Ixtlilxochitl’s Toltec History (Obras Historicos)

English translation from the Works of Ixtlilxochitl (1610).

Read Ixtlilxochitl & Evidence for the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerican Codices for more detail and introductory information on Ixtlilxochitl and his writing’s relationship to the Book of Mormon. See “Notes” at the end for important notes on likely date corrections.

The first published Spanish version of Ixtlilxochitl's Aztec History from 1848 Kingsborough's Antiquities of Mexico.  And a quick and dirty google translation of it here.
The 2nd Spanish version of Ixtlilxochitl's 'Obras Historicas', compiled by Alfredo Chavero in 1891, book here. 
Footnotes partly by John Pratt from his page here. Chapters section from first major published English translation (2000) book here.

The section below begins on page 21 of the Chavero found here and 321 of Kingsborough here.
A list of other codices which tell many of the same stories can be found here.

First Account: Creation of the World.

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1:1. A history of the events in New Spain [central Mexico] including many things regarding the knowledge and accomplishments of the Tultecas from the creation of the world to its destruction, and up to the arrival of the third inhabitants called Chichimecas, and on up to the arrival of the Spanish, taken from the original history of New Spain.

1:2. The creation of the world and things pertaining thereto, including the origin of man. The omniscience of God and what He has revealed to the Tultecas.

1:3. The Tultecas had a knowledge of the creation of the world by Tloque Nahuaque, including the planets, mountains, animals, etc. They also knew about how God created a man and a woman from whence all mankind descended and multiplied. They recorded many other events that are not included in this account, inasmuch as the same events are recorded by other nations in the world.

1:4. The records indicate that the world was created in the year 1 FLINT, and the period of time from the creation to the flood is called Atonatiuh, which means the age of the sun of water because the world was destroyed by the flood. And it is recorded in the Tulteca history that this period or first world, as they called it, lasted for 1,716 years, after which time great lightning and storms from the heavens destroyed mankind, and everything in the earth was covered by water including the highest mountain called Caxtolmolictli, which is 15 cubits high.

1:5. To this they recorded other events, such as how, after the flood, a few people who had escaped the destruction inside a Toptlipetlacalli, which interpreted means an enclosed ark, began again to multiply upon the earth.

1:6. After the earth began again to be populated, they built a Zacualli very high and strong, which means the very high tower, to protect themselves against a second destruction of the world.

1:7. As time elapsed, their language became confounded, such that they did not understand one another; and they were scattered to all parts of the world.

1:8. The Tultecas [Olmecs], consisting of seven men and their wives, were able to understand one another, and they came to this land, having first crossed many lands and waters, living in caves and passing through great tribulations. Upon their arrival here, they discovered that it was a very good and fertile land.

1:9. It has been reported that they wandered for 104 years in different parts of the land until they settled in Huehue Tlapallan, their homeland. This was in the year 1 FLINT and 520 years had elapsed since the flood, which represent five venus centuries.

1:10. And 1,715 [1,716?, see v. 1:13] years after the flood, the people were destroyed by a very great hurricane that carried away trees, rocks, houses, and large buildings. Many men and women escaped the storm by hiding in caves and other places where the great hurricane could not reach them.

1:11. After a short period of time, they left the caves to see how much damage had taken place in the land. They discovered that it was populated and covered with monkeys that had been driven by the winds, as they had been in darkness all this time without being able to see the sun or the moon.

1:12. From this event, the saying came about that men had turned into monkeys. This period became known as the second period, or the second world, called Ehecatonatiuh, which means sun of wind. After the destruction, men began again to rebuild and to multiply upon the face of the land.

1:13. In the year 8 RABBIT, which was 1,347 years after the second calamity and 4,779 years since the creation of the world [correct if second calamity was in 1 FLINT, 1,716 years after Flood], it is recorded in their history that the sun stood still one natural day without moving, and a myth evolved wherein a mosquito saw the sun suspended in the air in a pensive mood and said, “Lord of the world, why are you standing still and why are you in such deep thought? Why are you not doing the work you are supposed to do? Do you want to destroy the world as before?” And the mosquito said many other things to the sun, but the sun still did not move. The mosquito then stung the sun on the leg, and seeing that his leg had been stung, the sun began again to move along its course as before.

65 Venus cycles is 104 years which is
two 52 year calendar rounds.

1:14. It had been 158 [156] years since the great hurricane and 4,994 [3,588?], he added years from the sun standing still rather than from the hurricane, the big clue being 1 FLINT] years since the creation of the world, when there occurred another destruction in this land. The people who lived in this corner of the land, which they now call New Spain, were giants called Quinametzin. The destruction consisted of a great earthquake that swallowed up and killed the people when the high volcanic mountains erupted. All of the people were destroyed and no one escaped; or if anyone did escape, it was those who were in the internal parts of the land. Many Tultecas, along with the Chichimecas, who were their neighbors, were killed. This was in the year 1 FLINT, and they called this time period Tlacchitonatiuh, which means sun of the earth.

1:15. In the year 1 FLINT, which was 5,097 [3,692?] years since the creation of the world and 104 years after the total destruction of the giant Quinametzin, all of the land of this new age being at peace, a council was held of the leading scientific, astrological, and artistic scholars of the Tultecas in their capital city called Huehuetlapallan. Here they discussed many things, including the destruction and the calamities that had taken place, as well as the movements of the heavens since the creation of the world. They also discussed many other things; but because of the burning of the records, we do not know or understand any more than what is written here. Among other things, they added the leap year to the calendar to adjust it with the solar equinox; and they discussed many other interesting things as will be observed from their records and laws regarding the years, months, weeks, days, signs, and planets. These, along with other interesting things, were understood by them.

1:16. It had been 166 years since they had adjusted their calendar with the equinox and 270 years since the giants had been destroyed when the sun and the moon eclipsed and the earth quaked and rocks were broken into pieces and many other signs that had been given came to pass, although man was not destroyed. This was in the year 1 TEMPLE [10 TEMPLE [1],] which, adjusted to our calendar, happened at the same time that Christ, our Lord, suffered. And they say that this destruction occurred in the first few days of the year.

1:17. These, and many other things, from the creation of the world up to our time, were understood by the Tultecas. As I have heretofore stated, according to what appears in their histories and paintings, they only made an abridgment, primarily of their origins; I mean all of the things that are found in their paintings and histories are just an abridgment compared to the records that the first archbishop of Mexico ordered to be burned.

1:18. It had been 305 [354] years since the time of the eclipsing of the sun and the moon, 438 [387] years since the time of the destruction of the large Quinametzin [he meant since the Incarnation, see verse 1:19], and 5,486 [4,211] years since the creation of the world, when Chalcatzin and Tlacamihtzin, chief leaders and descendants of the Tulteca royal lineage, following many years of quiet peace, commenced to desire the usurpation of the kingdom, desiring to overthrow the legitimate successor. This was the year 13 REED.

1:19. They were exiled, and there began to be wars, and they cast them out of the City of Tlachicalzincan, in the region of Hueytlapallan, their homeland. And they were cast out with their families and allies, their men as well as their women, and a great number were exiled. They left in the year following 1 FLINT, banished from all that land, as you will see in that which follows [in Chapter 2:1]. And this transpired, according to our calculations, 439 years [or perhaps 388 AD? See note 8] after the birth of our Christ the Lord.

1:20. The ancestors of the natives of this land that is now called New Spain, according to the common and general opinion of everyone, as well as that which appears demonstrated in their paintings, came from the Occidental areas.

