Ixtlilxochitl & Evidence for the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerican Codices
16. “It had been 166 years since they had adjusted their calendar with the equinox and 270 years since the [first inhabitants] 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 CE Calli, which, adjusted to our calendar, happened at the same time that Christ, our Lord, was crucified. And they say that this destruction occurred in the first few days of the year.” (Fernanado Ixtlilxochitl, Obras históricas ~1620)
Background of Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (1578-1650)
There may be no better evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon than that from the writings of the controversial early Aztec historian Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (pronounced: EEsh-leal-sho-cheat-l. 1578-1650). Born roughly 60 years after Cotez’ conquest of the Aztec, Ixtlilxóchitl was a mixture of Aztec royalty and Spanish nobility. He was fluent in both the history and language of the Aztec as well as Latin and Spanish. His works, read much like the Book of Mormon itself, coming from the pen of one trying their best to FIND biblical Christianity in the records of the ancient Mixteca peoples. He chooses interpretations of ancient Mexica stories and myths which adhere closely to Biblical stories of the creation, global flood and tower of Babel.
Following is a precursor summary of common elements between Ixtlilxochitl’s writings of Toltec history and the Book of Mormon quoted later in the article. (Clicking on the link will scroll to sample verses).
- They both tell of a prophet/historian who wrote their scriptures.
- They both tell a story of a war of annihilation where two kingdoms fight to the death with men, women & children until they one is annihilated.
- They both speak of a creation from a primordial male and female couple. (Adam & Eve vs.
- They both speak of a flood which destroyed the world by water. (1.4-5)
- They both speak of a first king and civilization coming from the great tower at the time of the confusion of tongues. (1.5, Brother of Jared & Jaredites from the Tower of Babel vs. Chichimecatl & Chichimecs from the Zacualli)
- They both speak of a white god who was born of a virgin and who ascended to heaven after teaching his people. (Christ vs. Quetzalcoatl)
- They both record the date of a great destruction occurring in the first month of the 34th year, or at the death of Christ.
- They both use the same terminology in describing the manner in which cities were named.
- They both speak of three distinct civilizations that predate the coming of Christ. (one from the east in 6 ships, one the west and one unspecified). They also each consistently mention seven tribes/brothers.
- They both record the destruction of the first civilization that predates the coming of Christ, who lived in the northern lands, or the Land Northward.
- They both speak of a nation whose principal area meant “land of abundance” or “Bountiful.”
- They both mention multiple migrations to and from a far northern land. (2600 miles in one case).
- They both give stories of a group escaping bondage by intoxicating their captors. In conjunction, they also mention only one river (Sidon/Atoyac) which flows between two principle cities (Zarahemla/Gideon vs. Cholula/Los Angeles)
- Plus many more commonalities…
Much as they do with the Book of Mormon, modern historians tend to dismiss the biblical similarities of Ixtlilxóchitl‘s histories as attempts to twist the ancient stories he translated in order to fit a Christian biblical narrative. But for LDS adherents, his methods are informative as they show us precisely what we would expect from the translation process of the Book of Mormon’s ancient authors, if it is to be believed as a legitimate translation of ancient records (or work of mediumship based on ancient records). In comparison of the two, we should suppose in the translation or ‘channeling’ of the Book of Mormon text that the authors involved took liberties to convert the words and ideas of the ancient people, not just from their ancient languages to English, but from their ancient cultural contexts into that of 19th century New England just as Ixtlilxóchitl did. (And often stretching the ancient concepts to their limits to emphasize correlations.) Thus we see mammoths called ‘elephants’ in the Book of Mormon, antelope called ‘sheep’, deer called ‘horses’, macahuitl called ‘swords’, pyramids called ‘towers’ and god’s like Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan changed to Jesus Christ. As also many ancient stories, myths and ideas mixed in with more “modern” sermons on infant baptism, Catholic Church apostasy, New World exploration, prophesies about Joseph Smith and King James Isaiah or Pauline quotes.
Indeed to believe in the Book of Mormon as historical, this idea of a loose translation of words and culture must go considerably farther than simply a ‘dynamic equivalence’ translation. Exactly like the writings of Ixtlilxóchitl, we must suppose that the spiritual translators took great liberties, relying heavily on Biblical sermons, idioms, wording and even concepts to change the ancient stories and ideas as fully as possible into 19th century religious ideals — and making the ancient concepts relevant to 19th century readers.
In this regard the writings and even phraseology of Ixtlilxóchitl are so similar to the Book of Mormon that were it not that his works WERE UNPUBLISHED until a few decades after the Book of Mormon was written, many (including myself) would have trouble not believing it was copied in part to create the Book of Mormon. Because of the similarity, and its correlation to provable archaeology & linguistics, its hard not to speculate that Ixtlilxóchitl wasn’t involved in the translation/channeling process of the Book of Mormon as a disincarnate spirit. (as crazy as that sounds) And also that ubiquitous usage of European Christian concepts in the Book of Mormon were included largely to prove to people that the translation was divinely inspired instead of just dumbly copied from Ixtlilxóchitl or the ancient Aztec, Toltec & Mixtec records and legends.
following section taken from http://www.ancientamerica.org/ Read original of Ixtlilxochitl's book here. Or my complete Google document English translation here. And finally an annotated web version of only the summaries here.
