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used by their forefathers in their ancient religious rites, chant some prayers of the Catholic Church. These they repeat over and over again, counting the beads of their rosaries. It is a strange medley of ancient and modern idolatry. But what matters it, since it makes them happy? And they have so
? few joys in their life.
Note V. (Pages xxxix., xl.)
Eligio Ancona, “Historia de Yucatan," vol. i., p. 37.
(3) Señor Dn. Eligio Ancona, who, in 1875, was governor of Yucatan when Madame Le Plongeon and I discovered and unearthed the statue of Prince Coh (Chaacmol), is a Yucatan writer well known in his country. Besides several historical novels of doubtful merit, and a history of Yucatan of no great value, he edited, at his own expense, after the death of the author, the Maya dictionary compiled in great part by Dn. Juan Pio Perez, a gentleman who applied himself to the study of things relating to the ancient history of the aborigines of his fatherland. Whatever may be said of the history of Yucatan, in four volumes, written by Señor Ancona, and its worth respecting the events that have taken place since the Spanish conquest, I leave to others to decide. But when he attempts to write on the ancient history of the Mayas it may be confidently said that it is a fictitious production of his fanciful imagination, founded on the narratives of Bishop Landa, Cogolludo, Lizana, and others, with some extracts from the writings of Abbé Brasseur.
(1) Bernardo de Lizana was born in 1581, at Ocaña, in the province of Toledo. He entered the Order of St. Francis in the convent of his native city. He came as a missionary to Yucatan in 1606, with eleven other monks, under the care of Father Diego de Castro. He learned with great perfection the Maya language, and was teacher of it for many years. He is said to have been one of the most clever preachers of his time. In his disposition he was very affable. Everybody loved him." During the twenty-five years of his residence in Yucatan, he filled the highest posts of his Order, except that of Provincial. It is reported that after predicting the hour of his death, he passed from this life in 1631.
Father Lizana wrote several works, all valuable. They are to-day, if not all lost, very difficult to find. Cogolludo quotes from his “Devocionario de N Señora de Itzamal, Historia de Yucathan y Su Conquista Espiritual.” Brasseur has preserved a fragment entitled “Del principio y fundacion de estos Cuyos ó Mules deste sitio y pueblo de Itzamal” in his translation of Landa's “ Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan."
Note VI. (Page 3.)
(1) William Robertson, in the second edition (1794) of his work, “. An Historical Disquisition concerning Ancient India” (page 292), says: “It may be considered as the general result of all the inquiries, reasonings, and calculations with respect to Indian astronomy, which have hitherto been made public, that the motion of the heavenly bodies, and more particularly their situation at the commencement of the different epochs to which the four sets of tables refer, are ascertained with great accuracy; and that many of the elements of their calculations, especially for very remote ages, are verified by an astonishing coincidence with the tables of the modern astronomy of Europe, when improved by the latest and most nice deductions from the theory of gravitation.
These conclusions are rendered particularly interesting by the evidence which they afford of an advancement in science unexampled in the history of rude nations."
One of the astronomical tables referred to by Mr. Robertson goes back to the year 3102 before the Christian era; that is, a century previous to the time when the Aryans established their first settlements on the banks of the river Saraswati, according to Mr. Adolphe Pictet (“ Les Origines Indo-Europiennes ”'). At that time the Brahmins were not the powerful caste and corporation of learned philosophers which they became after the Aryans made themselves masters of Hindostan. That country was then under the sway of the highly
civilized Nâgás. These were Maya colonists that, having settled in very remote ages in the Dekkan, by little and little had extended their dominion over the less cultured aborigines. The Brahmins, it is well known, borrowed their system of cosmogony and acquired their knowledge of astronomy, as well as all other sciences and the arts of civilization, from the Nágás, whom, afterward, they relentlessly persecuted.
Again, Mr. Robertson says (page 296): “It is accordingly for those very remote ages (about five thousand years distant from the present) that their astronomy is most accurate, and the nearer we come down to our own times, the more the conformity of its results with ours diminishes. It seems reasonable to suppose that the time when its rules are most accurate is the time when the observations were made on which these rules are founded.
The superior perfection of the Indian tables becomes always more conspicuous as we go farther back into antiquity. This shows, likewise, how difficult it is to construct any astronomical tables which will agree with the state of the heavens for a period so remote from the time when the tables are constructed as four or five thousand years. It is only from astronomy in its most advanced state, such as it has attained in modern Europe, that such accuracy is to be expected.” Again (page 297): “When an estimate is endeavored to be made of the geometrical skill necessary for the construction of the Indian tables and rules, it is found to be very considerable; and, besides the knowledge of elementary geometry, it must have required plane and spherical trigonometry, or something equivalent to them, together with certain methods of approximating to the values of geometrical magnitudes, which seem to rise very far above the elements of any of those sciences. Some of these last mark also very