1:21. And all who are now called Tultecas, Aculhuas, and Mexicanas, as well as the other people in this land, boast and affirm that they are descendants of the Chichimecas. The reason, according to their history, is that their first king, whose name was Chichimecatl, was the one who brought them to this new land where they settled. And it was he, as can be deduced, that came from the Great Tartary [Persia, Caspian & Asia], and was part of those who came from the division of Babel. This account is described in great detail in their history, and it tells how he, their king, traveled with them crossing a large part of the world, arriving at this land, which they considered to be good, fertile, and abundant for human sustenance. As mentioned earlier, they populated the major part of the land, and more particularly that which falls along the northern part. And the Chichimecatl called the land by his own name.

1:22. In each place where the Chichimecatl settled, whether it be a large city or a small village, it was their custom to name it according to the first king or leader who possessed the land. This same custom prevailed among the Tultecas. The general area was called the Land of Tollan, after the first king who was so named. Be that as it may, this custom was prevalent in naming other cities and villages throughout the land.

1:23. Notwithstanding that some were called Tultecas, others Aculhuas, Tepanecas and Otomites, they all were proud to be of the lineage of the Chichimecas, because they all descended from them. However, it is true that there were divisions among the Chichimecas themselves. And some were more civilized than others, such as the Tultecas. And others were more barbaric, such as the Otomites, and others like them. Those who are pure Chichimecas, whose kings were direct descendants of the first king and founder Chichimecatl, were bloodthirsty men, warriors, and lovers of power, holding other nations in bondage.

1:24. Although one nation was inclined to righteousness and another nation was full of mischief idleness, being exceedingly haughty and proud and being warmongers, or although one nation was virtuous and another full of iniquity, both, as recorded in their history, came from the same lineage, the Chichimecas. And all are descended from the same forefathers; and as it has been said, they came from the Occidental areas.

1:25. In this land called New Spain, there were giants, as demonstrated by their bones that have been discovered in many areas. The ancient Tulteca record keepers called them Quinametzin. They became acquainted with them and had many wars and contentions with them, and in particular in all of the land that is now called New Spain. They were destroyed, and their civilization came to an end as a result of great calamities and punishments from heaven for some grave sins that they had committed.

1:26. It is the opinion of some of these ancient historians that these giants descended from the same Chichimecas mentioned earlier, and they say that in these northern lands, where the ancient Chichimeca Empire was located that there are villages where there are still men living who are over thirty hands tall. And it is of no wonder, that even our own Spaniards have not yet entered into the interior of the lands, but have only traveled along the coastal areas such as the lands of the Chicoranos and the Duharezases, and they have found men in these parts who are eleven and twelve hands[3] in height, and have been told that there are others even taller.

1:27. The greatest destruction that occurred among the Quinametzin was in the year and date that the natives call 1 Tochtli, signifying the date 1 RABBIT [2 RABBIT], 299 years after the birth of Jesus Christ, and with them ended the third age, which was called Ecatonatiuh, because of the great winds and earthquakes. And almost everyone was destroyed.

1:28. The Tultecas were the second civilization in this land after the destruction of the giants, and they had a knowledge of the creation of the world and of how the world had been destroyed by the flood; and many other things are recorded in their history and paintings.

1:29. … the word Tulteca means men of the arts and sciences, because those of this nation were great artisans, as you can see today in many parts, and especially in the ruins of buildings, such as Teotihuacan, Tula, and Cholula.

1:30. The most serious authors and historians of the ancient pagans included Quetzalcoatl, who is considered to be the first. Some of the modern pagans include Nezahualcoyotzin, king of Texcuco, and the two infants of Mexico, Itzocatzin and Xiuhcozcatzin, sons of King Huitzilihuitzin. And there are many others I could mention if it were necessary.

1:31. It is declared through their histories about the god Teotloquenahuaque, Tlachihualcipal Nemoanulhuicahua Tlaltipacque, which, according to the correct interpretation, means the universal god of all things, creator of them and in whose will lives all creatures, lord of the heaven and of the earth, etc. After having created all things, he created the first parents of men, from whence came forth all others; and the dwelling place and habitation that he gave them was the world.

1:32. It is said that the world had four ages. The first, which was from the beginning, was called Atonatiuh, which means sun of water, signifying that the world was terminated by a flood. The second, called Tlachitonatiuh, means sun of earth, because the world came to an end by great earthquakes, in such a manner that almost all of mankind was destroyed. This age or time occurred during the time of the giants, who were called Quinametintzoculihicxime.

1:33. The third age, Ecatonatiuh, means sun of air, because this period came to an end by winds that were so strong that they uprooted all of the buildings and trees and even broke the rocks in pieces; and the majority of mankind perished. And because those who escaped this calamity found a large number of monkeys that the wind must have brought from other parts, the survivors said man must have been changed into monkeys.

1:34. Those who possessed this new world in this third age were the Ulmecas and Xicalancas; and according to what is found in their histories, they came in ships or boats from the east to the land of Potonchan, and from there they began to populate the land.

1:35. On the banks of the Atoyac River, which is the one that passes between Puebla and Cholula, there were found some of the giants who had escaped the destruction and extermination of the second age. Taking advantage of their size and strength, they oppressed and enslaved their new neighbors.

1:36. The principal leaders of the new settlers determined to liberate themselves, and the means they employed were to invite the old settlers to a very solemn feast. After the old settlers became full and intoxicated, they were killed and destroyed with their own weapons, with which feat the new settlers remained free and exempt from bondage, and this increased the domain and command of the Xicalancas and Ulmecas.

1:37. The people were living in a time of great prosperity, when there arrived in this land a man whom they called Quetzalcoatl. Others called him Hueman because of his great virtues. He was considered just, saintly, and good, teaching them by deeds and words the road to virtue. He instructed them to refrain from vices and not to sin, and he gave them laws and sane doctrine. He told them to constrain their appetites and to be honest, and he instituted the law of the fast.

1:38. And he was the first to be worshipped and to be placed in authority, and for that reason he is called Quiauhtzteotlchicahualizteotl and Tonaceaquahuitl, which means god of the rains and of health and tree of sustenance or of life.

1:39. After he had preached the above mentioned to all of the other Ulmeca and Xicalanca cities, and especially in the City of Cholula, where he spent a great deal of time, and seeing the small amount of fruit that resulted from his doctrine, he returned to the same place from whence he had come, which was to the east, disappearing at Coatzacoalco.

1:40. And at the time of his farewell from these people, he told them of times to come. He said that in the year that would be called 1 REED, he would return and then his doctrine would be accepted, and his children would be lords and heirs of the earth. He also told them that they and their descendants would pass through great calamities and persecutions. He prophesied of many other things that would surely come to pass.

1:41. Quetzalcoatl, by literal interpretation, means serpent of the precious feathers, with an allegoric meaning of, man of exceeding great wisdom. And Huemac (Hueman), some say, was the name given to him because his hands were printed, or stamped, on a rock, like a very fine wax, as testimony that what he prophesied would come to pass. Others say that Hueman means, he with the great or powerful hand.

1:42. A few days after he left, a great destruction and devastation took place, which is referred to as the third period of the world. At that time, the great building and tower of Cholula, which was so famous and marvelous, was destroyed. It was like a second tower of Babel that these people had built, with virtually the same idea in mind. It was destroyed by the wind.

1:43. And later, those who escaped at the end of the third age, in place of the ruins, the people built a temple to Quetzalcoatl, whom they named the god of wind, because it was destroyed by the wind. They understood that this calamity was sent by his hand. And they called it 1 REED, which was the name of the year of his coming. According to the history referred to, and from the records, the foregoing took place a few years after the birth of Christ our Lord.

