Arthur J. O. Anderson

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Arthur James Outram Anderson (November 26, 1907 – June 3, 1996) was an American anthropologist specializing in Aztec culture and translator of the Nahuatl language.

Early life


He was born on November 26, 1907.

In the 1970s he began working with James Lockhart and Frances Berdan on colonial-era local level Nahuatl texts, which are the core of the New Philology.



He was renowned for his and Charles E. Dibble's translation of the Florentine Codex by fray Bernardino de Sahagún, a project which took 30 years. The two also published a modern English translation of Book XII of the Florentine Codex, which gives an indigenous account of the conquest of Mexico.[1] Anderson translated and wrote an extensive introduction to fray Bernardino de Sahagún's Psalmodia Christiana (Christian Psalmody)[2] He also edited and published translations of formal linguistic texts by eighteenth-century Mexican Jesuit Francisco de Clavigero (1731-1787) outlining rules of the Mexican (Nahuatl) language.[3][4]

Two publications on which he collaborated were Beyond the Codices,[5] and The Tlaxcalan Actas.[6] With Susan Schroeder, he translated and edited writings of seventeenth-century Nahua historian Chimalpahin.[7] In 1994, a festschrift entitled Chipping away on earth: studies in prehispanic and colonial Mexico in honor of Arthur J.O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble [8] was published.



Anderson died of a cerebral hemorrhage on June 3, 1996.[9]


  1. ^ The War of the Conquest: how it was waged here in Mexico: the Aztecs' own story as given to Bernardino de Sahagun, rendered into modern English. Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1978
  2. ^ Psalmodia Christiana (Christian Psalmody) by fray Bernardino de Sahagún. Translated by Arthur J.O. Anderson. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1993
  3. ^ Rules of the Aztec Language: classical Nahuatl Grammar. A translation by Arthur J.O. Anderson, with modifications, of Francis Xavier Clavigero's Reglas de la lengua mexicana. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1973,
  4. ^ Reglas de la la lengua mexicana con un vocabulario. Introduction, paleography, and notes by Arthur J.O. Anderson; preface by Miguel Leon-Portilla. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Institute de Investigaciones Historicas, 1974
  5. ^ Beyond the Codices Anderson, Berdan, and Lockhart, University of California Press, 1976
  6. ^ The Tlaxcalan Actas: A Compendium of the Records of the Cabildo of Tlaxcala (1545-1627)Lockhart, Berdan, and Anderson. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press 1986.
  7. ^ Codex Chimalpahin: Society and politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and other Nahua altepetl in central Mexico: the Nahuatl and Spanish annals and accounts collected and recorded by don Domingo de San Anton Munon Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuantzin edited and translated by Arthur J.O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder; Wayne Ruwet, manuscript editor, Susan Schroeder, general editor. Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press 1997.
  8. ^ Eloise Quinones Keber, editor with the assistance of Susan Schroeder and Frederic Hicks, 1994: Lancaster CA, Labyrinthos.
  9. ^ Schroeder (1997): p. viii.


  • Schroeder, Susan. "Acknowledgments". Codex Chimalpahin, volume 1. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. vii–viii. ISBN 0-8061-2921-2.