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|Title||KnoWhy #346 - Was Chiasmus Known to Ancient American Writers? (Alma 29:4)|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Corporate Authors||Book of Mormon Central Staff|
|Publisher||Book of Mormon Central|
|Place Published||Springville, UT|
|Keywords||Ancient America; Chiasm; Chiasmus; Maya; Mesoamerica|
Although chiasmus is found in ancient Near Eastern writing, it also appears in Mesoamerican texts. Allen J. Christenson first discovered chiasmus in K’iche’ Maya texts in the 1980s. Many other examples were soon discovered. The writings which utilize chiasmus tend to be those written before 1580, which means that chiasmus can be used to determine whether a document is pre-Columbian. Some scholars have actually used this technique to date texts. Chiasmus has also been found in definitively pre-Columbian texts like the Dresden Codex and the Madrid Codex, as well as some inscriptions. Since the Book of Mormon is a religious document from pre-Columbian America, comparing how chiasmus is used by both Book of Mormon and Maya authors can be fruitful.
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