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.
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. (Ixtlilxochitl:6-7)
The above statement was recorded c 1600 AD by a native born scholar of Mexico named Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (EEsht-leal-sho-cheat-el). He is considered by many to be the most prolific early writer on the history of Mexico. In a sense, he may be considered to be the Josephus of Mexico.
One biographer, Dr. Jose Maria Beristain y Souza, said that Ixtlilxochitl was one of the most distinguished students at the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco and that he was the most knowledgeable in the language, history, and antiquities of his people. (Biblioteca Hispano-Americana-Septemtrional, p. 58, as quoted in Chavero 1965)
The author Clavijero called Ixtlilxochitl “the truly noble Indian concerning the antiquities of his nation.” (Historia Antigua de Mexico 1:37, as quoted in Chavero 1965)
Dr. Lara Pardo called Ixtlilxochitl a man of great talent and deep intellect and said that Ixtlilxochitl possessed a most excellent library containing the paintings and hieroglyphic history of pre-conquest Mexico. (Leduc-Lara Pardo, Diccionario de Geogrqfia e Historia y Biografias Mexicanas, p. 492, as quoted in Chavero 1965)
Early writers placed the birth date of Alva Ixltilxochitl somewhere near the year 1568 AD. Edmundo O’Gorman, who published the writings of Ixtlilxochitl in 1975, with an update in 1985, determined that the date of Ixtlilxochitl’s birth was in the year 1578 AD. The place of birth was Texcoco, which is now a suburb of Mexico City. (O’Gorman 17)
Ixtlilxochitl was born of royalty, being a descendant of both the last king of Texcoco and the next-to-the-last Emperor of Mexico, Cuitlahuac. Ixtlilxochitl was also of Spanish descent, as his grandfather on his mother’s side was the Spaniard Juan Grande.
The writings on the history of Mexico, according to Ixtlilxochitl, consisted of many manuscripts that were first circulated in the year 1600 AD. His works, Sumaria Relacion de la Historia General, were completed about 1625 AD-more than 200 years prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon. Traditionally, the date of the death of Ixtlilxochitl has been placed around 1648. O’Gorman’s research indicates that Ixtlilxochitl died in 1650 at the age of 72. (O’Gorman 36)
Regarding the sources for his history of Mexico, Ixtlilxochitl wrote the following:
… of a truth I have the ancient histories in my hand, and I know the language of the natives, because I was raised with them, and I know all of the old men and the principals of this land…. It has cost me hard study and work, always seeking the truth on everything I have written…. (Chavero 62)
Alfredo Chavero wrote in the preface of his two volumes follows:
Ixtlilxochitl is the original chronista of the Texcucanos [from Texcoco, a suburb of Mexico]. Few of our writers have enjoyed the fame and reputation that he has. Nevertheless, his numerous works are unknown. (Chavero 5)
And that is certainly an understatement. To this very day, the works of Ixtlilxochitl are hardly known in the United States. Even Latter-day Saint writers who have a high interest in the history of the Book of Mormon have basically ignored the works of Alva Ixtlilxochitl.
I suspect that part of the reason for the Latter-day Saints’ lack of knowledge about Ixtlilxochitl is that the works of Ixtlilxochitl have not been readily available in the English language. Hunter and Ferguson, in their 1950 book, Ancient America and the Book of Mormon, did, however, publish segments of Ixtlilxochitl’s works in English-segments that appeared to them to correlate with the Book of Mormon history. Wells Jakeman and Thomas Ferguson acquired the services of a man named Arnulfo Rodriguez to translate segments of the 1892 publication of Alfredo Chavero. (Hunter 1950:14)
Although Ixtlilxochitl wrote in the 1600s, his work was not circulated widely until Lord Kingsborough of England published nine volumes of work entitled Antiquities of Mexico. Kingsborough included the writings of Ixtlilxochitl in Spanish, having obtained those writings from the National Library of Madrid.
Kingsborough’s material on Ixtlilxochitl is similar to that of an early Mexican writer by the name of Boturini, who said that he copied his account of the writings of Alva from the handwriting of Alva Ixtlilxochitl. Kingsborough’s works were published between 1832-1848, but because of the extensive cost, his Antiquities of Mexico were never widely circulated.
Under the mandate of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, Alfredo Chavero edited and footnoted a compilation of Ixtlilxochitl by Jose Fernando Ramirez. This edition was published in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World by Columbus.
