, nopales, nopalli, ciudades, capitales, altepetl

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

"By the Rock Cactus" [Gordon Whittaker, Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 111]. "Place of the Cactus Fruit on the Stone" [Jongsoo Lee, The Allure of Nezahualcoyotl, 2008, 258.]

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

En el Tunal de la Piedra

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Frances Karttunen

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 42 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 94 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).