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Ancient Maya Political Dynamics$
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Antonia E. Foias

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044224

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044224.001.0001

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Internal Dynamics, Bureaucracy, and Political Centralization

Internal Dynamics, Bureaucracy, and Political Centralization

The Middle Scale of Political Analysis

(p.111) 5 Internal Dynamics, Bureaucracy, and Political Centralization
Ancient Maya Political Dynamics

Antonia E. Foias

University Press of Florida

Shifting focus to the middle scale of political analysis, this chapter explores the nature of the internal political administration of Maya polities, and the institutions that support it (the tribute-tax and the palace economy). Because many scholars consider Classic administration bureaucratic, this chapter endeavors to compare Classic Maya officialdom with early-modern to modern bureaucracies in order to show that these are different institutions. Classic Maya administrations are reconstructed through decipherments of subsidiary political titles in Maya texts and through depictions of these officials in Maya art. Then, the tribute, tax, and palace economy are described to show how variations in these impact political power.

Keywords:   Classic Maya, bureaucracy, tax, tribute, palace economy

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