This same edition, consisting of two volumes of approximately 500 pages each, was republished in 1965 with a preface by Lic. J. Ignacion Davila Garibi. Chavero called the books Obras Historicas de Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl. The works of Ixtlilxochitl have been published as various editions in Spanish as follows:
List of editions and printings of Ixtlilxochitl’s work. (Note Joseph Smith couldn’t have access to any of these)
- Original written manuscript: Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando de Alba. Historia Chichimeca, ~1580-1615 (lost and never published, archived in Spain or Italy until found by Kingsborough)
- First official printing: Kingsborough. Antiquities of Mexico. Vol. IX London 1848 (in Spanish, available here)
- Chavero, Alfredo (ed.), Obras históricas de D. Fernando de Alba Ixtlilxochitl. México, 1891-92. (in Spanish, available here)
- Chavero, Alfredo & Garibi pologue, Obras históricas de don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, 1958. (in Spanish)
- Reediciones de la anterior: Editora National. Mexico. 1952 y 1965. (in Spanish)
- O’Gorman, Edmundo (ed.), Obras históricas de Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl, México, 1975, UNAM. (in Spanish)
- Vázquez Chamorro, Germán (ed.), “Historia de la nación Chichimeca”, México, 1985. (in Spanish)
- Brian, Benton, Villella & Loaeza. History of the Chichimeca Nation: Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Seventeenth-Century Chronicle of Ancient Mexico, 2019 (in English available here)
It is from Chavero’s 1965 edition that I have translated into English the first section of Ixtlilxochitl’s works called “The Summary Account” (Sumaria Relacion).
Ramirez and Chavero divided the works of Ixtlilxochitl into two main parts: (1) Diverse Accounts and (2) The History of the Chichimeca.
The latter receives the most attention, as Ixtlilxochitl was a descendant of the Chichimeca people and, as a result, he follows the Chichimeca trail right up through the Conquest of Mexico.
The first part, “Diverse Accounts,” deals with the origin of the first settlers, called Quinametzin or giants. They came from the great tower. The first part also discusses a group of people called the Tulteca. They were wise men who worshipped a god they called Quetzalcoatl. A great dispersion among the Tultecas took place in the 4th Century AD.
The “Diverse Accounts” section is the section that attracts the interest of students of the Book of Mormon, as a common trail appears in both accounts. Ixtlilxochitl called this section “Sumaria Relacion de todas las cosas que han sucedido en La Nueva Espana y de muchas cosas que los Toltecas alcanzaron.”
That’s rather a long title patterned after the manner of the native Mexicans. It means “A summary account of all the things than happened in New Spain and many things that the Toltecs accomplished.”
Overview/Table of Contents of Ixtlilxochitl’s Works: Kingsborough & Chivero arrange these slightly differently.
- The first chapter (“Primer Relacion”) of Chavero’s works is only 11 pages, and that portion is what I have included in its entirety in this text. The “Primmer Relacion” covers the history of Mexico from the time of the great tower to about 439 AD.
- Chapter 2, or”Segunda Relacion,” provides dates of 466 AD to 543 AD. It also provides summary statements of the early history, typical of the way that Ixtlilxochitl wrote. He wrote, “The Tultecas were the third settlers of this land, counting the giants as the first, and the Ulmecas and Xicalancas as the second.” (Chavero 28)
- Chapter 3 of Chavero consists of seven pages and covers the period of time from 556 AD to 826 AD.
- Chapter 4 provides only one date, 880 AD, but the chapter provides a summary of the nature and characteristics of the Tultecas. “The Tultecas were great architects, carpenters, and workers of arts such as pottery: They mined and smelted gold and silver, and worked precious stones . . . .” (Chavero 40)
- Chapter 5, or “Quinta Relacion,” covers about 30 pages and terminates with page 108 and the year 958 AD. With the exception of a summary section at the end of Volume One, the remainder of the works of Ixtlilxochitl deals with the history of Mexico from 1000 AD to 1600 AD. The majority of the history is centered in the 16th Century.
Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl indeed makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the pre-Conquest civilizations of Mexico. His writings have been criticized, however, because they contain much repetition and because his chronology and dating often lack consistency. One writer said, “It would have been better if Alva Ixtlilxochitl had written less, and paid more detail and attention to the chronology.” (Garcia Icazbalceta, Bibliography de Autores Mexicanos, VIII,271; as quoted in Chavero in the “Prologo”)
We could perhaps defend Ixtlilxochitl by noting that he was only writing down what he read in the different native records he was translating.
Explore and read the ORIGINAL Ixtlilxochitl text at this link of Archive.org. And see my direct translation of the text in this Google Document. This section in the online original of Chaveros version can be found here. And the earlier Kingsborough account here. Another translation can be found here. Some footnotes and commentary with maps are also added by Allen, the rest by Weaver.
Selected Excerpts from the ‘Primer Relacion’ and Other Pertinent Sections
On Huematzin the Prophet/Historian
Incredibly, Ixtlilxochitl gives an account of a prophet/historian (prophet translated as astrologer) who lived sometime between 388 & 439 AD. (Note: there is some confusion in Ixtlilxochitl’s dates covered elsewhere. As given they match the Book of Mormon dates. However if as we hypothesize, Ixtlilxochitl should have been using the Chichimeca calendar which reset around 774 the date would be closer to 1162 AD). Either way, both of these dates correspond nearly exactly with our two possible timelines for the life of Mormon & Moroni, the prophet/historians. Ixtlilxochitl says this prophet is said to have compiled the Tulteca scriptures, EXACTLY as the Book of Mormon attests!
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.
