Itzamnaaj B'alam II
|Itzamnaaj Bʻalam II|
|King of Yaxchilan|
|Predecessor||Yaxun B'alam III|
|Successor||Yaxun B'alam IV|
Lady Sak Bʻiyaan
|Issue||Yaxun B'alam IV|
|Father||Yaxun B'alam III|
Itzamnaaj Bʻalam II was a Maya king who ruled in Yaxchilan from 681 until he died in the year 742. He is also called Shield Jaguar II by modern writers and commonly referred to simply as Shield Jaguar based on his name glyph before the phonetic name was deciphered.
His grandmother was Lady Xibalba, noblewoman of Yaxchilan.
Accession and reign
In order to become king, Itzamnaaj Bʻalam defeated Ah Ahaual (a Mayan noble) in war and took him captive to Yaxchilan. At the age of 34 around October 23, 681, he became king of Yaxchilan. He was married to his aunt, Lady Xoc, and she held a great amount of power.
One of Itzamnaaj B'alam's greatest accomplishments was the construction of what is now called Temple 23. At Temple 23, Lady Xoc is shown performing a bloodletting ritual for three different occasions: Itz'amnáj B'alam's accession to the throne, the birth of Yaxun Bʻalam, and the dedication of Temple 23.
Preparing for an heir
Itzamnaaj B'alam had a second wife named Lady Eveningstar of Calakmul with whom he had a son named Yaxun Bʻalam. He chose Yaxun Bʻalam to be his successor despite the fact that Lady Xoc, his other wife, had a strategically important bloodline.
He also married Lady Sak B'iyaan, but she was not of so high status as his aunt.
End of the reign
The majority of the buildings constructed during Itzamnaaj B'alam's reign occurred in the last third of his life. As well, he was still leading his troops to battle in his eighties.
Itzamnaaj Bʻalam died at the age of 95.
- The Ancient Maya by Robert J. Sharer and Loa P. Traxler
- Martin, Simon; and Nikolai Grube (2008). Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya (2nd, revised ed.). London and New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-28726-2. OCLC 191753193.
- Schele, Linda; and David Freidel (1992). A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (pbk reprint ed.). New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-688-11204-8. OCLC 145324300.
- Sharer, Robert J.; Loa P. Traxler (2006). The Ancient Maya (6th, fully revised ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4816-0. OCLC 28067148.
Yaxun B'alam III
|High Kings of Yaxchilan
Yaxun B'alam IV