Yucatan Before and After the Conquest
Friar Diego de Landa did all he could to wipe out Maya culture and civilization. In the famous auto-de-fe of July 1562 at Mani, as he tells us, he destroyed 5,000 "idols" and burned 27 hieroglyphic rolls. And yet paradoxically Landa's book, written in Spain to defend himself against charges of despotic mismanagement, is the only significant account of Yucatan done in the early post-Conquest era. As the distinguished Maya scholar William Gates states in his introduction, "ninety-nine percent of what we today know of the Mayas, we know as the result either of what Landa has told us in the pages that follow, or have learned in the use and study of what he told." Yucatan Before and After the Conquest is the first English translation of this very important work.