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Yucatan Before and After the Conquest

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  72 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
These people also used certain characters or letters, with which they wrote in their books about the antiquities and their sciences. We found a great number of books in these letters, and since they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the devils we burned them all, which they took most grievously, and which gave them great pain.
So writes Friar Diego de La
Paperback, 185 pages
Published May 16th 2012 by Dover Publications (NYC) (first published 1566)
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Apr 30, 2013 Kyle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in Mesoamerica or the Maya
Recommended to Kyle by: School
The stars I've given this 'book' are meaningless. You might as well think of them as not even being there (In fact I'll probably go back and make it a starless rating).

This "review" is mostly a short lesson, rather than a review, for those of who who might be interested in post-contact Mesoamerica. If you don't give a crap about Mesoamerica, let alone post-contact, then you might not want to read any further.

Diego De Landa is a mixed bag, and he left us a mixed legacy. De Landa was a Spanish Bi
Dec 22, 2014 Georgene rated it liked it
Recommended to Georgene by: Philip Wickstrand
Shelves: history
An interesting AND boring bit of history concerning the subjugation of the Mayan peoples of the Yucatan in the 1500's. From anthropological and sociological points of view, this is an interesting book. However, it was quite a slog to get through.

In the mid-1500's, Friar Diego de Landa was called back to the King of Spain's court to justify his horrific treatment of the native peoples of the Yucatan. When considering how non-religious Spaniards treated the peoples of the New World, de Landa's tre
Dec 26, 2010 Ilya rated it it was amazing
In 1562, Friar Diego de Landa of Yucatan discovered that some of the Indians who had supposedly been converted to Christianity some 20 years before did, in fact, worship their old "idols". He conducted an inquiry in the best traditions of the Spanish Inquisition, torturing some 4500 Indians and causing the deaths of 158, burned 5000 "idols" and 27 hieroglyphic books. The Church was alarmed that Landa had overstepped the boundaries of his authority, and recalled him to Spain to stand trial before ...more
Daniel L.
Jul 25, 2013 Daniel L. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays
Mayan Culture Preserved by One Who Sought Its Destruction

While driving on the lonely highway toward the city of Valladolid, in the center of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, on the horizon loomed a surreal shadow. I tried to imagine what this palatial structure could be. Upon arriving at the charming colonial city, I came upon a magnificent Spanish colonial monastary. What was amazing was that it was built upon the base of a pyramid razed by the Spanish conquistadores, who reused the stones for their
Sep 12, 2007 Ryan rated it liked it
The view of a culture from the conqueror's unfavorable and uncomprehending (is that a word?) perspective. Not among the greats of old school travel lit ... I'd prefer something like Ibn Batutta's travels, Marco Polo's lies, travels of John Mandeville (more lies), Sir Richard Burton, Freya Stark's Valleys of the Assassins, etc.
Mar 20, 2013 Barbarajean rated it liked it
I'm sure translating a text from the 16th century is not an easy task, however, the clunky translation was a bit confusing and sometimes even comical. I guess you take what you can get since Landa destroyed most of Mayan texts and tablets.
I stopped reading this because I found the language a little more effort than I cared to put into it, and I had already read so much ABOUT this book, that reading it itself seemed almost redundant.
Rana Sinha
May 24, 2013 Rana Sinha rated it it was amazing
The only known Western account of Maya civilisation, ironically by the priest instrumental in destroying an entire civilisation - this is what makes this book fascinating!
Aug 16, 2009 Margaret rated it really liked it
the writing is not very good but the information is. i will assume it is a top-notch translation because the foreword tells me so.
Naomi Moore
Aug 31, 2014 Naomi Moore rated it liked it
A little dry but very informative. Not for the faint of heart.
Clark S
Dec 30, 2009 Clark S rated it really liked it
An eyewitness account of the Spanish conquest of the Maya.
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