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Historical Dictionary of Mesoamerica by Walter R. T. Witschey and Clifford T. Brown (review)

From: The Americas
Volume 69, Number 3, January 2013
p. 402 | 10.1353/tam.2013.0005

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Reviewed by
Historical Dictionary of Mesoamerica. By Walter R. T. Witschey and Clifford T. Brown. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2012. Pp. 416. Photographs. Illustrations. Maps. Bibliography. $105.00 cloth.

The market for dictionaries, handbooks, and guides to ancient Mesoamerica seems to be a busy one, since hardly a year goes by without another entry into the crowded marketplace. The latest entry is this historical dictionary, part of a series of similar works from Scarecrow Press, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield. This volume contains some 900 entries on important aspects of ancient Mesoamerica, from Acalan (Campeche) to Zempoala (Veracruz). It includes sites, civilizations, deities, themes (for example, medicine and flowers), and individuals, such as Pacal (ruler of Palenque). Unfortunately the title is a bit misleading, as the dictionary focuses significantly on the Maya with only passing entries for the other civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica.

John F. Schwaller
State University of New York, Potsdam
Potsdam, New York
John F. Schwaller

John F. Schwaller is Professor of History and President of the State University of New York at Potsdam. A noted scholar of early colonial Latin America, he has written several monographs on the secular clergy in early colonial Mexico, and a survey of the history of the Catholic Church in Latin America. He conducts research in both Nahuatl and Spanish and is co-author of a study of the founding of the Villa Rica de la Veracruz and the members of the Cortés expedition, which will be published by the University of Texas Press.