King’s People: Classic Maya Courtiers in a Comparative Perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


This chapter focuses on court members, excluding close family members of the ruler such as spouses and children. It addresses three major questions regarding the Classic Maya courtiers. The chapter reviews types of work carried out by Classic Maya court members. It discusses theoretical problems involved in the origins and recruitment of court members rather than trying to give direct answers to the question. The chapter examines the spatial settings in which courtly activities and interactions took place. In the Dahomey kingdom of West Africa, many members of the royal court, including the king’s guards, were females, and most others were eunuchs. Their principal duties may have included polity administration, adjudication, diplomacy, ritual and ceremonial activities, artistic and scribal production, and attending to various needs of the royal family, ranging from food and clothing to entertainment. Historically known courts of preindustrial societies handled polity administration in a variety of manners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoyal Courts of the Ancient Maya
Subtitle of host publicationVolume One: Theory, Comparison, and Synthesis
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780429966095
ISBN (Print)9780429497544
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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