- Series: Cambridge Latin American Studies (Book 61)
- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 5th edition (January 27, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521379814
- ISBN-13: 978-0521379816
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) 5th Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"Reading the Holocaust is worthwhile indeed." Lev Bearfield, The Jerusalem Post
Top customer reviews
In terms of evaluating the persuasiveness of the book, I should say that although in the beginning of the book, she raises the question about to what extent the information that Indians confessed under torture was exaggerated or true at all, toward the end of the book she seems to have accepted the assumption that there was at least some truth in the confessions - that human sacrifice and crucifixions did happen, and were not just a product of Landa's imagination, as she had previously suggested. So she never really proves that human sacrifice and crucifixions did happen, but kind of explores the possibilities of "what if they did" and "what if they didn't." Also, in the epilogue, the author makes a quick conclusion that the events of 1562 were significant because it was only after these events that the Maya finally accepted Christianity, or some Mayan version of it. It does make sense that the events of 1562 and the general intrusion of friars into the Maya spiritual domain would demonstrate to the natives that Spanish presence would not be temporary, that the Spanish were there to stay, and must be taken seriously. But this is in the political realm. As for the spiritual realm, it is unclear why the violence, the sufferings inflicted by the friars, and the destruction of Mayan idols would result in the Maya acceptance that "the time of the old Gods was over", and that Christian deities and the Christian God would now rule. The events of 1562 do not demonstrate the superiority of the Christian faith relative to the Mayan beliefs. Why didn't the violence the friars inflict on the natives make the natives reject Christianity and to revolt against the Spaniards, instead of accepting the Christian faith?
This raises the further question of why some populations abandon their religion and accept the faith of the group that conquers them (after all, this is not the only time this scenario came up - Islam spread with the Muslim conquests, for example), while other populations or groups hold on to their own religions and religious practices for very long periods of time while living in exile (Jews in Christian and Muslim countries for example). What factors does the likelihood of accepting the religion of the dominant group depend on - on n the political coercion and missionary offensive of the conqueror, or perhaps on the ability of conquered peoples to resist this offensive by shielding behind the strength of their own religious beliefs and practices? What influences what form the acceptance of the religion of the dominant group take - absorption of new religion into the old religion, absorption of old religion into the new religion, or perhaps complete abandonment of former religious beliefs and practices in favor of the new ones. How unique is the Maya case? Or perhaps the acceptance of the new faith isn't something that abruptly takes place at conversion, but a lengthy, gradual process that takes generations, whereupon the old faith gradually fades away? If so, do elements from the pre-conquest period still survive in the religion of the Yucatan Maya? All these questions deal with the larger implications of Clendinnen's book: implications for the understanding of the domination of the conqueror (both military and religious) and the resistance of the conquered peoples, not only in Yucatan, but throughout the world. Do true conquests happen, or are all conquests to some extent ambivalent?