Mayan Government And Law Essay

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[pic]he Mayans were modern people, even though they began around the year 250 B.C.E. Their success depended on their agricultural methods. Agriculture lead to the accumulation of wealth and the development of social classes in this society.[i] Rulers of towns and villages created their own governing system that was under the rule of the Mayan king at the time. These people, who were like lord in Europe, had no royal blood in them. The Mayan’s also had slaves, who were usually prisoners of war.2 Crimes in the Mayan civilization were mainly punished by death. The most common way was being pushed off of a cliff. 3 Priests ran governments, ruled cities, led ceremonies and performed many other jobs. Mayan priests were also the rulers of cities. Every day they would perform services after climbing the hundreds of temple steps. Mayan priests might have caused the collapse of the Mayan when the lesser Mayans (farmers) got tired of having to obey the commands of the priests and abandoned the cities. K’inich Janaab’ Pakal was born March 3 603.4 Pakal took the throne at age 12 on July 29, 615. The first years of his reign must have been extremely precarious, his mother, Ix Sak K'uk' seems to have ruled over him until he could properly rule it on is own.5 He ruled for around 68 years. Beginning in 659, when, in response to another Calakmul attack five years previously, Pakal stormed Pomona (a Calakmul ally) and took away several of its leaders for sacrifice. Pakal ruled for around 50 years before his death in 683.6 Pakal is one of the best known Mayan rulers. The Mayan civilization was not one unified empire, but more like a bunch of states with similar peoples living there. Similar to the Greeks, they were a religiously and artistically nation, but politically sovereign states. As many as twenty such states existed on the Yucatan Peninsula.7

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