1:44. After this age had passed, beginning at this time, entered the fourth age called Tletonatiuh, which means, sun of fire, because it is said that this fourth and last age will end by fire.

1:45. Quetzalcoatl was a man of comely appearance and serious disposition. His countenance was white, and he wore a beard. His manner of dress consisted of a long, flowing robe.

Second Account: History of the Toltecs

2:1. In the year 1 FLINT [439. Or perhaps 388?] [2], as has been said [in 1:19], the Tultecs [Nahuatls] were banished from their country and nation. They left fleeing and as they could, while the followers of Tlaxicholiucan, their kindred, came following, harassing them, until they arrived at a point more than sixty leagues away from their lands, where they stayed, reorganizing themselves and cultivating the land and doing other things for their sustenance.

2:2. This land they called Tlapallanconco and the discoverer of this land was called Cecatzin.

2:3. … they were near their country eight years making war, until they were entirely driven out….

2:4. And before going on, I want to make an account of Huematzin the astrologer [prophet]….

2:5. Before dying, he gathered together all the histories the Tultecas had, from the creation of the world up to that time and had them pictured in a very large book, where were pictured all of their persecutions and hardships, prosperities and good happenings, kings and lords, laws and good government of their ancestors, old sayings and good examples, temples, idols, sacrifices, rites and ceremonies that they had, astrology, philosophy, architecture, and the other arts, good as well as bad, and a resume of all things of science, knowledge, prosperous and adverse battles, and many other things; and he entitled this book calling it Teoamoxtli, which, well interpreted, means Various Things of God and Divine Book.

2:6. The natives now call the Holy Scriptures Teoamoxtli, because it is almost the same, principally in the persecutions and hardships of men.

2:7. Likewise he declared that when five hundred and twelve years [495 years, 498 by Ixtlilxochitl’s own reckoning][4] had passed since they left their country, a lord (chief, master, ruler) was to inherit the kingdom [Topiltzin inherited throne in AD 883, Moctezuma II in AD 1502], with the good will of some and against the will of others.

2:8. Further, that he was to have certain marks on his body, and the main one, he was to have curly hair, and of the hair itself nature was to form a tiara on his head, from birth until he died.

2:9. And during his life time he was to be, at first, very just, wise, and of a good government. In mid-life he was to be foolish and unfortunate, for which reason those of his nation were to perish with very great punishments from heaven, and no less than three destructions would they have, and that last would be in the year 1 FLINT.

2:10. Some men of his own lineage would rise and persecute him with very great wars, until nearly all of them were exterminated. And he was to escape and return toward where his ancestors had come from. And the latter part of his life, he was to be very just, wise, and discreet, as at the beginning.

Horned rabbit caused by Shope papillona virus.

2:11. And a few years before their destruction there were to be certain unnatural signs among them, that the rabbit was to grow horns like the deer, the bird Huetzitzilin was to grow spurs like cocks, and rocks were to give forth fruit, and principal women were to go on pilgrimages as is the use and custom. They were to have carnal access to the priests of the temples, the priests breaking the chastity that they professed there in their false religions.

2:12. And he said Tloquenahuaque, seeing this, would be angry against them, and the other gods (his inferiors) would punish them with lightnings, hails, ice, hunger, vermin, and other persecutions from heaven; and after this with wars with which they would exterminate each other completely.

2:13. Further, that so many years from that time, those who escaped this destruction would have another, and even some of the Chichimecas too, because that star Tecpatl (which is a flint) would again do its part.

2:14. These and other things he declared he understood through his astrology and the signs that planets had in store for them. And also these things came to pass, with God’s will, just as he said.

2:15. And almost in the last of these years two principal leaders and five minor ones got together to discuss whether they would stay in this land or whether they would go farther.

2:16. There arose among the Tultecs a great astrologer [prophet] who called himself Huematzin, saying to them that he found that since the creation of the world they had always had great persecutions from heaven, and after persecutions their ancestors had enjoyed great well being, prosperity, and long power, and their persecutions always occurred in the year 1 FLINT … and this year 1 FLINT once past, they would enjoy great well being, that it was a great evil, prelude to a greater good.

2:17. And Huematzin went on tell them that thus it was not convenient for them to stay so near their enemies. Besides, he found in his astrology that the land toward the rising of the sun was was extensive and prosperous, where the Quinametzin had lived for many years, and it had been many years since they had been destroyed, and it was unsettled.

2:18. Besides, the fierce Chichimecas, their neighbors, very few times went that far and the planet [omen bearing comet] that governed that land lacked many years before fulfilling its threats, that in the meantime they could enjoy a golden and happy century[5], they and all of their descendants to the tenth degree, succeeding from children to parents.

2:19. Besides, that planet did not govern over their nations, but rather over the Giants–and it might be that it would not hurt their descendants very much–and that in this place, they should some people to settle it and remain as their vassals, and as time went on they would return against their enemies and recover their country and nation.

2:20. These and many other things Huematzin declared and these two leaders and the other minor ones thought it good and agreed on it, carrying it all out.

2:21. And Huematzin told them that if they were different from the others, that is, from the Giants who had done wickedly, and were good, they should remain a few days supplying themselves with everything for what was ahead.

2:22. At the time that they left this land, it had been eleven years since they had left their country because they were near their country eight years making war, until they were entirely driven out, and three years in the land they called Tlapallanconco. As has been said, they left some of the common people, their women and children, so that they might settle it.

2:23. … they left Tlapallanconco and traveled another sixty leagues. And it is to be noted that history says that they traveled 12 days to each journey of a new land that they discovered, from which it can be deduced that they traveled six leagues a day, on account of having so many people, women, and children, all loaded. And besides, once started on a day’s journey they did not stop until night made them stop to sleep and rest; and each day they made six leagues, rather more or less. And 12 days having past, according to the way I figure, they must have traveled about 70 leagues.

2:24. They arrived at a good and fertile land which was called Hueyxallan, where they stayed four years. There they likewise sowed and did what had been done before where they had been previously, preparing for what was ahead. The discoverer was Ohuatzon, one of the five minor leaders or captains. And on the third year, which year was called 1 TEMPLE, they counted a tlalpilli, which was a period of thirteen years, since they had left their country and they stayed another year.

2:25. And then, at that point, they left there and traveled toward the rising sun, and more than a hundred leagues having been traveled, because they had traveled more than 20 days uninterruptedly, they arrived at Xalixco, a land which was near the sea, and here they stayed 8 years, the discoverer being Xinhcohuatl, also one of the five minor captains. And they did what they had done at the other places.

2:26. … they left Xalixco with all of their people in pursuit of their enterprise, traveling another 20 days, which must have been some 100 leagues, in different parts, as they had done in the other parts. They arrived at some islands and seashore that was called Chimalhuacan Atenco, where they stayed 5 years.

2:27. And this was the first place where man began to have access with their wives, and here the women began to give birth to children. They had made a vow at the time they left their country that for 23 years they were not to know their wives and those who broke this vow were to be cruelly punished. And thus the women began to give birth in these islands and seashore.

2:28. On the fourth year, which was 1 RABBIT, there having been two tlalpilli of years, it was 27 years since they had left their country, which in our count was the year 466 [414] from the birth of Christ our Lord.

2:29. And the five years having passed, they began the journey, always travelling toward the rising of the sun, going up to Tochpan, where they stopped. And on this road they travelled 18 days, which must have been about eighty leagues, and having arrived at this land, they stayed another five years, doing what they had done in the other parts, and they multiplied in number. The discoverer was Mexotzin, the last of the said five captains.

