The Political Structure Of The Maya In The Late Classic Period

1727 words - 7 pages

Many advances in archeological and epigraphic research has shed new light on Maya civilization, however, there is still much discussion on the political structure and how it was formed. The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization noted for its advanced form of civilization. It reached its highest state of development during the Classic period which ranges from approximately 200-900 AD. Early in the Classic period (292-434 AD), there were several city-states found throughout the Maya lowland region with no defined hierarchy of settlement or regional capitals. However, this seemed to shift around 514 AD with four major capitals forming in dispersed regions throughout the Maya lowlands (Scarre & Fagan, 2008). It is in these regions that emblem glyphs have given us a tremendous amount of insight into the political organization at this time. It appears that the Maya political structure during the late Classic period consisted of a hierarchical structure in which four major ruling capitals each controlled several smaller multi-center polities.
Maya kings were at the heart of political power during the Classic period, with each major capital being ruled by a dynasty of kings. Maya lords used the power of their office to stress their close identity with mythical ancestral gods and thus assert their authority over others (Scarre & Fagan, 2008). Of course, they had their obligation to their people, which was to gather and redistribute commodities, so that all levels of society had access to goods and merchandise. Thus, the size of a polity was limited in size by its ability to gather and redistribute goods from the people of the capital as well as the neighboring cities that were controlled by the ruling capital.
Each regional capital possessed its own emblem glyph, a ruling title that distinguished themselves from the other capitals, and ruled over a well-defined hierarchy of lesser settlements (Chase & Chase, 1998). In this fashion, each capital was able to control the inferior city-states nearby and yet obtain its own independent polity apart from the other ruling capitals located in separate regions of the Maya lowlands. Schele & Freidel (1990) believe that this political structure may have mirrored that of the ancient Maya cosmological structure in which each major capital is associated with a cardinal direction. Of course, it is crucial to know how these four dominant city-states were able to form and take control of the surrounding city-states to begin with.
Joyce Marcus (1976), who studied Maya political territoriality through epigraphy and iconography, has come up with a model of how these four capitals came into power. A new city-state first expands its territory through mechanisms such as diplomacy, political marriage, and military conquest. Eventually, this state will reach a maximum territory threshold. This is because the lord of this city-state must collect and redistribute resources among its peoples and cannot do this beyond the extent of...

Find Another Essay On The Political Structure of the Maya in the Late Classic Period

The Political Structure of More’s Utopia

2697 words - 11 pages much like our modern justices of the Supreme Court. If a governor is appointed for life, how can the government be representational as time moves on? This inconsistency in the political system of Utopia is reflective of the inconsistencies of the government existing during More’s period and the modern era. Politics equals inconsistencies. Every component of the government has its place, as a result of reason. Reason is the basis for all

"An Age of Melancholy Musings" A Comprative/Contrast essay focusing on the American writers of the Neo-Classic period and the Romantic period in literature.

608 words - 2 pages , systems, or even from rationalism appears, one aspect of romanticism speaks. People of the Neo-Classic period were convinced that human reason could discover the natural laws of the universe and determine the natural rights of mankind; thereby eternal progress in knowledge, technical achievement, and moral values would be realized. With the ambitious goals of Classicists and the interminable passion of Romantics, potential for advancement is unparalleled. Romantics yearn for the infinite; classicists seek universal truth .sensibility

the maya

1805 words - 8 pages people. The Maya can be analyzed in terms of their culture. This civilization came about in Mesoamerica around 250 AD with a great influence coming from that of the Olmec. The first 650 years of the Maya civilization’s existence was known as the Classic Period. They created a remarkable society of more than 40 cities in the region which is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, and northern Belize. The cities contained mostly ceremonial centers and majority

The Maya

3977 words - 16 pages fragmented” (National Geographic, August 2007) – it is now clear that state-level political organizations in the Maya region were not a result of interaction with Teotihuacan. David Freidel’s research provided critical evidence on the origins of Maya Kingship, i.e. state-level political organizations. He concluded that Maya Kingship could be traced into the Late Preclassic period, which was well before any contact with Teotihuacan. Hence, the

The Maya

1342 words - 5 pages fertility with nature and Mother Earth.      The Classic Period of the Maya began to develop around A.D. 250 and flourished through A.D. 900. Around that time was the start of the Post Classic Period, which was conquered by the Spanish in the early 16th century.3 The information about the classification of these cultures is not strong in that it may be considered inappropriate to call certain periods Classic, Pre Classic, Post

