World

Historic Aztec codex enters the digital age with interactive app aimed to spur research

  • This image made from the screen of a mobile device on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 shows the The Codex Mendoza app with a page from the 16th century document that is considered one of the most important primary sources on the Aztecs of pre-Columbian Mexico. The interactive document, released on Thursday by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH), lets users mouse-over the old Spanish text for translations into English or modern Spanish, and click on images for richer explanations and explore maps of the area. The original was compiled by Aztec and Spanish artisans to inform the king of Spain about conditions in the viceroyalty. (AP Photo)

    This image made from the screen of a mobile device on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 shows the The Codex Mendoza app with a page from the 16th century document that is considered one of the most important primary sources on the Aztecs of pre-Columbian Mexico. The interactive document, released on Thursday by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH), lets users mouse-over the old Spanish text for translations into English or modern Spanish, and click on images for richer explanations and explore maps of the area. The original was compiled by Aztec and Spanish artisans to inform the king of Spain about conditions in the viceroyalty. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • This image made from the screen of a mobile device on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 shows the The Codex Mendoza app with a page from the 16th century document that is considered one of the most important primary sources on the Aztecs of pre-Columbian Mexico. The interactive document, released on Thursday by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH), lets users mouse-over the old Spanish text for translations into English or modern Spanish, and click on images for richer explanations and explore maps of the area. The original was compiled by Aztec and Spanish artisans to inform the king of Spain about conditions in the viceroyalty. (AP Photo)

    This image made from the screen of a mobile device on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 shows the The Codex Mendoza app with a page from the 16th century document that is considered one of the most important primary sources on the Aztecs of pre-Columbian Mexico. The interactive document, released on Thursday by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH), lets users mouse-over the old Spanish text for translations into English or modern Spanish, and click on images for richer explanations and explore maps of the area. The original was compiled by Aztec and Spanish artisans to inform the king of Spain about conditions in the viceroyalty. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

A 16th century document describing the Aztec society of ancient Mexico has gone digital with a new app that aims to spur research and discussion.

The Codex Mendoza is a 1542 illustrated report ordered by Spanish viceroy Antonio de Mendoza to send home to the king of Spain. It details sources of riches, Aztec expansion and territorial tributes, and chronicles daily life and social dynamics.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History presented the digital version on Thursday. It's available free on the Internet and through Apple's App Store as a 1.02-gigabyte app.

The virtual codex lets users mouse-over the drawings and old Spanish text for translations into either Spanish or English.

Institute official Ernesto Miranda says officials are in talks about digitizing other Mexican codices.