2:30. They took the road again through the same way of the orient. And they traveled 20 days, covering what must have been another hundred leagues, through different parts, and on the last day of them, they arrived in Quiyahuixtlan Anahuac, which were lands of the coast and arms of the sea, passing on canoes and boats from one part to another. And the time they stayed there was six years. Always they suffered great hardships. The discoverer of them was Acapichtzin, one of the principal leaders.

2:31. And then they took their road and traveled 18 days journey, which must have been some 80 leagues, in different parts, until they arrived at Zacatlan. The discoverer was Chacatzin, likewise one of the principal leaders. And the first year they arrived here was the year 1 REED, at which time they counted a Xiuhtlalpilli since they had begun their wars against their kindred nation.

2:32. And there was born at this time a son of his and because it was such a significant year they named the son after the land and he was called Zacapantzin. At that time it was fifty-two years since they had begun to have wars one with another. And they stayed here 7 years.

2:33. They traveled another eighteen days, which must have been some eighty leagues, when they arrived at Tutzapan, and they stayed there six years. And on the last of the six years, which was the year 1 FLINT, a son of his was born, and because it was such a noted year, and because a Xiuhtlalpilli had gone by, which are fifty-two years, since the left their country, calling the son Totzapantzin.

2:34. And then, the six years having passed, they began to travel, and they traveled twenty-eight days through different parts, at Tepetlal, which must have been some hundred and forty leagues. They stayed here seven years, the discoverer being Cohuatzon, which was the second time.

2:35. And the seven years having passed, they began their road, and they travelled eighteen days, which must have been some eighty leagues, until arriving at Mazatepec, the discoverer being Xiuhcohuatl. And here they stayed eight years and the sixth, which was 1 TEMPLE, they counted sixty-six [65] years since they had left their country.

2:36. And eight years having passed, they began to travel, and they traveled another eighteen days, which must have been another eighty leagues, until they arrived at Xiuhcohuac, where they stayed another eight years, the discoverer being Tlapalmetzin, which was the second time.

2:37. And then they began to travel, and they traveled twenty days, which must have been some hundred leagues, until arriving at Iztachuexuca, which is toward the north where they stayed twenty-six years, the discoverer being Metzotzin. And the third year, which was 1 RABBIT, that they were in the land seventy-eight years since they had left their country, thirteen years hence, which was 1 REED, they counted ninety-one since they left their country.

2:38. The twenty-six years having passed, they returned to Tulantzinco and they traveled eighteen days through different parts, which must have been some eighty leagues until arriving at the said place of Tulantzinco, where they made a very large house of lumber in which there was room for all of the people; and they stayed there almost sixteen years, and on the third year they counted a venus century, which is one hundred and four years, which are two Xiuhtlalpilli, since they had left their country, being the year 1 FLINT, which according to our count was the year of 543 [492] of the Incarnation, the discoverer being Acamapichtzin.

2:39. This was the third time he discovered new land. And further on we shall give an account of their lives and permanence in this land. In all parts where they arrived they left people so that they may settle these lands, as I have said at the beginning.

The following few verses are found in another place in the Kingsborough version (p. 213), but Chavoro places it here since it deals with this timeframe]

2:40. Banished from their homeland, the Tultecas undertook their journey along the coast. Traveling through the country, they arrived at California by the sea, which they called Hueytlapallan, which today is called Cortez, which name was given because of its reddish [colorado] color. The date of their arrival was in the year CE Tecpatl, which corresponds to 387 AD.

2:41. Following along the coast of Xalixco (Jalisco) and all along the south, leaving from the port of Huatulco 30 and traveling through diverse lands, they arrived at the province of Tochtepec, which is located along the sea north. And after walking and exploring, they settled in the Tolantzinco [new Tolan?], leaving colonies in the places where they made Great Houses (hecieron mansion).

2:42. The Tultecas were the third settlers of this land, counting the giants [tall ones] as the first, with the second being the Ulmecas (olmecs) and Xicalancas. While in Tolantzinco [new or ‘little’ Tula] they counted one hundred and four years of having left their homeland. The names of the seven leaders/chieftains who led them, and among whom the government took turns, were ‘: 1- Tlacomíhua that others call Ácatl: 2- Chalchiuhmatzin: 3- Ahuecatl: 4- Cóatzon: 5- Tiuhcoatl: 6- Tlapalhuitz: 7- Huitz: whom later populated the city of Tollan, head of the monarchy. Seven years after it was founded, they elected king and supreme lord, the first being Chalchiuhmatzin Chalchiuhtlatanac which was in the year Chicome Acatl and in our dates, 510 AD.

Third Account: Kings of the Toltec Empire

3:1. In the year of 1 TEMPLE (which is the figure of a house, sign of a planet which properity and properous and abudant power, lucky in all things), the Tultecas, or rather Heutlapalanecas, arrived in Tula, a city which was the seat of their kingdoms and power for many years, and according to our count it was the year 556 [505?] of the Incarnation….

3:2. And having arrived at this place and land [Tolantzinco], the Tultecas thought it very good, and especially Huematzin, the astrologer [prophet] who led them, who was already more than 180 years old. And seeing the location so good for their purpose and the temperateness of the land, and the other things which he found in his astrology to be good for a city, they began to build it. And for six years they were building houses, temples, and other things they used and were accustomed to.

3:3. And they agreed to swear one of the principal men as king and lord of all of them; and seeing that when they were in Xiuhcohuac and Huexutla (which is a place of Panuco and Tampico) the Chichimecas, their competitors, were very near, and that the Chichimecas had bothered them at these two places, and seeing that they had them so near and fearting their would someday rise against them and take away their lands, towns and places, they agreed to go see the lord who at the time was ruled of the Chichimecas, and ask them to give a son or very near relative, so that they would swear him as their king and lord. And with this they were also to ask him upon his word that neither he nor his descendants at any time would bother them.

3:4. This agreement and opinion was considered good, for the old astrologer Heumac prophesied it. Besides, he had found in his astrology that in times to come this land was to be settled by the Chichimecas.

3:5. And thus, with this determination, some of the principal men, with presents of gold and other things, went to see the lord of the Chichimecas, who, seeing what the Tultecas asked of him, was very pleased and considered it all as good. He gave his word that neither he nor his descendants would bother them; and he gave a young son he had, whom they brought with great rejoicing all the way to Tula.

3:6. And it was already the year 7 REED and ours of five hundred sixty two [511]; and the same year they swore him as their king and married him to a lady, daughter of the principal Tultecas, who was Acapitzin. And they called him Chalchiuhtlanetzin, which means “precious stone that illumines”, meaning to say that with their new lord they were illuminated (enlightened) and were rested and were free from worry and persecutions.

3:7. And they ordered that their kings were not to reign more than fifty-two years, and that when these years passed, if he were still alive, his son, the legimate successor, was to take charge of the government; and that if he died before the fifty-two years, the republic was to govern until finishing out the term.

3:8. And thus, this Chalchiuhtlanetzin governed for fifty-two years, and almost on the last of them (the years) he died, and he was buried in the principal temple with his royal insignias, different from the way it was later done, which was to burn the bodies, as shall be related in its place.

3:9. After his death, his legitimate successor, Ixtlilcuechahuac, known also as Izacatecatl, succeeded him in the same year, and according to our count it was in the year six hundred and fourteen [563]…. And he ruled another fifty-two years like his father. At thirty-two years of his government, which was in 1 FLINT, the Tultecas counted two hundred and sixty years since they had left their country [actually this occurred in the 32nd year of the next king].

