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K'uk' B'ahlam founded the Palenque dynasty on March 11, 431 of the current era. At this time in Europe, the fall of the Roman Empire was ushering in the Middle Ages. K'uk' B'ahlam's name glyph, as depicted above from the Temple of the Foliated Cross, consists of a quetzal bird - k'uk' in Mayan - with a jaguar ear, the jaguar being b'ahlam in the particular Mayan language of the Palenque inscriptions. Thus we are secure in translating his name as "Quetzal Jaguar".


Note: All dates in this essay are given in the Gregorian calendar that we still use. In the Maya calendar March 11, 431 is written  1 K'an 2 K'ayab'.