descriptions as to what they were or how he gained access to them.[7] In fact, the whole of Señor Perez's information was derived from these "Books of Chilan Balam;" and, without wishing at all to detract from his reputation as an antiquary and a Maya scholar, I am obliged to say that he has dealt with them as scholars so often do with their authorities; that is, having framed his theories, he quoted what he found in their favor and neglected to refer to what he observed was against them.

Thus, it is a cardinal question in Yucatecan archaeology as to whether the epoch or age by which the great cycle (the uhau katun,) was reckoned, embraced twenty or twenty-four years. Contrary to all the Spanish authorities, Perez declared for twenty-four years, supporting himself by "the manuscripts." It is true there are three of the "Books of Chilan Balam "—those of Mani, Káua and Oxkutzcab,—which are distinctly in favor of twenty-four years; but, on the other hand, there are four or five others which are clearly for the period of twenty years, and of these Don Perez said nothing, although copies of more than one of them were in his library. So of the epochs, or katuns, of Maya history; there are three or more copies in these books which he does not seem to have compared with the one he furnished Stephens. His labor will have to be repeated according to the methods of modern criticism, and with the additional material obtained since he wrote.

Another valuable feature in these records is the hints they furnish of the hieroglyphic system of the Mayas. Almost our only authority heretofore has been the essay of Landa. It has suffered somewhat in credit because we had no means of verifying his statements and comparing the characters he gives. Dr. Valentini has even gone so far as to attack some of his assertions as "fabrications." This is an amount of skepticism which exceeds both justice and probability.

The chronological portions of the "Books of Chilan Balam" were partly written with the ancient signs of the days, months and epochs, and they furnish us, also, delineations of the "wheels" which the natives used for computing time. The former are so important to the student of Maya hieroglyphics, that I have added photographic reproductions of them to this paper, giving also representations of those of Landa for comparison. It will be observed that the signs of the days are distinctly similar in the majority of cases, but that those of the months are hardly alike.

The hieroglyphs of the days taken from the "Codex Troano," an ancient Maya book written before the Conquest, probably about 1400, are also added to illustrate the variations which occurred in the hands of different scribes. Those from the "Books of Chilan Balam" are copied from a manuscript known to the "Codice Perez," of undoubted authenticity and antiquity.[8]

The result of the comparison I thus institute is a triumphant refutation of the doubts and slurs which have been cast on Bishop Landa's work and vindicate for it a very high degree of accuracy.

The hieroglyphics for the months are quite complicated, and in the "Books of Chilan

[7] The Abbé's criticism occurs in the note to page 406 of his edition of Landa's "Cosas de Yucatan"

[8] It is described at length by Don Crescencio Carrillo y Ancona, in his "Disertacion sobre la Historia de la Lengua Maya" (Merida, 1870).

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