Maya Gods : Shaping A Civilization Essay

2413 Words Mar 10th, 2015 10 Pages
Maya Gods: Shaping a Civilization
The Maya civilization was initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to AD 250), however, most Maya cities reached their highest potential during the Classic period (c. AD 250 to 900), and continued into the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. Known for their art, architecture, calendar, and complex society, the Maya was a Mesoamerican civilization centered in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and western El Salvador. The Maya are also known for sacrificing humans to their many gods. These gods inspired fear through the Maya, fear that provoked many people to devote their lives to worshipping the Maya gods. Through their ritualistic offerings and sacrificial ceremonies, as well as the fact that their entire civilization revolved around their deities, the Maya peoples proved that they both revered and feared the Maya gods.
The Maya god Itzamna, the god of fire and hearth, as well as the creator god, was known as the supreme Maya god. Being all-powerful, Itzamna had both a benevolent side and a malevolent side. He was the wisest god, and was credited with the Maya writing system and calendar, and yet he demanded nothing from this, only that the Maya people would worship him. Celebrated as the “patron of knowledge,” it was his role to educate the Maya, and help them make sense of their world. However, Itzamna was more partial to the upper class. Although lower classes continued to worship him, he appealed more…

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