Tlillancalqui (Mdz65r)

Tlillancalqui (Mdz65r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph represents the title or occupation, Tlillancalqui. It is a house or building (calli) shown in profile, facing to the right. The building is white with black (tlilli) beams in the shape of a T around the entrance. On these black beams are three white shapes, something like Maltese crosses, each one with with a black center.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The Tlillancalqui was the "Keeper of the House of Darkness," and one of four trusted advisers to the emperor, who was sent to meet the invading Cortés expedition and had one of the earliest exchanges with them, according to Hugh Thomas (Conquest, 2013, 48). A person with the name don Pedro Tlillancalqui is referenced as the owner of a piece of land called a cuauhtlalli in a bill of sale in 1568 in Coyoacan, so it was a title that may have become a name, or perhaps the father that was referenced in the bill of sale was a person who had that occupation in Coyoacan the generation before the sale was made. (See Rebecca Horn, Postconquest Coyoacan, 1997, 128.)

For other high-powered offices held in the autonomous era (and perhaps beyond), see also Tlillancalqui. In both cases, powerful positions have associations with important buildings.

The suffix -qui indicates that this term applies to a person who performs the job. But a calqui is also a person who has a house, a resident. It has yet to be determined whether the black (tlil-) and the building (cal-) are in the glyph for their semantic and/or phonetic contributions. The quincunx designs also have yet to be analyzed.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

tlilancalqui. xecutor.

Gloss Normalization: 

Tlillancalqui, executor

Gloss 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

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

jueces, judges, tlilancalqui

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

tlillancalqui, a high judge or a military title,
tlil(li), black ink or paint,
cal(li), house or building,
-qui, one who does that thing,
calqui, a person who has a house,

Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)