Yaxun B'alam IV

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For his grandfather-namesake, see Yaxun B'alam III.
Yaxun B’alam IV
High King of Yaxchilan
British Museum Yaxchilan lintel 16.jpg
Lintel 16 from Yaxchilan depicts king Yaxun B'alam IV with his slave
Reign 752–768
Predecessor Itzamnaaj B'alam II
Successor Itzamnaaj B'alam III
Born 709
Died 768
Spouse 4 queens
Issue Itzamnaaj B'alam III
Father Itzamnaaj B'alam II
Mother Lady Eveningstar

Yaxun B’alam IV[pronunciation?], also called Bird Jaguar IV, was a Mayan king from Yaxchilan. He ruled from 752 until 768 AD, continuing the period of prosperity started by his father Itzamnaaj B'alam II. He had to struggle to take and hold power, as he was not perceived to be the rightful heir to the throne.

Early life[edit]

Yaxun B’alam was the son of Itzamnaaj B'alam and Lady Eveningstar. Lady Eveningstar was not the first wife of Itzamnaaj B'alam and was from Calakmul.

As Bird Jaguar was not the son of Lady Xoc (Itzamnaaj B'alam's first wife-aunt), he was not completely of the royal blood and would have difficulty acquiring the throne. Itzamnaaj B'alam commissioned a stele to be carved showing both Yaxun B'alam and Lady Xoc in the same panel, thus legitimating Yaxun.


There is a ten-year gap between the death of Itzamnaaj B'alam II and the beginning of the reign of Yaxun B’alam, indicating a possible struggle for the throne of Yaxchilan. Yaxun B'alam took the throne on May 3, 752, but he had problems even after he succeeded.[1] In order to legitimize his claim to the throne, Yaxun B'alam had a series of steles created that pictured him with his father (including Stele 11).


Several buildings were constructed during the reign of Yaxun B’alam, including Temple 33 and Temple 21. During his life, he captured at least 21 people, as evidenced by the statement on Yaxchilan Stela 11. His seventeen-year reign was much shorter than that of his father’s, and he died in 768. Within a generation of his death, the building projects at Yaxchilan had ceased. He was succeeded by his son Itzamnaaj B'alam III in 769.


Yaxun B'alam had married Lady Great Skull, Lady Wak Tuun of Motul de San José, Lady Wak Jalam Chan Ajaw of Motul de San José, Lady Mut Bahlam of Hix Witz.[2]


  1. ^ James L. Fitzsimmons. Death and the Classic Maya Kings. University of Texas Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-292-78198-6. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube
Montgomery, John (2002–2007). "Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs" (online version). Maya Hieroglyphic writing: Dictionaries. with revisions by Peter Mathews and Christophe Helmke. Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc (FAMSI). 
Schele, Linda; 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. 
Preceded by
Itzamnaaj B'alam II
High Kings of Yaxchilan
Succeeded by
Itzamnaaj B'alam III