The Writing's of Maya Angelou

1989 words - 8 pages writes allows for a pleasant reading experience. Her style is especially prominent in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", where the early events of Angelou’s life are vividly described to the reader in the postmodern literary fashion. In order to understand Maya Angelou’s works, one must first understand the postmodern time period. Postmodernism got its start during the early 1940s and continues all the way up to the present day. A main

Consider the relationship between the growth of industry in the twentieth century and the increasing use of bureaucratic forms of organisational structure during the same period

1709 words - 7 pages There has been a large amount of growth of industries in the 20th century such as the development of the Asian Tiger Economy and the production of cars and electronics in Britain and Japan.Throughout this period organisations have therefore been faced with increased competition, in particular the manufacturing and service sectors. As a result many large modern organisations have had to adopt their organisational structure away from a democratic

The Agony of the Slaves in The Classic Slaves Narrative

673 words - 3 pages .”(Jacobs, 451). The attachment of losing something you love, makes you want to get it back, in this case her children. On various occasions she attempts to buy them, but Dr. Flint, who is Linda’s master refuses repeatedly. Works Cited the classic slave narratives

Change Over Time- Mediterranean Political Institutions From the Beginning to the End of the Classical Period

561 words - 2 pages Mediterranean political institutions in places such as Greek and Roman, or otherwise known as Greco-Roman, empires changed greatly from the beginning to the end of the classical period. City-states were a part of Greece while Rome was a republic, but people in both Greece and Rome actively participated in politics. Both Greece and Rome stressed aristocratic rule. Later on, Rome added emphasis on law, and many people that weren’t from Rome were

Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou

1422 words - 6 pages Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou       Internationally respected brilliant poet, historian, and author Maya Angelou says "in all my work I try to tell the human truth-what it is like to be human...what makes us stumble and fumbleand fall and somehow miraculously rise and go on from the darkness and into the light (Ebony 96). This theme is consistently exemplified throughout Angelou's greatly acclaimed autobiographical

The Late Age of Print

792 words - 3 pages Brett BermanMedia Studies 100Prof. MonroyThe Late Age of PrintSince the release of the first eBook in March of 2000, the status of the printed book in the digital age has come into question. Though it is hard to say what the definitive fate of printed books in the digital age will be, it is safe to say that we will not see the extinction of physical books in our lifetime. There are many qualities to the printed book that simply cannot be

Similar Essays

Africa Fall Apart Essay On Comparison Between The Book "Things Fall Apart" By Chinua Achebe And The Actual Time Period. Compares Social Structure, Political And Other Aspects Of Pre Mordern Era...

1075 words - 4 pages consisted of small villages rather than cities and did not have a solid form of government but rather a local, tribal government each with their own language. The text Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe seems to remain true in its depiction of Government and religious control, Laws, Social Structure, Labor and Economics.During the 1800's when the British started their massive invasion of Africa by sending out military force combined with educated

The Importance Of Structure In "The Agamemnon" Is A Classic Greek Tragedy Written By Aeschylus.

1586 words - 6 pages The Agamemnon is a classic Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus in which he entails the continuation of the curse on the house of Atreus in the time period following the end of the Trojan War and the return of King Agamemnon. This play tells of the murders of Cassandra and Agamemnon-by-Agamemnon's wife Clytemestra. Throughout the play many aspects have a profound effect on the structure. Things such as the chorus, audience, the use of common

The Political Structure Of The Hutu Peoples

2132 words - 9 pages The nature of the political structure of the Hutu peoples before the 19th century is only properly understood when a multitude of other factors are examined. Aside from examining the basic political system in which the Hutu lived it must be determined why the Hutu shaped their particular system in this way. This entails the assessment of factors such as their history based off of where they came from, what their identities became over hundreds

The Impact Of Religion On Political Structure

1726 words - 7 pages From the beginning of time the world has had a need for a higher power. Great battles have been won or lost in the name of religion, or a holy divinity. From the Crusades to World War II, religion has played a huge role in governing societies. From the basic structure of everyday life to the political structure of a nation, religion is a defining factor. Of the varying aspects which can characterize a political structure, Religion