3:10. After the death of this lord, his son, legitimate successor, called Huetzin, succeeded him in the same year that his father died, which was 6 RABBIT, and ours of six hundred sixty six [614] of the Incarnation.

3:11. Turning to our history, King Huetzin, who was the successor, as we have already said, governed the fifty-two years, and on the last of them (years) he died, which was the year of 6 RABBIT, and in our count seven hundred and seventy-eight [666].

3:12. He (Heuztin) was succeeded by his legitimate son called Totepeuh, who governed his kingdom and possessions in quiet peace and his last parents as his last parents and ancestors had done, for fifty-two years. And on the last he died, being succeeded by his son Nacaxoc in the year 5 TEMPLE, which in our count was seven hundred and seventy [717] of the Incarnation. And this Nacaxoc governed another fifty-two years with the same order as his ancestors.

3:13. The fifty-two years having passed, King Nacaxoc died and was succeeded by his son Mitl which was in the year 5 TEMPLE, and this time adjusted to ours, it was in the year eight hundred and twenty-two [769]….

3:14. This Mitl reigned for fifty-nine years and broke the ancient order of the Tultecas of reigning fifty-two years. He was a man of great government, built great temples, and other memorable things, and he built among the temples he made one of the Frog, goddess of water, a very beautiful temple. All its ornaments were of gold and precious stones and the frog was of emerald. The Spaniards who came to this land got to see it, and they gave a good account of it.

3:15. Almost at the end of the fifty-nine years, this lord died, which was the year of 11 REED, and in ours of eight hundred and eighty [828]….

3:16. And after his death his wife Queen Xiutlaltzin succeeded in the kingdom. She reigned four years and died. Her son, legitimate successor, called Tecpancaltzin, inherited the kingdom.

3:17. And before going on, I want to make an account of the state in which the Tulteca nations were. At this time, almost for 1,000 leagues they had settled and built towns and cities, villages and places. Among the most famous was Teotihuacan, which means “City and Place of God”. This city was greater and more powerful than Tula, because it was the sanctuary of the Tultecas: it had very large and tall temples, the most immense building in the world, which even today appear in their ruins, and other great curiousities.

3:18. In Toluca they made some palaces all of stone carved in figures where were all of their calamities, wars and persecutions, triumphs, good happenings, and prosperities. In Cuahnahuac, another city with a famous ancient work, was a palace all built (carved) of large stones, of hewn stones without mud, nor mortar, nor beams, nor any lumber, but only some large stones placed one against the other, and they also founded other great cities like Cholula, and Xalixco, Yototepec of the South Sea [Pacific], and many other cities that were to the South and toward the Orient, which are now all destroyed, although in their ruins they show that they were the greatest cities in the world.

3:19. The Idols that the Tultecas had of old were the most principal, which were Tonacatecuhtli, and today his personage is in the highest Cu (temple of this people), which is dedicated to the Sun. The name means God of Sustenance. His wife they regarded as a goddess. They say that this god of the sustenance was a figure of the sun and his wife of the moon.

3:20. And they had other gods which they called the brothers and sisters of the sun and moon, of which there are still pieces in the Cus (temples).

3:21. And they had another idol which they have worshipped up until the time the Spaniards came. It was Tlaloc. Tlaloc temple was in the highest sierra of Texcuco, and pieces of it are still there. And they say that this idol was a god of stormy rains, and that he was very brave king of the Quinametzin (who are the Philistines) [giants]. He did great things and for that reason they set him up as a god.

Table 2. Toltec king reigns.
(Years listed match the Aztec years shown.)

3:22. These false gods were the oldest ones and the main ones of more than two thousand years of the Tultec history. In addition, Texcatiputla and Huitzilopuchtli who were over certain very brave gentlemen. It is even found that Texcatiputla was a great necromancer (conjurer, magician) and was a great cause of the persecution of the Tultecas.

3:23. Although it is true that this people were very great idolaters, they did not sacrifice men nor did they do the superstitious sacrifices that the later Mexicans [Aztecs] were accustomed to use, except to Tlaloc. They sacrificed to him five or six maidens of tender age, taking out their hearts and offering them to him, and their bodies they burned, and to Tonacateuchtli, at certain times of the year they took the greatest evil-doers who had committed great crimes, to a certain artifice (device) which they called Telimonanaiquian, which means “meeting place of the stones”, and there they placed him in the middle, so that two stones met at the corners and tore him to pieces there with the artifice of these stones. Then they would bury him.

3:24. In the feasts they had, all the chiefs would get together. They had a dance that would last nearly all day, and they went through certain ceremonies, which, as I have already related, were not as abominable as those of the Mexicans when the Marquis del Valle [Cortez] came, and the entrance of Evangelical Law (gospel rule) into the land …

Fourth Account: Birth of Topiltzin, Last Toltec King

(Fifth Relation, of the Toltec kings and their destruction. Kingsborough p. )

4:1. Tecpancaltzin having inherited the lordship of the Tultecas, after he had governed ten years there came to his palace a maiden, very beautiful, who had come with her parents to bring a certain present for him. And they even say that is found in history that black honey of maguey and some chiancacas, sugar of this honey. They were the first inventors of this delicacy; and as it was a new thing, they brought it as a gift to the king.

4:2. These gentlemen, being of noble blood and of his own lineage, the king was very pleased to see them and granted them many favors. He thought a great deal of this present, and on account of her beauty, he grew very fond of this maiden, who was called Xochitl, which means Rose Flower.

4:3. He ordered them to favor him with this present and he ordered that their daughter bring it alone with some woman servant. And the parents, not thinking of what might happen, were very pleased, and gave him their word that they would do so.

4:4. And after a few days the woman came to the palace with a woman servant loaded with honey, chiancaca, and other small gifts newly invented, or rather, maguey preserves. As soon as she arrived, they notified the king that the maiden, daughter of the gentlemen who invented the maguey honey, called Papantzin, was there. The king was very pleased and order her to be brought alone with the gift she brought.

4:5. And the servant, who was an old nurse of hers, was ordered to sit in the room and the king ordered that they give her many mantles and gold, and go entertain her until it was time for her to return with her mistress. And the servants did so, bringing in the maiden alone, and rendering all kinds of service and entertainment to the servant woman, according as the king commanded it.

4:6. The king, having seen the gift of the maiden Xuchitl and her parents, was very pleased, and he told her how he had been fond of her for days, begging her to accede to his wishes, that he would give her his word to do many favors to her parents and to her.

4:7. Consequently they were quite a while in the rendezvous until the maiden, seeing that there was no way out of it, had to do what the king ordered her to do. His low desires having been satisfied, he had her taken to a small place outside the city, placing many guards there. And he sent word to her parents that he had given her to certain ladies to be instructed, because he wanted her to marry a king, neighbor of his, as a reward for the present she had brought him.

Events in 1 FLINT.

4:8. He told her parents not to be sad, and to consider her as if she were at their home; and with this he granted them many favors and gave them certain towns and vassals so that they would be lords over the inhabitants and their descendants. Her parents, although they were sorry about it, pretended not to be, for, as it is said, where there is strength, right is lost.

4:9. And the king went often to see the lady Xuchitl, his mistress, who was in a very strong, small place, on a hill call Palpan. She was waited on and feasted to be sure, as something belonging to the king, the Tulteca monarch.

4:10. In a very short time she became pregnant and gave birth to a son whom his father named Meconetzin, which means child of the maguey, in memory of the invention and virtues of the maguey. The child was born in the year of 1 REED, which according to our count was that of nine hundred [843]…. This child had nearly all of the signs that the astronomer Hueman said the Tulteca king was to have, in whose time and government the Tultecas were to be destroyed.

