Unknown: Codex Borgia, page 14 - The 9 Lords of the Night (13th-15th century)

(Vatican Museum, Rome, Vatican City)

A page from the so-called 'Codex Borgia', a ritual and divinatory manuscript from Mesoamerica written somewhere within what is now southern or western Puebla. The book itself consists of 39 sheets which are painting on both sides - creating 76 pages. This is page number 14 and shows the '9 lords of the Night'. Depicted from left to right and from top from above (the correct reading order is 3c, 3b, 3a, 2a, 2b, 2c, 1c, 1b, 1a):

top row:
(1a) Tláloc - God of Rain, lightning and thunder, connected with the night hour 'Water'
(1b) Tepeyóllotl (variant of Tezcatlipoca) - "Heart of the Mountain", the Jaguar of the Night, lord of the animals, darkened caves, echoes and earthquakes, connected with the night hour 'Rabbit'
(1c) Tlazoltéotl - "the Eater of Filth", Goddess of Filth, the Earth, human fertility and of sexuality, goddess of the Ritual Cleansing, connected with the night hour 'Deer'
Second row:
(2a) Cintéotl - God of Maize, connected with the night hour 'Lizard'
(2b) Mictlantecuhtli - God of Death (the underworld), connected with the night hour 'Serpent'
(2c) Chalchiuhtlicue - Goddess of Running Water , connected with the night hour 'Death'
Third row:
(3a) Piltzintecuhtli - God of Youth, connected with the night hour 'House'
(3b) Itztli (variant of Yayauhqui Tezcatlipoca) - "the sacrificial knife", god of stone and sacrifice (black smoking miror), connected with the night hour 'Wind'
(3c) Xiuhtecuhtli - God of Fire, connected with the night hour 'Alligator'

The nights in Mesoamerica were ruled by these 9 “Lords of the Night.” Each of these 9 gods ruled for one night, and the next night another Lord
of the Night would take over. In the Maya calendar, this was a never-ending cycle of 9 nights. The provided names are the Aztec names which are known. The Maya names are not known and  onsequently referenced under code numbers: G1, G2, G3 to G9. In the codex each god is standing and offering a bundle of sticks, a rubber ball and a quetzal feather. Book from the 13th-15th century.

See also these links to other pages from the codex Borgia:
- page 25: the five cardinal directions
- page 56: The gods of Life and Death and the 260-day ritual calendar
- page 71: The sun, moon and 13 birds

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