An Historical Context for the Voynich Codex: Aztec Mexico and Catholic Spain

  • Fernando A. MoreiraEmail author
Part of the Fascinating Life Sciences book series (FLS)


The encounter of Columbus with the New World was a pivotal event in world history. The invasion of central Mexico by the conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1519 destroyed the sophisticated Aztec culture, which was based on a common lingua franca (Nahuatl), a complex writing system (including literature), a bewildering religion, magnificent art, and technical advances in agriculture, medicine, astronomy, and engineering. The Aztecs also had a dark side and were in constant warfare that involved slavery and ritual cannibalism. The greedy conquistadors’ incentives were gold and land, whereas the clergy’s goals were to evangelize the native population and convert them to Catholicism, but also to destroy the local religion. Academic institutions were established to educate the sons of the Aztec nobility for priesthood. The clash of these two extraordinary but violent cultures was a tragic episode in human history; yet, the influence of the Aztec culture remains in the fused culture of New Spain.


Aztecs Conquistadors Culture Hernán Cortés Mexico Nahuatl New Spain Voynich 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ResearcherCalgaryCanada

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