In the first millennium AD, the Classic Maya created courtly societies in and around the Yucatan Peninsula that have left some of the most striking intellectual and aesthetic achievements of the ancient world, including large settlements like Tikal, Copan, and Palenque. This book is the first in-depth synthesis of the Classic Maya. It is richly informed by new decipherment of hieroglyphs, decades of intensive excavation and survey. Structured by categories of person in society, it reports on kings, queens, nobles, gods, and ancestors, as well as the many millions of farmers and other figures who lived in societies predicated on sacred kingship and varying political programs. The Classic Maya presents a tandem model of societies bound by moral covenants and convulsed by unavoidable tensions between groups, affected by demographic trends and changing environments. It will serve as the basic source for all readers interested in the civilisation of the Maya.