The Boxer Codex (Cham Selections)

Transcription and Translation of an Illustrated Late Sixteenth-Century Spanish Manuscript Concerning the Geography, History and Ethnography of the Pacific, South-east and East Asia

by George Bryan Souza and Jeffrey Scott Turley

The Boxer Codex is a collection of accounts, narratives, descriptions and illustrations concerning the geography, ethnography and history of people, polities and societies in the western Pacific and major segments of maritime and continental Southeast Asia and East Asia that were written in Spanish or translated from Portuguese to Spanish between 1574 and 1591 and compiled soon thereafter at Manila, the relatively newly established center of the Spanish imperial project in Asia. This important anthology was bound in the form of a codex in Madrid in the early 17th century; it was never copied or published thereafter. The present edition presents a complete transcription of the original Spanish manuscript of the Boxer Codex and a first-ever complete English translation, including reproductions of its illustrations, of this extraordinary work. 

The final section of the Boxer Codex (Chapter XXII) is an anonymous and undated account of the Chams, filling six folios (303r–305v). Boxer himself published a transcription and translation of this brief account in 1970. While Boxer’s work is predictably nearly unimpeachable, a few improvements have been introduced into our edition.

PDF of Champa sections:

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