Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/58

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crating the temples of their gods; trampling underfoot the sacred images, the venerated symbols of the religion of their forefathers; [1] imposing upon them strange idols, that they said were likenesses of the only true God and of his mother [2] — an assertion that seemed most absurd to those worshippers of the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies, who regarded Ku, the Divine Essence, the uncreated Soul of the World, as the only Supreme God, not to be represented under any shape. Yet, by lashes, torture, death even, the victims were compelled to pay homage to these images, with rites and ceremonies the purport of which they were, as their descendants still are, unable to understand, being at the same time forbidden to observe the religious practices which they had been accustomed to from times immemorial.[3] More, their temples of learning were destroyed, with their libraries and the precious volumes that contained the history of their nation, that of their illustrious men and women whose memory they venerated, the

  1. Cogolludo, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. iii., chap. x., p. 147. Landa, Las Cosas, chap. iv.
  2. Ibid., lib. iv., chap, xviii., p. 229. Landa, Las Cosas, chap. iv.
  3. Landa, Las Oosas de Yucatan, chap. xli., p. 316.
    Cogolludo, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. iv., chap, vi., p. 189. "Los religiosos de esta provincia, por cuya atencion corrió la couversion de estos indios, á nuestra santa fé católica, con el zelo que tienen de que aprouechassen en ella, no solo demolieron y quemaron todos los simulacros que adoraban, pero aun todos los escritos (que á su modo tenian) cou que pudieran recordar sus memorias y todo lo que presumierō tendria motiuo de alguna supersticion ò ritos gentilicos."
    Then when speaking of the auto-de-fe ordered by Bishop Landa, which took place in the city of Mani towards the end of 1561, he says : "Con el rezelo de esta idolatria, hizo juntar todos los libros y caracteres antiguos que los indios tenian, y por quitarles toda ocasion y memoria de sus antiguos ritos, quautos se pudieron hallar, se quemaron públicamente el dia del auto y á las bueltas con ellos sus historias de antiguedades" (lib. vi., chap, i., p. 309).