On the traditions of Native Warfare
Ixtlilxochitl also gives insight into the warfare described concerning the final battles of the Nephites and Jaredites in the Book of Mormon. Particularly why they wage war of total annihilation. The following is one of several wars of annihilation that are described in detail by Ixtlilxochitl (compiled from both ancient Aztec records and oral accounts from native historians)
5.23 … the three competitor kings of the great Topiltzin came into the city of Tula with a great army. 5.24 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…
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.
1 Note the similarity to Mormon 6:2–6 “And I, Mormon, wrote an epistle unto the king of the Lamanites, and desired of him that he would grant unto us that we might gather together our people unto the land of Cumorah, by a hill which was called Cumorah, and there we could give them battle. 3 And it came to pass that the king of the Lamanites did grant unto me the thing which I desired… 6 And it came to pass that [after four years] when we had gathered in all our people in one to the land of Cumorah, behold I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people… 7 And it came to pass that my people, with their wives and their children, did now behold the armies of the Lamanites marching towards them…9 And it came to pass that they did fall upon my people… and were hewn down…”
Creation of the world in Toltec records
Both the Book of Mormon and writings of Ixtlilxochitl speak similarly about the ancient records containing an account of the creation of the world down to the flood and tower
1:1. A history of the events in New Spain 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. 2
- 2 Moroni wrote, “And as I suppose that the first part of this record, which speaks concerning the creation of the world, and also of Adam, and an account from that time even to the great tower, and whatsoever things transpired among the children of men until that time, is had among the Jews-Therefore I do not write those things which transpired from the days of Adam until that time . . . .” (Ether 1:3–4)
Global Flood in Toltec Records
Both the Book of Mormon and writings of Ixtlilxochitl speak similarly about the Flood
1:4. The records indicate that the world was created in the year Ce Tecpatl, 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.3
- 3 Genesis states that “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (Genesis 7:20) Whether Ixtlilxochitl was quoting from the native records or was influenced by the Biblical account cant be known for sure, although the context would suggest he is seeing this clause in the Aztec records somewhere.
Tower of Babel in Toltec Records
Both the Book of Mormon and writings of Ixtlilxochitl speak similarly about the Tower of Babel
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. 4
- The wording is surprisingly similar to that referenced by Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews, where he explains why Nimrod build the tower of Babel. “He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach!”
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, 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.5
- 5 It appears here that Ixtlilxochitl confuses the record-keeping Tultecas with the first civilization, whom he consistently calls Quinametzin or giants/tall ones (see verses 16, 25, 32, 37). The Quinametzin are probably the same people as the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon: “Which Jared came forth … from the great tower … the language of Jared . . . and his brother were not confounded … And they did land upon the shore of the promised land . . . .” (Ether 1:33, 35; 6:12)
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. 6 This was in the year Ce Tecpatl and 520 years had elapsed since the flood, which represent five periods of time. 7
- 6 Huehue Tlapallan is mentioned 6 times in Ixtlilxochitl’s Sumaria Relaciones. (sometimes as one word, sometimes as two). Moreover Tlapallanconco (Tlapallancinco or zinco) is the beginning place of the Toltec Exile, which (cinco) means ‘new tlapallan’ so obviously named after Huehue Tlapalla, and was said to be ‘close to their homeland’ or 60 leagues (180 miles) from it.
- 7 A period of time refers to the 52-year calendar cycle. In this case, however, Ixtlilxochitl apparently is calling two calendar cycles a period of time. Hence, five periods of time equal 520 years. The 104 years that they wandered represents one period of time or two 52-year calendar cycles.
1:10. And 1,715 years after the flood, the people were destroyed by a very great hurricane that carried away trees, rocks, houses, and large buildings. 8 Many men and women escaped the storm by hiding in caves and other places where the great hurricane could not reach them.
- 8 Today, hurricane winds are common to the coasts of Mexico. The great hurricane destruction referred to by Ixtlilxochitl may be the same destruction referred to in the days of Shiblom in the Book of Ether: there was a great destruction, such an one as never had been known upon the face of the earth . . . .” (Ether 11:7)
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 Tochtli, 9 which was 1,347 years after the second calamity and 4,779 years since the creation of the world, 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.
- 9 Anytime a number is in front of a name such as 8 Tochtli, the number refers to the day and the month and is correlated with a year. The date in which the sun stood stilt corresponds with 52 BC in the dates given by Ixtlilxochitl.
1:14. It had been 158 years since the great hurricane and 4,964 years since the creation of the world, when there occurred another destruction in this land. 10 The people who lived in this corner of the land, which they now call New Spain, were giants [tall ones] 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 Tecpatl, and they called this time period Tlacchitonatiuh, which means sun of the earth.
- 10 (This destruction appears to be the same referred to in verse 16, which dates to the exact time the destruction occurred at the death of Christ. (3 Nephi 8:5) The dating here, however, is inconsistent.
Calendar Adjustment & Destruction at time of Christ
The dates on these two verses do not agree. However this council and calendar Adjustment sounds an a lot like the beginning of the reign of the Judges. The destructions sound like the death of Christ. The Book of Mormon gives this Calendar base date change at the Reign of the judges a date of 91 BC or 126 years before Christ’s coming to Bountiful. Note however that King Benjamin’s address occurred 166 years before the destructions of Christ.
