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HIS 160 - Online - Latin American History Before Independence (Duchicela): Religion/Belief/Mythology
The myths of the Aztec and Maya derive from a shared Mesoamerican cultural tradition. This is very much a living tradition, and many of the motifs and gods mentioned in early sources are still evoked in the lore of contemporary Mexico and Guatemala. Professor Taube discusses the different sources for Aztec and Maya myths. The Aztec empire began less than 200 years before the Spanish conquest, and our knowledge of their mythology derives primarily from native colonial documents and manuscripts commissioned by the Spanish. The Maya mythology is far older, and our knowledge of it comes mainly from native manuscripts of the Classic period, over 600 years before the Spanish conquest. Drawing on these sources as well as nineteenth- and twentieth-century excavations and research, including the interpretation of the codices and the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing, the author discusses, among other things, the Popol Vuh myths of the Maya, the flood myth of Northern Yucatan, and the Aztec creation myths.
Sharing many common beliefs, deities, and rituals, the religion of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca was rooted in both the earth and the sky, the rhythms of the seasons, and the movements of the sun, moon, and stars. Readers will meet rain and sun gods, corn god
Ancient civilisations exercise an intense fascination for people the world over. This Handbook provides a vivid, scholarly, and eminently readable account of ancient cultures around the world, from China to India, the Middle East, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. It examines the development of religious belief from the time of the Palaeolithic cave paintings to the Aztecs and Incas. Covering the whole of society not just the elite, the Handbook outlines the history of the different societies so that their religion and culture can be understood in context. Each chapter includes discussion of the broad field of relevant studies alerting the reader to wider debates on each subject. An international team of scholars convey their own deep enthusiasm for their subject and provide a unique study of both popular and 'official' religion in the ancient world.
Popol Vuh, the Quich#65533; Mayan book of creation, is not only the most important text in the native languages of the Americas, it is also an extraordinary document of the human imagination. It begins with the deeds of Mayan gods in the darkness of a primeval sea and ends with the radiant splendor of the Mayan lords who founded the Quich#65533; kingdom in the Guatemalan highlands. Originally written in Mayan hieroglyphs, it was transcribed into the Roman alphabet in the sixteenth century. This new edition of Dennis Tedlock's unabridged, widely praised translation includes new notes and commentary, newly translated passages, newly deciphered hieroglyphs, and over forty new illustrations.
One of the great documents of colonial Mexico, the Codex Chimalpopoca chronicles the rise of Aztec civilization and preserves the mythology on which it was based. Its two complementary texts, Annals of Cuauhtitlan and Legend of the Suns, record the pre-Cortésian history of the Valley of Mexico together with firsthand versions of that region's myths. Of particular interest are the stories of the hero-god Quetzalcoatl, for which the Chimalpopoca is the premier source. John Bierhorst's work is the first major scholarship on the Codex Chimalpopoca in more than forty years. His is the first edition in English and the first in any language to include the complete text of the Legend of the Suns. The precise, readable translation not only contributes to the study of Aztec history and literature but also makes the codex an indispensable reference for Aztec cultural topics, including land tenure, statecraft, the role of women, the tribute system, warfare, and human sacrifice.