icnopilli / icnopilti

Gingerich Willard P. gingeriw at stjohns.edu
Wed May 23 22:57:16 UTC 2001

Any consideration of Nahua ideas of merit must also look at the =
concept-clusters in the Florentine, especially Bk VI, around occurrences =
of the phrase in iilhuil in imaceual [A & D translate "the desert, the =
merit" (poss.)], and in iilhuil, in imaceual, in inemac (A & D: "the =
desert, the merit, the lot" of someone: 198 & 203). Also note icnoiotl =
ilhuil, inemac iez (A & D: "misery will be his desert, his lot": 198).
Chapter 36, describing the consultation with in tonalpouhque, in =
tlamatinime on the occasion of a birth, is an especially intense =
meditation on the interactions of tonalli, birth, personal destiny, =
behavior, and merit.
Chapter 20 is another intense discourse on misery, merit and mercy: in =
icnonemiliztli, in nepechtecaliztli: ioan in nenomaiximachiliztli, inic =
uellamachtilo in teteo, ioan in tlalticpac tlaca (A&D: "the humble life, =
the bowing, the knowledge of one's self in order to be pleasing to the =
gods and to man": 105). Humility and the knowledge of self which misery =
and suffering appear to promote are inseparable from divine favor and =
the Tlahtoani's munificence. =20
But perhaps the English word "merit" has served to conflate separate and =
distinct, but interactive, Nahua concepts in these passages? Context is =

Willard Gingerich
St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
(718)990-1894 FAX
gingeriw at stjohns.edu

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