1:15. In the year Ce Tecpatl, which was 5,097 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 [tall ones] 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 CE Calli, which, adjusted to our calendar, happened at the same time that Christ, our Lord, was crucified. And they say that this destruction occurred in the first few days of the year. 11
- 10 This ‘council’ sounds a lot like the beginning of the Reign of the judges in Mosiah 29:39–47, “39 Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them… in the whole, five hundred and nine years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem. 47 And thus ended the reign of the kings over the people of Nephi [and began the new Calendar of the reign of the Judges]”.
However, its timing actually matches perfectly with King Benjamin’s address in 130 BC. in Mosiah 1:10 “My son, I would that ye should make a proclamation throughout all this land among all this people, or the people of Zarahemla, and the people of Mosiah who dwell in the land, that thereby they may be gathered together”
- 11 The wording here could be ambiguous being unclear whether the destructions mentioned happened at the Time of Christ or if its referring to the destruction of the giants/Jaredites 270 years earlier. We will suppose the former since the Book of Mormon records the same date for the great destruction at the time of the crucifixion of Christ: “And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such as one as never had been known in all the land… 17 And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth. 18 And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.” (3 Nephi 8:5,17–18)
1:18.It had been 305 years since the time of the eclipsing of the sun and the moon, 438 years since the time of the destruction of the large Quinametzin (giants), and 5,486 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 Acatl.
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 CE Tecpatl, banished from all that land, as you will see in that which follows. And this transpired, according to our calculations, 449 years after the birth of our Christ the Lord. 13
- 13 If the date of the exile of the Tultecas is 305 years from the 34 AD eclipse, then the above date would be 339 AD instead of 449 AD. If we attempt to correlate the record-keeping Tultecas with the record-keeping Nephites, the 339AD exile date is close to the exile of the Nephites from the Land Southward at 350 AD. (Mormon 2:28–29), the 449 AD date is closer to the 385 AD battle at Cumorah and the 421 AD closing date in the Book of Mormon.
The Chichimecs came from Babel in Asia.
Although the Toltecs and Chichimec titles seem to be claimed by many different tribes and peoples in early codices, here they seem to be associated with the Jaredites. Coincidentally in the highland model, the Jaredite heartland is the narrow coastal pass of central Sonora near Culiacan which is where archaeologist often place the early chichimecs. (Early Spanish conquires associate the tribes of the Taramara region of Sonora with the Chichimec’s). Perhaps then, after the final battle Lamanites who fought over and settled the Land of Desolation where the treaty was signed end up claiming those ancestral Jaredite lands as their own and associating themselves with the Jaredite remnants and pictographs (of which their are thousands).
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 [western] areas.
1:21. And all who are now called Tultecas, Aculhuas, and Mexicanas, as well as the other people in this land, boast and affirms 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 be, as can be deduced, that came from the great Tartary, 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.14
- 14 Verse 21 is a repeat of verses 6-8, as it describes the first settlers who came from the great tower at the time of the confusion of the languages. The Book of Ether records that the first king, Jared, and those who traveled with him traveled in “that quarter where there never had man been”, and they traveled “many years” in the wilderness. (Ether 2:5; 3:3; 6:8-12) The Book of Ether does not tell which ocean the Jaredites crossed. However, from the above information, they apparently crossed the Pacific after wandering through the ‘Tartary’, which is the general area of South Russia & China where the Black & Caspian seas could match well with the inland seas mentioned in Ether 2:5.
Ixtlilxochitl said that the first inhabitants settled primarily along the “northern part”… and Moroni records the account of the “ancient inhabitants who were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country.” (Ether 1: 1)
On Lands being named after the one who first ‘possessed’ them
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. 15
- 15 This same custom is mentioned by Mormon wherein he writes, “Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah.” (Alma 8:7)
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. 16
- 16 Regarding the 190 BC Lamanites, Mormon wrote. “They were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers . . . .” And . . . “they were desirous to bring us [the Nephites] into bondage . . . .” (Mosiah 10: 12; 9:12)
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 [Western] areas. 17
- 17 Apparently Ixtlilxochitl traces his lineage, through the Chichimeca lineage, all of the way back to the first settlers who came from the tower. The Book of Mormon may clear up this issue. Some of the 588-570 BC Lamanites, “the people who were now called Lamanites,” (2 Nephi 5:14) were in all probability descendants from the Jaredite Tower of Babel people. Hence, the Chichimeca in Ixtlilxochitl’s history may be the same as the Lamanites in Book of Mormon history, and yet many would have descended from the original Jaredite or Quinametzin king.
1:25. In this land called New Spain [Mexico], there were giants [tall ones], 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 [the Quinametzin] 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. 18
- 18 When Mosiah fled to the Land of Zarahemla about 200 BC and encountered the people of Zarahemla, they informed him that they had “had many wars and contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time.” (Omni 1: 17) The Mulekites had landed in the land of the Jaredites approximately 400 years prior to the uniting of the Nephites and the people of Zarahemla. (Alma 22:30; Omni 1: 19) An expedition dating to 121 BC, sent out by Limhi in search of the Land of Zarahemla, discovered the Jaredite ruins, including bones of men and breastplates that were large. (Mosiah 8:8) The above statement of Ixtlilxochitl may have reference to these accounts. This possibility suggests that the Quinametzin, who were large people, were the same people known as the Jaredites.