4:11. The parents of the maiden Xuchitl, for they considered her a maiden, seeing that it was almost three years since they had seen their daughter, were very, very sorry, and they always tried to find out where she might be. Since the city of Tula was so large and there were so many houses of lords (gentlemen), this time period of three years passed without success on their part.

4:12. Almost at the end of the third year they found out that the king had her at a certain place with many guards, at a place called Palpan, as I have already stated, and that no person could see her. The king had ordered particularly that no relative be allowed to enter the place.

4:13. And this gentleman (the father) seeing the command of the king, was very worried and sad, and looked for a way to be able to enter without be recognized. Not finding any way, he disguised himself, dressing himself as a farmer, pretending (feigning) that he had gone to the city to sell certain things.

4:14. Since it seemed to the guards that he was a simpleton, they let him enter, he having pretended he wanted to see that place. He told the guards certain things so that they would let him enter, and thus they gave him permission and he entered looking in all directions.

4:15. And entering through some gardens he found his daughter, who held the child in her arms. As he recognized her, he was overjoyed with tenderness on seeing his daughter, and asked her whether the king had put her in that place to play with children, not knowing that it was his grandson. The daughter, although with shame, then related to her father all that had happened with the king and he was very sad. However, he let it be (tolerated it) because it was something that touched his honor.

4:16. Then taking leave of his daughter, he started back. The next day he went to see the king, complaining of the affront he had done to him. The king consoled him and told him not to be sad, that since it was a thing of the king that he didn’t suffer any affront, and besides, the child would be his heir, for he did not want to marry any lady.

4:17. And many other things were said to Xuchitl’s father by the king as he granted favors to him and to his relatives. And the king ordered that whenever he and his wife wanted to see Xuchitl, they could do so, provided that she did not go out of that place.

4:18. The king trusted his guards because they were persons of his devotion. And the king did all these things because they lived at that time with such uprightness that the Tultecas his vassals considered any small chance or fault on the part of the king as a great evil.

4:19. And with this, the good old Papantzin returned to his house somewhat consoled, consoling his wife and relatives. And from then on they often went to see the shut up daughter as often as they wanted to.

4:20. King Tecpancaltzin having governed fifty-two years and, as he was still alive, he decided to have Meconetzin, his natural (illegitimate) son sworn king. His son, known also by the name of Topiltzin, was already a man over forty years old, and very virtuous and a great wise man.

4:21. And in order that the Tultecas would not invent any novelty (there were three lords of his lineage very near heirs, who were worthy on account of their great honor and virtue and who were in his kingdom residing far away from the city of Tula more than two hundred leagues near the South Sea in Xalixco and other places), he called together some friends and relatives of his, particularly those who were devoted to him.

4:22. Among those called together were two very important leaders who controlled very large lands and many cities and provinces, the one being Cuauhtli and the other Maxtlatzin. Many other gentleman (nobles) attended. He told them what he had planned, saying that if they agreed to this, they would be in the city of Tula and they and their children would govern all the kingdoms and possessions, becoming principal heads over all kings and vassals, all three important leaders governing in close accord, although his son was to have the highest (supreme) place, as his heir to be king of kings as he was.

4:23. This agreement seemed good to these two kings, and they agreed to it, swearing that this Topiltzin as their king and monarch, with the rites and ceremonies they were accustomed to use. This swearing was in the year 2 REED and ours of 937 [883]….

Fifth Relation, of the Toltec kings and their destruction

(Kingsborough p. 329)

5:1. Topiltzin had been ruling [nearly] forty years when the signs which the astrologer [prophet] Hueman had pronosticated began to appear on earth as well as in the sky. Topiltzin, almost at the last of these forty years had committed very grave sins, and with his bad example, so had all of the people of Tula and the rest of the provinces and cities and lands of the Tultecas.

5:2. And the ladies would go on pilgrimages to the temples, sanctuaries and false gods, and would get mixed with the priests. And the Tultecs committed other grave and abominable sins.

5:3. For example, a very important lady from Tula went to Cholula to visit the temples of that city, which were founded seventy-eight years before, and especially a temple dedicated to the god 1 Reed. At the temple were two priests, one called Ezcolotli and the other Texpolcatl. As I have already said, the false priests of the Tultecas professed chastity, and it was a very great sin if they broke it. And thus, Texpolcatl, seeing this lady, who had already professed chastity, made love to her and had obtained her friendship.

5:4. And a few years later she gave birth to a child who was called Izcax. Later he and his descendants continued to inherit the office and dignity of these great false priests and pontiffs. She stayed as matron in the temple nearly all of her life until its destruction.

5:5. The inventors of these sins were two brothers, gentlemen of different parts, very brave and great necromancers. The elder brother was called Tezcatlipuca, and the younger Tlallauhquitezcatlipuca. Later the Tultecas set them up as gods.

5:6. The king, all his court and his vassals, persisted in great sin, doing things in this evil art they knew, with which they persuaded them easily to commit great sins and do ugly and abominable deeds.

5:7. The king, going one day to certain gardens and forests of his, found a rabbit that was there with deer horns, and he found the bird Huitzitzilin, sucking the nectar of the flowers, with a very long spur. And inasmuch as the king had seen many times in the Teoamoxtli that Hueman had painted that these were some of the marvels and signs he had pronosticated, he was very sorry.

5:8. He had the priests of the temples called; and when they were come he showed them what he had seen, now dead, for they shot them with a cervataua, and he also showed them the Teoamoxtli, and how these were signs of their total destruction. And so that their god could be appeased, it was necessary to make great feasts and sacrifices, rites and ceremonies to them.

5:9. But then in the following year, which was 1 TEMPLE and ours of 984 [921], at the time when wheat and fish rained, God our Lord began to punish these blind, perverse, and idolatrous people, sending them very great heavy showers, hurricanes, and toads from heaven that destroyed the greater part of their buildings. It rained almost a hundred days without stopping, for which reason they understood that the world seemed as if it were to end with another deluge. But the Lord through his mercy appeased the waters.

5:10. And the following year which was 2 RABBIT, a great heat and drought came, so that all the plants and trees dried up. And on the third year which was 3 REED, when they were beginning to be delivered from persecutions, some frosts fell that burned the whole earth and anything remaining. And on the fourth year which was 4 FLINT, such large hail and lightnings fell from heaven, and in such abundance, that they totally destroyed all the trees that escaped the previous calamities, and even the Magueyes were destroyed, without their remaining memory of anything. Even the buildings and strong walls were destroyed.

5:11. And this time of calamities having passed, the earth was quiet for nearly twelve years and the plants began to produce which was in 4 TEMPLE [937]. Then came many locusts, worms, vermin, and fowls that destroyed everything. Also there were very great wars with the three near heirs, all on account of the beautiful Xuchitl. Her son had inherited the kingdom and he governed the whole land. Although the Tultecas had had great persecutions from heaven, their forces and power were still great.

5:12. Likewise in this same year, almost at the last of it, the weevil ate up all of the grain in the granaries where the Tultecas kept it. Another four years passed with some rest, when on the fifth, which was in the year of 7 RABBIT [9 RABBIT, 942], during the first days they found a child on a hill.

5:13. It was very white and blond and beautiful. It must have been the devil. They took him to the city to show him to the king. When he saw him, he ordered him taken again to the point from whence they had brought him, because it didn’t seem to him to be a good omen; and the head of this child-devil began to rot on him, and from the bad odor many people would die.

