By Antonia E. Foias
"An outstanding review of contemporary scholarship coupled with the result of a long term examine venture on the web site and area of Motul de San José. It contributes considerably to the anthropological literature on politics and power." --Daniela Triadan, coeditor of Burned Palaces and Elite apartments of Aguateca
"A lengthy late and especially welcome piece of scholarly paintings. It synthesizes, digests, and makes to be had the result of the great increase in political reviews within the Maya sector that has happened within the final two decades as a result of swift glyph decipherment, elevated archaeological information, and extra refined theoretical modeling." --Eleanor M. King, Howard University
The examine of politics, a dominating strength all through historical past, provides nice perception into the lives of old humans. due to the richness and complexity of Maya society, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent many years trying to reconstruct its political systems.
In Ancient Maya Political Dynamics, Antonia Foias argues that there's no unmarried Maya political background yet a number of histories, no unmarried Maya kingdom yet a number of polities that have to be understood on the point of the lived, person event. She explores the ways that the dynamics of political energy formed the lives and panorama of the Maya and the way this knowledge can be utilized to examine different complicated societies.
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Additional resources for Ancient Maya Political Dynamics
Authority and legitimacy are two sides of the same coin. Following Weber, we can divide authority into three ideal types: charismatic, traditional, and legal-rational (Gerth and Mills 1960; Weber 1964). Charismatic legitimacy is based on special “gifts of the body and spirit” of specific individuals who are generally believed to have supernatural powers and who instill in their audience emotions that convince them to follow the leader’s vision or mission (Gerth and Mills 1960, 245, 296). Traditional legitimacy draws from “an established belief in the sanctity of immemorial traditions and the legitimacy of the status of those exercising authority under them” (Weber 1964, 328).
These, called the first and second entradas, in 1527–28 and 1531–34, respectively, failed (Restall 1998, 9–13). Not until the third entrada in the early 1540s were the Spanish able to gain control in the northern Maya lowlands, where they established the Spanish town of Merida in 1542 (Restall 1998, 2003). By this time, European diseases that the conquistadores brought had already swept through the Maya region, killing thousands (Jones 1989, 1998; Restall 1998, 2003). The fragmentation of the Yucatan peninsula into small kingdoms after Mayapan’s collapse also did not help because the Mayas could not present a unified front against the Spanish.
How restricted are these choices by structure and process, be it kinship, neighborhood, community, religion, wealth, status, or competition for political power? Although we may not be able to answer all these questions with archaeological evidence, they should be among our concerns about the past. Rather than restricting our perspective on ancient politics to one of these definitions, I endeavor to present aspects of all in the following chapters, as I reconstruct ancient Maya political dynamics.
Ancient Maya Political Dynamics by Antonia E. Foias