Mundy, Barbara E. “Mapping the Aztec Capital: The 1524 Nuremberg map of Tenochtitlan, Its Sources and Meanings.” Imago Mundi, vol. 50 (1998), pp. 1-22.


Aztec maps, Culhua-Mexica, New Spain, Hernán Cortés, Amerindian maps, Tenochtitlan [Tenochtitlán, Temistitan], Mexico, cartography, Pre-Columbian map


Arts and Humanities | Latin American Languages and Societies | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


The map of Tenochtitlan published along with a Latin version of Heman Cortes's letters (Nuremberg, 1524) was the first picture Europeans had of the Culhua-Mexica city, the capital of the Aztec empire. The source of this woodcut map is unknown, and the author argues here that it was based on an indigenous map of the city. Once published in Europe, the city map and its companion map of the Gulf Coast, while certainly documentary, also assumed a symbolic function in supporting Cortes's (and thereby Spain's)just conquest of the Amerindian empire

Published in

Imago Mundi, vol. 50 (1998)

Publication status

Published; SherpaRomeo status: Green