5:14. The Tultecas tried to kill him, but they never could get to him, because all who approached would die right away. This bad odor cause a great pestilence throughout the land, so that of every thousand Tultecas, nine hundred died. All these things happened to them, and many other things, but in order to save space they are not set down here.

5:15. And the three lords, their competitors, did not cease damaging the few Tultecs who had escaped, taking little by little many provinces and cities subject to this great Topiltzin. And from that time forth there was a law that wherever a child was born that was very white and blond, when it was five years of age it was right away sacrificed. This law lasted until the coming of the Spaniards.

5:16. After a few days the pestilence relented, and Topiltzin, seeing that his competitors were little by little taking possession of his lands and provinces, decided to send them a great present of gold, mantles and precious stones, and jewels, by way of two ambasssabors, very brave gentlemen, and a game of ball equipment (for the game being sufficient to fill a medium-sized room) which game is called Tlachtli. Included among the gifts were four kinds of precious stones, that is to say, emerald, ruby, diamond, and jacinth; and also a ball, a carbuncle.

5:17. Topiltzin sent them word that enough of their wrath had been experienced, that they knew well the hardship he had had, and the persecutions from heaven, and that he was aware of his own ruination and their valor. And he asked that they accept the game of ball, which was the greatest treasure he had, and other precious stones, and other pieces of gold and jewels, and that just as the Tlachtli had four kinds of precious stones, all four very esteemed and equal, thus, neither more nor less, all four of them would govern their kingdoms and possessions, in very great peace and conformity.

5:18. And Topiltzin further stated to them that as between the four rulers, that whoever first ordered anything done that the other three would consider it as very well done, and they would live always in conformity and with each other, they and their descendants.

5:19. These and many other words the great Topiltzin sent to be told to his three competitors, fearing that they at some time might become lords of all. And Topiltzin told his three competitiors that if they did not want his friendship, they ought to desist from invading Tultec lands and cities–which is what worried the Tultecs–because the land was already so demolished that it no longer served any purpose and was very sickly.

5:20. It is found in history, besides in the account old men give, that this present and treasure was the greatest that was ever seen in the land. This Tultec treasure was so large and it weighed so much that onxi quipili tlacatl of the Tultecas were counted, which are eighteen thousand men and that it took them one hundred and forty days to move the treasure to Xalixco [Jalisco/West Mexico] in Quiyahuitztlanxalmolan.

5:21. When Topiltzin’s ambassadors arrived, they were well received and the treasure pleased the donees, but even then did the three enemies desist from pursuing their endeavor, although for the moment with feigned words did they bade the ambassadors farewell, saying to them that they would not discuss anything at all. However, they told Topiltzin’s ambassadors that they would stop doing them harm by destroying Topiltzin’s armies, and they said other words, neither very good nor very bad, but all cautious.

5:22. For this reasons the ambassadors returned very sorrowful, and gave their answers to the great Topiltzin. Although not very pleased, Topiltzin consoled himself because the greater part of the treasure had been taken to the enemy, which was made them quarrel the most. The enemy already had kingdoms and possessions; and they were very prosperous and free from calamities from heaven.

5:23. In the year of 1 REED and in ours of nine hundred and ninety-eight [947],… the three competitor kings of the great Topiltzin came into the city of Tula with a great army. They made fun of all the Tultecas as a shattered people and they entered into the very city.

5:24. Topiltzin, on learning of their entry, received them and ordered that they and their people be given whatever they needed. And he discussed with them peace and conformity again, just as he had done before by his ambassadors. They did not come for that purpose, but rather to avenge themselves, and so they refused to agree to it. They told him to get his people ready, that they would understand each other with arms.

5:25. Topiltzin, seeing himself so oppressed and that there was no way out, asked for time, for it was a law that before a battle they would notify each other some years in advance so that on both sides they would be warned and prepared. The idea was that their descendants, at some future time, could with just reason do the same. This custom was adhered to up to the time the Spaniards came to this land. They answered Topiltzin, telling him that they would give him ten years, and on the last of the ten years they would engage in battle at Tultitlan [Jalisco?].

5:26. And with the plan and agreement they returned to their lands, because their army was suffering very great hunger, for this land was such that even its inhabitants could hardly support themselves. And it is found in the histories that this journey that these three lords made with their army and so useless a journey, was made only for the purpose of seeing the Tultec land and the state of things in it, and to countermine and see the forces and resistance that Topiltzin might have. The pretext was that the soldiers were looking for food for their maintennce. They did not leave the city until they had seen it well.

Chapter 6: Fall of the Toltec Empire

(Quinta Relation, de los reyes Toltecas y de su destruction. Kingsborough p.331-332)

6:1. During the last days of the year 10 FLINT, these three chieftains returned with a greater army than at first, which was according our count the year 1008 [956]…. Already by this time the great Topiltzin had two armies stationed, one a hundred leagues [260 miles] from Tula, towards the lands and provinces of Tlahuicas [Morelos/Cuernavaca area], and the other in Tultitlan [Jalisco?], where he in person remained with his army and all his vassals. The general in command of the first army was a great captain called Huihuitenuxcatl.

6:2. Ever since their competitors had left, the Tultecs had done nothing but prepare themselves, make many arms, and gather from all the cities, provinces, and places, the people that there were, without omitting any men at all. And even women were loaded with food, for the people were few, although from the many few there came to be two very great armies, as I have clearly stated.

6:3. The scouts notified the first army that the enemy was near. The general went out to meet the army at a good place he had selected, and the two armies faced each other.

6:4. They engaged in battle, innumerable people dying on both sides. The war lasted three complete years. Those of Topiltzin had few reinforcements, while the three chieftains, their competitors, every day received great numbers of people. The Tultecs were vanquished and nearly all the people were killed in the battle. Many Tultec matrons fought very bravely, helping their husbands. Many of them died.

6:5. Having been vanquished, the great captain Huihuitenuxcatl, seeing himself lost, went fleeing from his enemies, and with some of the Tultecs he escaped to Tultitlan where the great Topiltzin was. Topiltzin was already prepared with his second army to fight with the enemy which was approaching. Topiltzin in the meantime, ordered certain of his men-servants and women-servants to take the children, his sons (the elder called Pochotl and the younger Xiloltzin) legitimate successors of the kingdoms, to the very high mountains and lands of Toluca, so that the lineage of the Tultec kings might not end with them. The servants immediately carried out the order.

6:6. When the enemy arrived, the armies fought cruelly, dying on one side and the other. They had been fighting forty days, day and night, when those of the great Topiltzin began to get discouraged with the small forces they had. Not being able to resist the great impetus of the enemy, Topiltzin in person and his old father and even their wives and other matrons of the city were obliged to go out and fight, plucking up heart, as it is said.

6:7. And among them were his mother, the beautiful Xuchital, fighting bravely and doing all they could. But finally they were vanquished, and killed, old men and young men, women, and children, none being spared. They were all there together, women as well as children, waiting to see how it would all end, for the war had been going on for fifty days.

6:8. In the year of 1 FLINT, on the last day of the month Totozoztzintli, on the first day of the week called Ollin, which according to our system was in the year 1011 [960],… the great Topiltzin, seeing himself and his people vanquished, went fleeing towards Tula, their city. But the enemy overtook them in Chiuhnauhtlan, although they couldn’t overcome them because they defended themselves.

6:9. Then they went fleeing to Xaltocan, and from there to Teotihuacan, then to Totolapan. And before they reached the place called Tultecaxochitlalpan and the beautiful Xochitl was killed by dagger stabs. Xiuhtenancatzin killed the old king who had defended himself bravely and Cohuanacoxtzin killed Xuchitl who had also defended herself bravely.

