Link to enlarge Masculine head from Palenque Chiapas from photo by Michel Zabé WHO'S WHO IN THE CLASSIC MAYA WORLD
Peter Mathews
"Casper II"    An early king of Palenque (born AD 422, ruled AD 435-ca. 487)PAL 002
According to the Tablet of the Cross, "Casper II" was born in AD 422 and acceded to the throne of Palenque in AD 435, just one day after his thirteenth birthday (by Julian Calendar calculation). Although his death date has not survived, he probably lived until AD 487, when his successor B'utz'aj Sak Chik came to power. If so, "Casper II had one of the longest reigns in Palenque's history and lived into his mid-60s. The Tablet of the Cross indicates that "Casper II" celebrated the k'atun-ending date (AD 436); presumably he also celebrated the next two k'atun-ending dates, in and (AD 455 and 475).

"Casper II" is also known from several other sources. Most famously, he is named and portrayed on a carved alabaster drinking-cup (von Winning 1963; technically, it is possible that the reference is to "Casper I" but the style of the carving cannot possibly be so early). The identification of this cup as belonging to "Casper II" was first made by David Stuart (cited in Mathews and Schele 1993:103). The text on the alabaster vessel reads yuch'ib' ch'ok "Casper" K'uhul B'akal Ajaw, 'The drinking-cup of the youth "Casper [II]", Divine Palenque Lord'.

Another text that refers to "Casper II" is the K'an Tok Tablet from Group XVI at Palenque. This tablet records the inaugurations of subordinate nobles under the supervision of various Palenque rulers. In fact, "Casper II" oversaw two such events, one in AD 445 and the second in AD 460.

"Casper II" is strongly asociated with a toponym, Toktan, which occurs sporadically at Palenque and is linked with the site's early rulers. The K'an Tok Tablet names "Casper II" as a Toktan Ajaw rather than a B'ak Ajaw, using the standard Palenque emblem glyph. The Tablet of the Cross states that the b'aktun-ending date (presumably celebrated by "Casper II") took place at Toktan. Only his drinking cup is inscribed with the standard Palenque emblem glyph.

COL: Washington, D.C.
Carved Alabaster Vase: C
Drawing by Peter Mathews

Complete List of Text References

What's in a Name?

Portraits - "Casper II" is portrayed on the Alabaster Vase in a private collection. He is shown as an elderly, heavily bearded individual.

Buildings Commissioned - None known.

Monuments Commissioned - None known.



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