jun 12, 1549 - Mayan Book Burnings
The Franciscan, Diego de Landa, traveled throughout the Yucatan in Mexico from 1549-1562 on behalf of the Spanish empire. During this time, Spain was involved in a conquest of these lands, and various efforts were taken to conquer the indigenous populations. One main aspect of this conquest was the conversion of the people from their traditional religions to Christianity. Landa, who is known for writing one of the most important books concerning the cultures of that area, "Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan," was ironically instrumental in a series of book burnings which took place there in 1562. Landa wrote of the events: "We found a great number of these books in Indian characters,a nd because they contained nothing but superstition and the Devil's falsehoods, we burned them all" (Todorov, 200). Following these burnings and various acts of violence against the Mayan population, Landa was called back to Spain and put on trial. He was ultimately acquitted and sent back to the Yucatan by Spain.
Todorov, Tzvetan. "The Conquest of America." Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.
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