6:10. After these two were killed, these two enemy kings went pursuing Topiltzin. The two kings who swore allegiance to Topiltzin, Cuauholli, and Maxtla, and other Tultec lords, were overtaken and torn to pieces. And in the meantime Topiltzin went fleeing and got into Xico, a cave that is near Tlalmanalco, and thus they could not overtake him.

6:11. Beyond Xico the enemy overtook Huehuetunexcatl, the great captain, together with those Tultecas who had escaped, and there they had another cruel battle in which Huehuetunexcatl and the whole army died. A nurse took Topiltzin’s younger son, called Xilotzin, and with some other Tultecas she fled into the wilderness, making an escape. She went ahead with some Tultecas, nobles as well as plebians, who got into the lakes and sierras with their wives and children. Some whose swift feet saved them were those of Mallauxiuhcohuac, Macatepec, Totzatepec, Totoepec, Quauhquechallan, Tepexomacotlazallan, Chapoltepec, Culhuacan, and other parts.

Events in 1 REED.

6:12. The three kings, seeing that they had already killed everybody and that all remained uninhabited then went to the large Tultec cities. From the temples and palaces they took out all the treasures and riches that they found, and returned to their lands with the spoils of their enemies, no person remaining, because the land was very dry and sickly and fruitless.

6:13. Then a few days after that, Topiltzin left Xico with some of his servants, for his enemies were not to be seen. Seeing the land totally destroyed, he went up to Atlapallan, a province that reaches down to the South Sea [Pacific], a land very prosperous, rich, and well populated.

6:14. He said to his vassals, to the few who were in Culhuacan and who had gone there to escape from the enemy, that he was going towards the rising sun to some kingdoms and possessions of his ancestors, very prosperous and rich and that five hundred and twelve years [520] later he would return to this land in the year 1 REED and would punish the descendants of those kings, his competitors. And many other things he said, many impossible promises he made to his vassals, which would be too long to relate.

6:15. He returned once more to Xico (Xieco), and one night, with some Tultecas he left for Tlapallan [Tabasco area], travelling by night through the wilderness until he arrived at that place, where he afterwards lived almost thirty years. He was waited upon and honored by Talpaltecas, and died at the age of one hundred and four [156] years [dying in 1 REED in 999, 520 years before Cortez arrived], leaving many laws constituted, which later his descendant Netzahualcoyotzin confirmed. And he himself ordered his body to be burned with the rites and ceremonies that were later used (and he was the first to be burned), and he did and planned many other things. (“y otras muchas cosas que hizo y orden”… 1/3 way down p.332 Kingsborough)


Images and some commentary adapted from John P. Pratt Ixtlilxochitl’s Toltec History. Which was adapted from,

Brian, Amber, et al., translators, History of the Chichimeca Nation: Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Seventeeth-Century Chronicle of Ancient Mexico (3 Oct 2019).

The translation of Chapter 1 is by Allen, Joseph L. Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon (Orem, UT: S.A. Publishers, 1989), pp. 139-147, where it is accompanied by excellent explanatory notes and maps. The text of that entire Chapter 11 of the book is on line at ancientamerica.org/library/media/382chapter11.htm. Another translation of the same material is included by Hunter, Milton R. and Ferguson, Thomas Stuart, Ancient America and the Book of Mormon (Oakland, CA: Kolob Publishers, 1950). That book is also excellent with many other sources also quoted. It is the source of the translation of Chapters 2-6, which was done by Arnulfo Rodriguez, a Spanish teacher at USC in 1939 from the 1891 Spanish edition.

Year names have two parts, a number from 1 to 13 and one of four glyphs. Ixtlilxochitl translated most of the numbers into digits, but left some in Nahuatl, including “ce” meaning 1, “ome” meaning 2, and “chicome” meaning 7. My translation of the glyphs are as follows: “Tecpatl” as “Flint”, referring to a flint knife for sacrifice, but also a comet which periodically causes destruction (see verse 2:13) “Calli” as “Temple” (which Ixtlilxochitl translates as “House” in v. 3:1, having lost the original meaning that a temple is a sacred house), “Tochtli” as Rabbit (v. 1:27), and “Acatl” as “Reed”.

Hunter and Ferguson detected an error of about 100 years (discussed in footnote 9) just after the time of Christ and perpetuated their correction of it all the way through to the end of the Toltec empire, dating all AD events about 104 years earlier than Ixtlilxochitl. For example, the birth of Topiltzin in 1 REED, which Ixtlilxochitl dates as 900, they date as about 785 (verse 4:10). They did not check to see if their correction matched the Aztec year names, which were clearly the primary source. Their mistake is only pointed out here to emphasize how this field is fraught with pitfalls. Overall their work is wonderful and brings together a wealth of other ancient sources. Similarly, Ixtlilxochitl perpetuated his mistake all through, and I make my best correction (52 years earlier than Ixtlilxochitl, see footnote 9) and perpetuate it thereafter.

This relationship to the Venus cycle was pointed out by L. Taylor Hansen in He Walked the Americas (Amherst, WI: Amherst Press, 1963), p. 223: “Venus, being the second planet from the Sun and Earth the third, swings around its internal orbit making thirteen revoltions to eight revolutions of the earth. Thus, among all the Indian tribes the Earth-number is eight, and the number of the Morning and Evening Star is thirteen. Eight thirteens would then bring the planets into their original position. This would be a full cycle, or one hundred and four years.” (See also Figure 3 in text for another reason that 8 and 13 are so useful.) That quotation was from her notes at the end of the book, referring to her chapter entitled “Prophecy at Cholula” which quoted the tradition that the white-and-bearded prophet Kate-Zahl had prophesied of just when the continual wars after the arrival of Cortez would end: “For five full Cycles of the Dawn Star, the rule of the warring strangers will go on to greater and greater orgies of destruction…. Know that the end will come in five full cycles …” (p. 168). Here, “full Cycle of the Dawn Star” refers a venus century, 104 years. This unit actually works out best without leap years because 5 cycles of Venus of 584 days exactly equals eight 365-day years (5 x 584 = 8 x 365 = 2,290 days). Thus, Venus realigns with the earth every 8 years. A round of 52 years is not a multiple of 8 years, but 104 years equals 13 x 8 = 104 years. Note also that five venus centuries (520 years) after the arrival of Cortez in 1519 brings one to the year 2039, 1 REED, the same year in which Quetzalcoatl was said to have promised to return to a people who would accept Him (v. 1:40).

The division into verses of Chapter 1 follows that by Joseph Allen, op. cit.

Note that the translation from the original term “hacia donde sale el sol” (see here) to “towards the rising sun” is problematic. Primarily because place names such as “Xalisco” (2:41), Tulancinco, Xiuhcohuac and Iztachuexuca do not fit with an eastward journey. We must then assume that the text has reference to some idiomatic expression when using these terms (2:17-generally, 2:25-to Xalixco, 2:29-to Tochpan, & 6:14-to “some kingdoms”). We see the same interesting opposite terminology in The Kolbrin, where the Egyptians sail from Punt (likely near the horn of Africa) “towards the sunsetting [east], past Kindia [India] to the land of Bemer [Indonesia]. Its not understood why the directions seem to be reversed, but they apparently are.

Although another explanation lies in the directions used by the Spanish Explorer Cabaza de Vaca who after being marooned in the New World lived with the Natives many years, and suggested in his book ‘Original Naratives’, Chapter 1, verse 1, that the Valley of Mexico was ‘west’ of Culiacan. (when in fact it is 257 leagues northwest). “He states, Culiacan… is 210 leagues west of Mexico”