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Mesoamerican writing systems : propaganda, myth, and history in four ancient civilizations

Author: Joyce Marcus
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"This is an anthropological study of the role of hieroglyphic writing in the pre-hispanic Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Maya states. First, Joyce Marcus compares the four systems with regard to eight major themes: calendrics, the naming of nobles, the naming of places, royal marriages, accession to the throne, divine ancestors, warfare, and the rewriting of history. Then she establishes a new theoretical framework  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Joyce Marcus
ISBN: 0691094748 9780691094748
OCLC Number: 25549355
Description: xxii, 495 p. : ill., maps ; 25 x 27 cm.
Contents: Truth, Propaganda, and Noble Speech --
The Evolutionary Context of Early Writing --
Mesoamerica's Four Major Writing Systems: The Ethnohistoric Background --
Not One Calendar, but Many --
Rewriting History --
Place Names and the Establishment of Political Territories --
The Naming of Nobles --
Royal Marriages --
Euhemerism and Royal Ancestors --
Accession to the Throne --
Raiding and Warfare --
An Anthropological Theory of Mesoamerican Writing.
Responsibility: Joyce Marcus.
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Abstract:

"This is an anthropological study of the role of hieroglyphic writing in the pre-hispanic Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Maya states. First, Joyce Marcus compares the four systems with regard to eight major themes: calendrics, the naming of nobles, the naming of places, royal marriages, accession to the throne, divine ancestors, warfare, and the rewriting of history. Then she establishes a new theoretical framework within which to conduct further analysis. Her basic contention is that ancient Mesoamerican writing was a tool used by an elite minority in their competition for positions of leadership, prestige, territory, tribute, and advantageous marriages. She convincingly demonstrates that while it may have been based on actual persons and events, this body of prehistoric writing is a deliberately created tangle of what we could call propaganda, myth, and fact, written for political purposes, and not (as many contemporary scholars have come to believe) reliable history in a modern sense."--Jacket.

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