one of a series — intended to give ancient America its proper place in the universal history of the world.
I have been accused of promulgating notions on ancient America contrary to the opinion of men regarded as authorities on American archæology. And so it is, indeed. Mine is not the fault, however, although it may be my misfortune, since it has surely entailed upon me their enmity and its consequences. But who are those pretended authorities? Certainly not the doctors and professors at the head of the universities and colleges in the United States; for not only do they know absolutely nothing of ancient American civilization, but, judging from letters in my possession, the majority of them refuse to learn anything concerning it.
It may be inquired. On what ground can those who have published books on the subject, in Europe or in the United States, establish their claim to be regarded as authorities? What do they know of the ancient Mayas, of their customs and manners, of their scientific or artistic attainments? Do they understand the Maya language? Can they interpret one single sentence of the books in which the learning of the Maya sages, their cosmogonic, geographical, religious, and scientific attainments, are recorded? From what source have they derived their pretended knowledge? Not from the writings of the Spanish chroniclers, surely. These only wrote of the natives as they found them at the time of, and long after, the conquest of America by their countrymen, whose fanatical priests destroyed by fire the only sources of information — the books and ancient records of the Maya philosophers and historians. Father Lopez de Cogolludo in his "Historia de Yucathan," frankly admits that in his time
- Cogolludo, Historia de Yucathan, lib. iv., cap. iii., p. 177.