Today in World History: July 29th

Pakal, the longest-reigning ruler in the Western Hemisphere and King of Palenque from 615 A.D. to 683 A.D., rose to the throne on this day in 615 A.D., following the death of of his father, and the end of his mother’s reign when he reached maturity. Pakal was born in March 603 A.D., in Palenque. Palenque was one of many Mayan city-states, situated in the base of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mesoamerica. Pakal would go on to be one of Palenque’s greatest rulers, expanding the city, and building some of its finest architectural works. Although Palenque is believed to not be bigger than the sites discovered at Chichen Itza or Tikal, Palenque offers some of the finest Maya buildings, universally respected by archaeologists and historians. Pakal led Palenque to military victories against the many formidable enemies presented by the large number of city-states in the Yucatan Peninsula, and at the very old age of eighty, and was revered by his subjects for years to come.

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