1:26. It is the opinion of some of these ancient historians that these giants [tall ones] 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 in height, and have been told that there are others even taller.
- 19 One hand is considered equivalent to 4 inches, in which cases the extremes of the above measurements are 4 feet to 10 feet. From an archaeological point of view, the Otmec were large people–but not necessarily tall people. (See Figure 11-2.) Many scholars brush off the comment about giants as being Indian superstitions, saying that the large bones are remains of elephants. Too much consistency is evident, however, to ignore the idea of a large race of people. Although a discrepancy exists between 30 hands and 11 or 12 hands tall, the facts that the Book of Mormon Jaredites, the archaeological Olmecs, and the Quinametzin of Ixtlilxochitl are all large people and that they all lived in the Land Northward, the northern country, or the northern lands lend credibility to the above statements. The northern lands of both the Olmecs and Ixtlilxochitl are the area along the Gulf of Mexico (or Texas, New Mexico, etc?). This area appears to be the same area as the Land Northward in Jaredite history.
1:27. The greatest destruction that occurred among the Quinametzin [elsewhere called Philistines or giants] was in the year and date that the natives call CE Toxtli, signifying the date 1 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. 20
- 20 The above date is obviously a transcription error as it’s given different dates elsewhere. This destruction appears to be referring to the second period because of the context in which it is written. Four basic ages or periods of destruction are constantly referred to by Ixtlilxochitl and are also recorded by other early Mexican writers. The Aztec calendar stone also reflects four periods of destruction. The first period relates to the flood and appears to date to 3114 BC. The second is the great hurricane, which has been dated to 1399 BC in this account as outlined in verse 10. The third age correlates to the death of Christ in 34 AD and consisted of great earthquakes and storms. The fourth age usually refers to the time when the world will be destroyed by fire and is still in the future.
Nephites & Toltecs are both industrious record keepers
1:28. The Tultecas were the second civilization in this land after the destruction of the giants [Quinametzin: just discussed] . . ., 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.
21 The Tolteca or second civilization sound a lot like Helaman 3:15 which says “15 But behold, there are many books and many records of every kind, and they have been kept chiefly by the Nephites. 16 And they have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites”. Being the one’s who brought the records (unlike the Jaredites and Mulekites)
1:30. The most serious authors and historians of the ancient pagans included Quetzalcoatl, who is considered to be the first. Some of the modem 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. 21
- 21 The name Quetzalcoatl is prominent in the ancient histories of Mexico. The origin of the name dates back to the advent of Christ. Others were given the name of Quetzalcoatl, including a 10th Century AD Toltec leader. The 16th-Century Catholic priests made serious attempts to obliterate the name and power of Quetzalcoatl from the minds of the people. (See Chapter 12, “Fray Bernardino de Sahagun.”)
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 [tall ones], 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. 22
- 22 Verse 33 apparently is the same destruction referred to in verses 10-12, in which case it is the second age or period of time instead of the third. The confusion may lie in the name of Ecatonatiuah, which is either transcribed wrong or which Ixtlilxochitl confuses with Ehecatonatiuh. Sometime after the great destruction at the time of Christ, as recorded in some of the traditions, the name of Ehecatl, which means wind, became part of the title of Quetzalcoatl-that is, Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl.
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. 23
- 23 Potonchan is near the present-day City of Veracruz, Mexico. It is the same place where the Spanish conquerors landed in the 16th Century AD. LDS writers commonly agree that the Mulekites came from the east across the Atlantic. Cacaxtla was said to be the capitol of the Olmeca-Xicalanca people by Diego Muñoz Camargo. It is the site of the famous ‘Battle Mural’ depicting warriors with dark and lighter skin. Cacaxtla was likely founded around 400 AD by a group of Mayan settlers (possibly after sacking Chula?) but is essentially the sister city to Xochitecatl and Moyotzingo, formative sites with early ties to the Olmec of Veracruz, Chiapas and the Mexican Highland. Here we presume that the Olmeca are Lehites and Xicalancas Mulekites. Note Mariano Veytia in Historia antigua de México (p. 150) says the Zapotecs/Mixtecs are kindreds with Olmeca and Xicalancas.
Does Ixtlilxochitl explain why the Mulekites make Mosiah I their king?
The book of Mormon does not explain why the people of Zarahemla so eagerly appointed Mosiah I their king, except perhaps that the Nephites had writing. (Omni 1:15–24) This section of Ixtlilxochitl gives a convincing explanation that perhaps Mosiah and his people freed the Mulekites from bondage when they arrived by killing the Jaredite overlords who were holding the Mulekites in bondage. Perhaps Omni 1:24 is speaking of this battle, with Mormon calling the enemy “Lamanites” and Ixtlilxochitl calling them Quinametzin or giants.
