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The ancient Maya shared a similar ideology and worldview, yet they were never united together a single empire. Instead, the Maya lived in individual political claims that were connected together v trade, political alliances, and tribute obligations. Few of these says were independent, while others were part of larger political hierarchies. The Maya says were originally governed by simple chiefdoms. By the classic Period, Maya administration had handled the kind of powerful centralized leaders that legitimized their authority with their politics connections and also their magnificent lineages. People who disobeyed your rulers faced severe punishment since the Maya people thought that obedience to your leader was critical to keeping the harmony the the Maya universe. Human sacrifice had begun prior come the classic Period, and was provided as a device of society and spiritual control to show the strength of the ruler and also the gods.

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At the moment of the Spanish conquest, the Yucatan was split into 18 separate Maya states, with numerous smaller towns and villages under the jurisdiction the a capital city. Ripe of these claims were ruled by a solitary ruler dubbed a halach uinic (or ahaw), if the others were led by councils of nobles of elite family tree or were allied with larger states. The halach uinic’s power was minimal by his board of directors (holpop) and also special military and foreign advisors, but he was still taken into consideration to be the highest authority in his state and also was required to it is in from an upstream lineage. Rulers were thrived by their sons, brothers, or a suitable candidate that was selected through the priests and council if no family members existed.

Each the the Maya states had a supreme military commander referred to as a nacom. The nacom served a three year term and also was responsible because that formulating military strategy and calling troops come battle. The individual states likewise had a high priest who led a hierarchy of priests, figured out the dates for festivals and also ceremonies, and foretold auspicious events for the ruler. The halach uinic appointed the batabs, who were the overseers and also administrators of dependent cities and also villages within the state. Batabs usually held administrative, judicial, and military authority over their towns, ensured that tribute to be paid to the halach uinic, and also supplied troops in times of war. Batabs were not paid tribute, however were sustained by the civilization who resided in their town. Each batab presided over a local council written of town officials well-known as the ah cuch cabob. These councilors were the top of the different subdivisions (nalil) within the towns. The Batabs additionally had assistants (al kuleloob) who helped them with carrying the end their federal government duties. Every town had actually constables (tupiles) that were looked after by the batab and were charged with keeping the peace.

Sources: Foster (2002), Houston (2009), Salcedo Flores (2009), and also Sharer (1996).

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Image Information: photo of prisoners being presented to the halach uinic (ahaw), that is seated on the throne and also is additionally greeted by an showing up dignitary (Reents-Budet, native ceramic vase).