Notes on the Life and Works of Augustine Aglio
Artist of Cremona
And Author of the Mexican Antiquities
By Frederick Sacchi

Appendix 2

Abridgement and Judgement of the Colossal work in 7 Volumes by A.Aglio

Entitled Antiquities of Mexico.

Comment on this translation. Agostino Aglio Homepage 

Introduction    Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    

This Biography in Italian
Appendix 1    Appendix 2   Appendix 3    Brief Analysis                Autobiography


The collection of facsimiles of the ancient pictures and hieroglyphics of Mexoco exist in the Royal Libraries of Paris Berlin Dresden Vienna The Vatican nd Museum Borgia at Rome, the Institute of Bologna the Bodliean Oxford and the monuments of New Spain by Dupaix with three measures and de4scription and a number of unedited manuscripts of the precious work of A.Aglio London 1830 Whittaker and Co. This grand and magnificent work surpasses all idea and is truly princely. It was published in 7 volumes at £120 plain and £175 coloured. There were two copies on parchment which cost 3000guineas. The title of the work fully explains its subject nevertheless we believe that the work is particularly important. [ Even though the title of the work fully explains its subject nevertheless, we believe that a description of the work is particularly important] It makes much more spirit when we find our hopes in this great work superior to any word of our praise and is difficult of access except to the rich and cultivated gentry with which our country abounds.

The first volume contains a copy of the Mendosa collection at Oxford in the Bodliean Library (73 pages) a copy of the Codex Telleriano-Remensis which is conserve at Paris at the Kiings Library (93 pages) a facsimile of an original Mexican Hieroglyphic picture in the Botturini Collection (23 pages) a facsimile of an original of mexican picture [s from the collection ] of Thomas Bodley in the Bodliean Library (40 pages) a facsimile of an original Mexican pictures [ from the collection of manuscripts ] of Seddons in the same Library.

The 2nd Volume contains a copy of a Mexican Manuscript from the Vatican (149 pages), a facsimile of an original picture presented to Oxford by Archbishop Land and is in the Bodliean Library (46 pages), the facsimile of a picture likewise original Mexican at the Library of the Institute of Bologna (24 pages), a facsimile of a picture, as above, in the Imperial Library Vienna (66 pages), various facsimile pictures of original Mexican pictures deposited in the Royal Library Berlin by Baron Humboldt and a low relief, preserved in Royal Gabenito of Antiquities.

The 3rd Volume contains the following facsimile of original Mexican pictures in the Borgia Museum, at he College of Propaganda Rome ( 76 pages) Royal Library Dresden (74 pages) the Museum of Mr Fejevary at Pest in Hungrary (44 pages) The Vatican Library, (96 pages).

The 4th Volume is specially composed of lithographic designs and intaglios in copper of unedited works of Mr Dupaix etc. and monuments of New Spain by the same Mr Dupaix from designs ordered by the King of Spain to be made from the originals from pieces of Mexican Sculpture possessed by Mr Latour Allard at Paris and similar fragments in the British Museum. Similar fragments in copper engravings from ‘Giro dell Mondo’ of Gemelli Carreri, with an engraving of a cycle from a picture which formerly belonged to the Botturini Collection, fragments of a quipos of Peru ( a species of rosary to enumerate a series of objects ) with a table which represents a Peruvian box carved and containing a collection of quipos.

[ A quipos is a knotted piece of string of varying length and colour. It was used by the Peruvians to record information. ]

The 5th Volume contains a commentary of the principle French, Spanish and Italian writings of the hieroglyphic inscriptions in the proceeding Volumes (170 pages), the commentary of Dupaix on his monuments of New Spain, the engravings in the 4th Volume.

The 6th book has the unedited manuscript history of New Spain of Mr Sahagun which treats the rhetoric the philosophy, the morals and Religion of Mexico. The 6th Volume contains only the translation of the 5th Volume with continued commentaries. Some of which was by Lord Kingsborough expressly furnished for this grand work.

The 7th Volume contains the whole of the manuscript of the history of New Spain in Spanish treated in the 6th book before printed in the 5th Volume. Conceding that he had good reason from the long study of the book over many years yet it would have been wiser for Lord Kingsborough to have omitted his favourite doctrine in his isolated notes from the preface and to have given more correct and intelligent and distinct commentaries.


It is not to be wondered at that the history and religion of Mexico should have been buried for so long a period in oblivion because the Inquisition of Spain used the ferocious and bigoted fanaticism of the soldiers and by their own fanaticism to cancel every trace of the Mexican religion and to destroy every monument which might remind them of their independence. The Spaniards from political jealousy left all the manuscripts that were sent from America to moulder and to destruction and prevented in every possible way any endeavour to study and publish them. The work of the most accurate learned mis **** wished to preserve them and did so secretly. The works of Sahagun were ordered by the Inquisition to be destroyed, this is the case *** of the extreme ignorance respecting them which prevailed in Europe. We are greatly indebted to Lord Kingsborough’s zeal with which he dedicated himself to illustrate these precious manuscripts and his protection to Mr Aglio which enabled him to consecrate his talents year after year in the execution of this gigantic work quite new of it kind. The short notice we have given of the 7th volume makes known the nature of the work and the learned and sagacious researches of Lord Kingsborough in the 5th volume. The universal opinion is that America was **** populated by different nations and at various times but Lord Kingsborough maintains that they migrated from Alexandria at the beginning of the Christian Era. This opinion of Lord Kingsborough is ingenious but argued from the History of Traditions, the dress and the political features of the Mexican but not to devote too much time on this argument it is enough to refer to Lord Kingsborough’s remarks as to the probability of the Jewish emigration in the work. ***related to the ***** that the greater part of the inhabitants were not indigenous but came from some remote region, Lord Kingsborough idea is important but very ingenious and there are some reasons which to some extent bear out his hypothesis. The treatise of the *** of the vocabulary he is not infrequently **** to fallacious – he is in danger of ********** he conceived for in treating the language we want the key and he is not a champillion who with great pains would unravel the hieroglyphics of Mexico and Peru. Another difficulty is that the Jews must have abandoned their special religion in consequence of marriage contracted with the people of their new country supposing that the country was not uninhabited. The hypothesis that the first inhabitants of America were from Asia is altogether unreasonable. Taking into consideration their geographical position their language and dress and their *** and other similar*** one may suppose that the came from **** and from America itself. It is of the greatest importance to consider the pictures and hieroglyphics of Mexico and Peru were we find a not disc **** analogy between the objects of Egypt. This resemblance is clearly discernible in the Pyramid of Cholala an ancient religious monument. In two calendars one is not dissimilar to the Zodiac – in various base relieves in hieroglyphic pictures in vases and other Mexican and Peruvian objects in which we see great grandeur. The Geographical Society found the resemblance in the Pyramid of S. Giovanni di Teotihuacan with those of Egypt in the form of construction. They, incidentally, are belonging to an epoch before Cortez *** at the period of his conquest they were in Ruins and neglected.