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 [tall ones] 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. 24
- 24 This makes an amazing explanation for Mosiah’s quick ascension to rule the people of Zarahemla. The only detail the Book of Momron gives after talking about Coriantumr and the Jaredites is Omni 1:24 “And behold, I have seen, in the days of king Benjamin, a serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites. But behold, the Nephites did obtain much advantage over them; yea, insomuch that king Benjamin did drive them out of the land of Zarahemla.” Note this tactic is strikingly similar to the 121 BC account of Gideon & Limhi escaping from Lamanite bondage by getting their guards drunk in the Land of Nephi. Mosiah 22:3–13, explains that Gideon would “go according to thy command and pay the last tribute of wine to the Lamanites, and they will be drunken; and we will pass through the secret pass on the left of their camp when they are drunken and asleep” (v. 7). Perhaps Gideon learned this trick by the Nephite stories of what had been done a century earlier. Or perhaps even this account by Ixtlilxochitl is a corrupted version of the escape in Mosiah 22.
The largest-based pyramid in the world is Cholula (verse 35). It covers over 40 acres of ground and dates to the Preclassic Era (200 BC — about the time the Nephites moved from the City of Nephi to Zerahemla). It was covered in a thin ash layer around the time of Christ and has subsequently been rebuilt/added to several times. A Catholic church sits peacefully on top of the pyramid today. (See Figure 11-4.) The State of Puebla borders the east ports mentioned earlier as landing spots for the Mulekites.
Diego Duran gives a separate account of the above event in his book “The History of the Indies of New Spain“, in it he seconds that the Quinametzin lived near Cholula and were considerably taller than the majority of natives.
“It cannot be denied, nor do I deny, that there have been giants in this country. I can affirm this because I have seen them, I have met men of monstrous stature here. I believe there are some in the city of Mexico who will remember as I do, a gigantic Indian who appeared in a procession of the feast of Corpus Christi. He was dressed in yellow silk with a halberd at his shoulder and a helmet on his head. And was all of a vara [2.7 feet] taller than the others [of the natives]. (p. 9)
“When the six tribes and different peoples had settled, they recorded [in their painted books] the type of land and kind of people found here. Among these there are two paintings that show two types of people, one from the west of the snow-covered mountains toward Mexico city, and the other to the east, where Puebla and Cholula are found. The people from the first region (west) were the Chichimecs and those from the east were “giants”, the Quiname, which means “men of great stature”. (p. 17)
…These giants while fleeing from the Cholultecs, flung themselves from the precipices and were killed, in order to keep from falling into the hands of the others. The Cholutecs had been extremely cruel to them… pursuing them from hill to hill.. until they were destroyed. (p. 17)
Quetzalcoatl and the Tree of Life
Its important to understand that Quetzalcoatl was a title used by Mexican Highland people very much like the prefixes/sufixes of ‘el’ and ‘jah’ in Hebrew. Thus it seems likely that Mesoamerican spiritual and kingly figures had variations of Quetzalcoatl attached to their names much like biblical kings or prophets like Eli’jah’, Dan’el’, Adoni’jah’ actually had the title of Jehovah attached to their names. Ixtlilxochitl notes at least two or three different characters who are called Quetzalcoatl and several other varients. Care must be taken in deciphering which historical figure is being referred to under the title Quetzalcoatl. I believe that prophets named ‘Nephi’ in the Book of Mormon actually have some variation of Quetzalcoatl in their native names. See here.
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 worshiped 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. 25
- 25 The Spanish translation at the beginning of verse 38 states: “el primero que adoro y coloco la cruz.” (literally: the first who I adore & placed the cross). I have translated it as referring to Quetzalcoatl inasmuch as that is consistent with the context of the verses preceding and following the statement. I have translated “coloco la cruz” as “placed in authority.” Quetzalcoatl has been given many names, including the two above. The “tree-of-life” motif is associated with Christ and is prevalent throughout Mesoamerica. Quetzalcoatl is afforded the prominent position of all of the gods of Mesoamerica. The original Quetzalcoatl is considered by most Latter-day Saint writers to be the same person as Jesus Christ. (See Chapter 14, “The White God Quetzalcoatl.”
1:39. After he [Quetzalcoatl] 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. 26
- 26. Coatzacoalco(s) (Co-ought-saw-co-all-cos) has grown into a modem oil refinery city located in the State of Veracruz near the border of the State of Tabasco. The Coatzacoalcos River empties into the Gulf of Mexico at the top of the gulf by the City of Coatzacoalcos. The Aztec meaning of the word Coatzacoalcos is “the foundation of the religion of the feathered serpent.” Cholula is a city just over the mountain from Mexico City and is the original city of Zarahemla in our continental model. (3 Nephi 11: 1; see Figure 11-5)
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 CE Acatl, 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. 27
- 27. This “3rd period” destruction appears to be the same as those mentioned in verses 14 and 16. Verse 16 gives the same date as the date recorded in the Book of Mormon-that is, the first month of the 34th year. (3 Nephi 8:5) Verse 42 says that the destruction took place a few days after Quetzalcoatl left. It seems quite likely that this is confustion in the translation or myth and it should instead read, “at the time of his death.” Especially in light of verse 43 which records the destruction as occurring some years after the birth of Christ.
