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The Paris codex : handbook for a Maya priest

Author: Bruce Love
Publisher: Austin : University of Texas Press, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Maya Civilization left many records carved in the stones of its cities, but only four handpainted books, or codices, are known to have survived from the pre-Columbian era. The Paris Codex is one of these (the others are the Dresden, Madrid, and Grolier codices), and this groundbreaking study is the first comprehensive treatment of this codex since 1910.
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Love, Bruce, 1945-
Paris codex.
Austin : University of Texas Press, 1994
(OCoLC)656779186
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Bruce Love
ISBN: 0292746741 9780292746749
OCLC Number: 27897581
Description: xviii, 124 p. : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
Contents: The Eclipse Glyph. Zodiac Interpretations. Using the Codex Signs of the Night. The 1,820-Day Round. Correction Numbers. The 364-Day Table --
Appendix: European Writing in the Paris Codex / Grant D. Jones.
Responsibility: Bruce Love ; with an introduction by George E. Stuart.
More information:

Abstract:

The Maya Civilization left many records carved in the stones of its cities, but only four handpainted books, or codices, are known to have survived from the pre-Columbian era. The Paris Codex is one of these (the others are the Dresden, Madrid, and Grolier codices), and this groundbreaking study is the first comprehensive treatment of this codex since 1910.

The Paris Codex consists of twenty-two screen-folded pages of hieroglyphs, painted figures, and calendrical calculations, which are reproduced in this volume. One section covers the calendrical cycles of katuns, tuns, and uinals, which Maya priests used to read history and predict the future.

Other sections cover weather almanacs; the influence of God C, also known as k'u; the four yearbearers with their thirteen numbers; the Maya spirit entities, including sky gods and earth or death gods; and the Maya constellations.

Bruce Love takes an ethnographic approach to the codex, analyzing its use by Maya priests as a handbook of divination, prophecy, and history. He explores the unique features that distinguish this from the other three codices - the inclusion of historical material in the katun pages and the description of the Maya constellations or "signs of the night," which, he argues, do not necessarily correspond to the constellations of the modern zodiac.

Whenever possible, he draws on ethnographic fieldwork among the contemporary Maya of Yucatan to link the belief system represented in the codex with Colonial Period and modern-day Maya beliefs to show their continuity through time.

The Maya priests who used the Paris Codex could see the myriad forces of the Maya spirit world arranged and organized on the pages before them. The interweaving of cycles within cycles became comprehensible and predictable. The invisible world became perceptible. With this publication of The Paris Codex, contemporary students of the Maya, scholars and amateurs alike, can have the same experience as they look into these pages and discover the unity and harmony of the Maya cosmos.

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