In this second English-language edition of one of his most notable works, Miguel León-Portilla explores the Maya Indians’ remarkable concepts of time. At the book’s first appearance Evon Z. Vogt, Curator of Middle American Ethnology in Harvard University, predicted that it would become "a classic in anthropology," a prediction borne out by the continuing critical attention given to it by leading scholars.
Like no other people in history, the ancient Maya were obsessed by the study of time. Their sages framed its cycles with tireless exactitude. Yet their preoccupation with time was not limited to calendrics; it was a central trait in their evolving culture.
In this absorbing work León-Portilla probes the question, What did time really mean for the ancient Maya in terms of their mythology, religious thought, worldview, and everyday life? In his analysis of key Maya texts and computations, he reveals one of the most elaborate attempts of the human mind to penetrate the secrets of existence.
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