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 CE Acatl, 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. 28
- 28. This verse concludes the first chapter, or Sumaria Relacion, as edited by Alfredo Chavero. The historical era covered in this first chapter was from the flood called the first age, and terminates with a great storm that occurred around the time of Christ, called the third age, or from approximately 3114 BC to ~34 AD. It is interesting that the Aztec legends prophesy that the current age will end by “fire” just as the Book of Revelation and many other Middle Eastern traditions. The second chapter of Chavero provides us with a beginning date of 466 AD, with intermittent statements dating back to the 3rd Century AD.
After the Book of Mormon Final War
The similarity between what’s described here and the Book of Mormon is remarkable. The dispersion of the war-like Chichimeca at 387 AD correlates with the same time period directly after the Nephites/Lamanite final battle at Cumorah in 385 AD presumably in New England. This description of “Journeying along the coast” from their “home land” (perhaps Nephites and/or Lamanites in the Hopewell lands of Ohio in the Land Northward) back to “California” or the southwest and down the sea of Cortez to the Colorado (reddish) river in order to arrive at the legendary city of Tollan (called Tollanzinco or New Tollan in the next verse).
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. 29
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, leaving colonies in the places where they made Great Houses (hecieron mansion).
- 29. Mormon 8:2–3 tells us “2 And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah [in 385 AD], behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. 3 And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not.” Note the above quote from Ixtlilxochitl is not of the Toltec but the war-like Chichimeca. So it seems more likely that this group is the returning army of Lamanites (although perhaps some Nephites not known to Moroni as well?)
- 30. Huatulco is in Southern Oaxaca and in our model this area is directly seaward from the Land/city of Nephi (Monte Alban, Oaxaca) and would have been their principle sea port. Xalisco is modern Jalisco and likely a name for the entire West Coast of Mexico from the Sea of Cortez south to Oaxaca. Tochtepec is a city in Puebla (our Zarahemla)
On the three settlers of the Americas and the 7 tribes
Just like the Book of Mormon Ixtlilxochitl speaks of 3 settlers in the Americas (Jaredites, Mulekites & Lehites). Elsewhere these three groups are spoken of in more detail. The seven founding tribes is also a very pervasive myth in early writings and match incredibly with the Book of Mormon 7 groups of Lehites.
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 (Tollan?) 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. (Chavero 1965:28)
31 Note the Book of Mormon repeatedly mentions the seven tribes. (see Jacob 1:13, Mormon 1:8, 4 Ne 1:36–37) “13 Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites. 14 But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites.” Third Relacion begins with the founding of the legendary city of Tula by the Toltecs (prosperous and abundant empire–a city “that was the head of its kingdoms and lordships for many years”). Combining the mythology of the story with what we know of the archaeology seems to paint a believable narrative suggesting that perhaps after the Nephite destruction, some of the treasonous Nephite defectors, combined with the Lamanite army returned to Tula (a little North of Teotihuacán and Mexico City) and founded the final Toltec empire the immediate precursor to the Aztec.
On the long distance migration (of the Toltecs), 2700 miles from the land Northward to Southward
Many codices speak of the famous Toltec migration myth. Most Hispanic historians reference Ixlilchotil’s history as his account stands out in its use of dates. Most authors place their homeland either in West Mexico, Sonora or the Southwest. Several very early Spanish maps also place it in the US southwest. (Some confusion exists in the date of this account. And later authors go with the 439 date instead of the 388. When I get some time I’ll explain how this migration might relate to the Book of Mormon (being Lamanites and/or Nephite dissenters coming home after the final battle) and go through the differing accounts of it.)
2:1. In the year 1 FLINT [439 or perhaps 388? see note 8], 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….
FOR THE REST OF IXLILXOCHTL’S ACCOUNT GO TO this page.
Authors Note: Coming Soon/Still to do
-Go back through these and put the Book of Mormon quotes of verses and refs in the footnotes to compare and contrast whats said in the two books.
-Add references to the ‘high priest of cholula’ that are everywhere to show that there’s a distinct religion with a leader (quote b.o.m. – leader of their church)
-Add refs to ‘bandits’ that are all over the chapter section. “Huetzin was upon him and they had a very cruel battle in which many people died on both sides until the bandits were defeated, and their leader Yacanex fled without stopping to Panuco, because there was the sierra where they tried to take refuge and they had that strength” (see also “Chichimecas rebels”)
-Compare this section to the b.o.m. sections of ferocious lamanites… “These Chichimecas dressed in their nature, and today they wear the marinated skins of martens, lions, tigers and other animals: the…”
-Another explanation on how the 4rth Nephi genealogy lived so long… Ixlolchitl says, “how could they live so long? To this the answer is that even today many natives live almost a hundred years, and others spend a hundred years… (get quote)
-In history chichmeca, Ixlilchotil seems to use Chichimecas and Toltecas like B.O.M. uses Nephites and Lamantes. Get some examples and make section on it (maybe just contrast the idleness of chichimecs w/ the resourcefullness? or however he says it, of totecs. “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” whereas the Chichimec were “dressed in their nature, and today they wear the marinated skins of martens, lions” and “very great idolaters”