The Sky in Mayan Literature

Overview


This unique collection of essays investigates both ancient and modern Mayan texts and describes concepts of timekeeping and their role in Mayan culture. Including contributions from anthropologists, a mathematician, an art historian, and a linguist, the interdisciplinary approach in this innovative book offers a synthesis of past and present-day dialogue between people and the world of nature around, and especially above them. The celestial sphere is the place where ancient Mayan rulers derived their source of ...
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Overview


This unique collection of essays investigates both ancient and modern Mayan texts and describes concepts of timekeeping and their role in Mayan culture. Including contributions from anthropologists, a mathematician, an art historian, and a linguist, the interdisciplinary approach in this innovative book offers a synthesis of past and present-day dialogue between people and the world of nature around, and especially above them. The celestial sphere is the place where ancient Mayan rulers derived their source of power and yet, it is the very same realm to which the modern peasant still prays for rain. Current research brought together in this volume attempts to portray skywatching and celestial worship as one aspect of Mayan cultural behavior that possessed an evolutionary history. It depicts the ever-changing function of the sky as revealed in the sacred books of the Classic period, intended for priestly eyes only, through to the documents, written in the foreign tongue of a conquering oppressor, that tell of a transformed world view in which time's calendar was nevertheless still celebrated.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195068443
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/26/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction: Making Time 3
1 The bad of Light: Theory and Practice of Mayan Skywatching 18
2 A Method for Cross-Dating Almanacs with Tables in the Dresden Codex 43
3 The Moon and the Venus Table: An Example of Commensuration in the Maya Calendar 87
4 Eclipse Cycles in the Moon Goddess Almanacs in the Dresden Codex 102
5 Some Parallels in the Astronomical Events Recorded in the Maya Codices and Inscriptions 133
6 Zodiacal References in the Maya Codices 148
7 A Derivation of the Mayan-to-Julian Calendar Correlation from the Dresden Codex Venus Chronology 184
8 A Solution for the Number 1.5.5.0 of the Mayan Venus Table 207
9 The Books of Chilam Balam: Astronomical Content and the Paris Codex 216
10 Myth, Math, and the Problem of Correlation in Mayan Books 247
11 Lessons of the Mayan Sky: A Perspective from Medieval Europe 274
Index 293
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