The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Pacal the Great

Pacal II, also known as Pacal the Great (the name is sometimes rendered as Pakal) (26 March, 603 - 31 August, 683), was king of the Maya kingdom of Palenque. He accended the throne at age 12 on 29 July, 615, and lived to the age of 80. The name "Pacal" means "shield" in the Maya language.


Pacal saw expansion of Palenque's power in the western part of the Maya states, and initiated a building program at his capital that produced some of Maya civilization's finest art and architecture.

He was preceded as ruler of Palenque by his mother Lady Zac-Kuk. As the Palenque dynasty seems to have had Queens only when there was no eligible male heir, Zac-Kuk transferred rulership to her son upon his official maturity.

After his death Pacal II was succeeded by his son Chan Bahlum II. A younger son, Kan Xul II , succeeded his brother Chan Bahlum II.

After his death, Pacal the Great was worshiped as a god, and said to communicate with his descendants. His elaborate temple tomb had a stairway down to his crypt, and after this was sealed up it had a long "speaking tube" connected to the temple atop the step-pyramid.

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Last updated: 05-07-2005 09:10:36
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04