Diego de Landa

1524 - 1579
human image - Diego de Landa

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

country of citizenship:  Spanish Empire
languages spoken, written or signed:  Spanish

Diego de Landa Calderón, O.F.M. (12 November 1524 – 29 April 1579) was a Spanish Franciscan bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Yucatán. Many historians criticize his campaign against idolatry. In particular, he burned almost all the Maya manuscripts (codices) that would have been very useful in deciphering Maya script, knowledge of Maya religion and civilization, and the history of the American continent. Nonetheless, his work in documenting and researching the Maya was indispensable in achieving the current understanding of their culture, to the degree that one scholar asserted that, "ninety-nine percent of what we today know of the Mayas, we know as the result either of what Landa has told us in the pages that follow, or have learned in the use and study of what he told." Source: Wikipedia (en)

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