Sahagun in Covenant

  Fray Sahagun's  many achievements included the Florentine Codex,  many books that were mainly religious and in the Aztec language, sympathizing with the Indians, and explanations of Aztec mythology.  
  He is best known for the Florentine Codex which is basically an encyclopedia of Aztec society and a dictionary of the Nahuatl language.  
  Some books that Sahagun is known for include, Historia,  Arte, Diccionario, Psalmodia Christiana (Christian Psalmody), and Primeros Memoriales.  
  More accomplishments or achievements can be noted in Eduardo Galeano's first book, Genesis, from the trilogy Memory of Fire. Below is an excerpt from the passage "Sahagun."

" The old native wise men offer their testimony to Fray Bernardino de Sahagun: " Let us die, " they plead, "since our gods have died."    "In the twelve books of the General History of New Spain, Sahagun and his young assistants have saved and assembled ancient voices, the fiestas of the Indians, their rites, their gods, their way of counting the passage of years and stars, their myths, their poems, their medicines, their tales of remote ages and of the recent European invasion...History sings in this first great work of American anthropology. Six years ago King Philip II had those manuscripts and all the native codices copied and translated by Sahagun seized so that no original or translation of them should remain. Where have they ended up, those books suspected of perpetuating and publicizing idolatries? No one knows. The council of the Indies has not replied to any of the despairing author-copier's pleas. What has the king done with these forty years of Sahagun's life and so many centuries of the life of Mexico? They say in Madrid that the pages have been used as spice wrappings. Old Sahagun does not give up. At eighty he clutches to his breast a few papers saved from the disaster and dictates to his  pupils in Tlatelolco the first lines of a new work, to be called Divinatory Art. Later he will go to work on a complete Mexican calendar. When he finishes the calendar, he will begin a Nahuatl-Spanish-Latin dictionary. And after the dictionary..."

Another example from Eduardo Galeano's Genesis is stated in the passage called "Medicine and Witchcraft."

"In the first period of the conquest, however, indigenous medicine aroused great curiosity in Europe, and marvels were attributed to America's plants. Fray Bernardino de Sahagun collected and published the wisdom of eight Aztec doctors, and King Philip II sent his personal physician, Francisco Hernandez, to Mexico to make a thorough study of native medicine."


Codex | Sources