Commentary on the Maya Manuscript in the Royal Public Library of Dresden

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PAPERS

OF THE

PEABODY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND
ETHNOLOGY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

VOL. IV.—No. 2

————

COMMENTARY

ON THE

MAYA MANUSCRIPT

IN THE

ROYAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF DRESDEN

 

BY

DR. ERNST FÖRSTEMANN

————

TRANSLATED BY

MISS SELMA WESSELHOEFT
AND
MISS A. M. PARKER

Translation revised by the Author

————

Cambridge, Mass.
Published by the Museum
October, 1906



NOTE

——

In pursuance of the plan of publishing translations of valuable contributions to the study of the Maya hieroglyphs, the Museum Committee on Central American Research has the pleasure of offering the following translation of Dr. Ernst Förstemann's important Commentary on the Maya Manuscript in the Royal Library of Dresden, generally known as the Dresden Codex.

The translation by Miss Selma Wesselhoeft and Miss A. M. Parker was made under the direction of Mr. Charles P. Bowditch of the Museum Committee.

In the original German edition, published in 1901, Dr. Förstemann used the Arabic numerals to designate the days, but in this translation, with the consent of the author who has kindly revised the translation, Mr. Bowditch has substituted the corresponding Maya names of the days, in uniformity with the general use of students in this country. It is needless to call attention to the importance of this paper by Dr. Förstemann whose long-continued study of the intricate system of hieroglyphic writing by the ancient Mayas makes all he writes of great value to students engaged in this most interesting research.

F. W. Putname.

Harvard University,
October, 1906.



[ 53 ]


PREFACE.

————

Some of those who examine this book will say, that it is too early for a commentary on the "Dresdensis," since Maya research is yet in its infancy, and this opinion is certainly justified inasmuch as a final explanation of that remarkable monument is, of course, impossible at the present time. On the other hand the accounts of the numerous investigations and discoveries which have been made thus far are so isolated and so scattered in the shape of a hundred short magazine articles, that it is certainly desirable to have what we know and what we have still to learn gathered together under one head. This book is intended, therefore, to give an idea of the state of our knowledge in this department of research at this time, when the nineteenth century is passing into the twentieth, with the definite expectation that this work will soon be far outstripped and will possess an historical value only.

The contents of the following pages are of very little value, unless the student can compare them with an edition of the manuscript. My first edition was published in 1880 at Leipsic and the second at Dresden in 1892. The edition in Lord Kingsborough's "Mexican Antiquities" (in Volume III of that work, London, 1831) is still of practical use.

And since in this work I must premise a knowledge of the elements of the subject, I would recommend, as additional aids to the comprehension of the following pages, my "Erläuterungen zur Mayahandschrift der Königlichen öffentlichen Bibliothek zu Dresden" (Dresden, 1886), and also Brinton, "A Primer of Mayan Hieroglyphics" (in the publications of the University of Pennsylvania. Series in Philology, Literature and Archaeology, Vol. III). I would also mention the very valuable work by [ 54 ] Paul Schellhas, "Die Göttergestalten der Mayahandschriften" (Dresden, 1897), which I follow in the designation of the various gods by letters of the alphabet.

It need hardly be pointed out, that the numerous pioneer articles by Edward Seler offer abundant instruction to the student in this field as well as in that of Aztec remains.

I wish to express heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Zelia Nuttall and Mr. Charles P. Bowditch, who have aided my work in various ways and have thus rendered possible the publication of this book.

E. Förstemann.

Charlottenburg.


INDEX.

———

The numbers in the first column refer to the pages of the Manuscript, and those in the second column to the pages of the Commentary.

FIRST PART.
1a 55 16a 90 42a-44a 146
2a 55 16a-17a 90 45a 148
3a 59 18a-19a 92 29b-30b 150
4a-10a 61 19a-21a 93 30b-31b 151
4b-5ba 67 21a-22a 93 31b-35b 152
10a-12a 69 22a-23a 95 35b-37b 156
12a 69 16b-17b 96 38b-41b 159
5b-6ba 70 17b-18b 97 41b-43b 162
6b-7ba 71 16c-17c 98 43b-44b 164
8ba 72 17c-18c 99 44b-45b 165
9ba 73 18c-19c 100 29c-30c 167
10b 74 19c-20c 100 30c-33c 168
10b-11b 75 19b 101 33c-39c 170
12b 76 19b-20b 101 40c-41c 176
4c-5ca 77 20b 102 42c-45c 178
5c-6ca 78 21b 103
6c-7ca 79 21c-22c 104 SECOND PART.
8ca 80 22c-23c 105
9ca 81 22b 107 46-50a 182
10c-11c 82 23b 108 51a-52a 197
12c 83 24a 110 51-58a 200
13a 84 25-28a 120 58-59a 215
13b-14b 85 29a-30a 132 60a 219
13c-14c 86 30a-31a 133 61-64a 222
14a-15a 85 31a-32a 133 65-69a 235
15a 88 32a-39a 138 69-73a 245
15b-16b 88 40a-41a 144 74a 265
15c 89

GLYPHS REFERRED TO IN THE TEXT.

GLYPHS REFERRED TO IN THE TEXT.

CARDINAL POINTS.

CARDINAL POINTS.


Notes