Water and Ritual: The Rise and Fall of Classic Maya Rulers by Lisa J. Lucero

By Lisa J. Lucero

Within the southern Maya lowlands, rainfall supplied the first and, in a few parts, the single resource of water for individuals and plants. vintage Maya kings backed tricky public rituals that affirmed their shut ties to the supernatural international and their skill to intercede with deities and ancestors to make sure an sufficient quantity of rain, which used to be then kept to supply water through the four-to-five-month dry season. so long as the rains got here, Maya kings provided their matters with water and exacted tribute in hard work and items in go back. but if the rains failed on the finish of the vintage interval (AD 850-950), the Maya rulers misplaced either their declare to supernatural energy and their temporal authority. Maya commoners persevered to supplicate gods and ancestors for rain in loved ones rituals, yet they stopped paying tribute to rulers whom the gods had forsaken.

In this paradigm-shifting e-book, Lisa Lucero investigates the significant position of water and formality within the upward thrust, dominance, and fall of vintage Maya rulers. She records commoner, elite, and royal ritual histories within the southern Maya lowlands from the past due Preclassic in the course of the Terminal vintage classes to teach how elites and rulers won political energy in the course of the public replication and elaboration of household-level rituals. even as, Lucero demonstrates that political strength rested both on fabric stipulations that the Maya rulers may possibly in basic terms partly keep watch over. supplying a brand new, extra nuanced figuring out of those twin bases of strength, Lucero makes a compelling case for religious and fabric elements intermingling within the improvement and loss of life of Maya political complexity.

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Extra info for Water and Ritual: The Rise and Fall of Classic Maya Rulers (Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies)

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Civilizing mission 31 For the gradually emerging independent states and civilizations in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, therefore, China offered essentially the only available inspiration and model. , the most conspicuous Chinese political and cultural program was no longer the Legalism of the Warring States and Qin but the new Confucian orthodoxy of the Han and subsequent dynasties. The emerging East Asian world came to coincide, accordingly, with what became the world of Confucianism. Previously, Qin had constructed the very epitome of a Chinese government based on effective organization and codified written law.

However, the nomadic lifestyle was so fundamentally different from sedentary Chinese culture and this lifestyle was so geographically determined by conditions on the steppe that even the greatest steppe empires tended to function normally (with the obvious exception of the enormous Mongol world empire in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries) not so much as competitive challenges to the Chinese tianxia as almost symbiotic (harsher critics might say parasitic) counterbalances to it: a kind of nomadic yang to complement the Chinese yin.

32 Rather than being some sort of nativistic Japanese degeneration away from, or failure to ever effectively implement, Chinese-style bureaucratic institutions, this can be interpreted as simply being a profoundly Confucian approach to government. To be sure, during the Han dynasty in China, “Despite metaphysical and political theories . . ” In China, the importance of maintaining a strong army was rarely entirely lost sight of even by the most idealistic of Confucians. 33 MISSION CIVILISATRICE 34 A truly universal empire, by definition, would not have any foreign enemies or any need for a military establishment beyond a modest domestic police force.

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