The Maya believed that their king was given the right to rule by the gods. They believed that the king worked as an intermediary between the people and the gods. The leaders of the Maya were called the “halach uinic” or “ahaw”, meaning “lord” or “ruler”.
While there is little evidence of monarchies in early Maya cities, the Classic period saw the rise of one legendary revered king. The rule of K’inich Janaab ‘ Pakal the Great , or Janaab’ Pakal I , of the Late-classic city of Palenque was one of great acclaim.
K’inich Janaab Pakal
It was but one part of the brutal nature of life in the Aztec empire, in which activities which would today be regarded as torture or self-mutilation were prevalent. Some brutality was ritualistic, some was part of military training, and some was demonstrative, a presentation to others of courage and endurance.
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
The Mayan religion was Polytheist, and they worshiped more than 165 Gods. The Gods were human-like. The Gods were born, grew up and died. Gods would do other human like activity that was deemed acceptable behavior.
The Maya had a system of serfdom and slavery . Serfs typically worked lands that belonged to the ruler or local town leader. There was an active slave trade in the Maya region, and commoners and elites were both permitted to own slaves .
Maya kings were the centers of power for the Maya civilization. Each Maya city-state was controlled by a dynasty of kings . The position of king was usually inherited by the oldest son.
The ancient Maya never used coins as money . Instead, like many early civilizations, they were thought to mostly barter, trading items such as tobacco, maize, and clothing.
Tikal Temple IV
The Great Pyramid of Cholula