tlalolin (TR33r)

tlalolin (TR33r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for earthquake (tlalolin) has two elements. One is a horizontal rectangle painted gray with lots of dots. It also has a line that runs through the middle horizontally. The rectangle represent the "Earth" or the ground (tlalli) that quakes, even though it does not have the usual u-shapes that combine with dots for the typical tlalli glyph (as exemplified below). The glyph in the center of the rectangle is the primary component that conveys "olin." It has the X shape with rings on both sides and concentric circles in the middle of the X. In the heart of the X is a starry or stellar eye. The colors are red, blue, orange, white, and green.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The concept of movement (not just in the form of earthquakes) permeates Nahua culture, as James Maffie (Aztec Philosophy, 2014) has described extensively. Olin is a day sign in the 260-day divinatory calendar (the tonalpohualli). This calendar played an important role in Nahuas' religious views of the cosmos. The colors and precise shape of the olin glyph do vary within manuscripts and across them. Another example of olin from this same manuscript shows the addition of a huitztli in as a sort of axis in the middle of the sign, and one more (like this one) includes the land to emphasize the movement of the land.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

ten blor

Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss 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: 

Stephanie Wood

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

temblores, movimiento, calendarios, días, days, calendars, fechas, dates

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el temblor

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 33 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.”