“Coriantumr Did Press Forward Upon Lib”

Brant Gardner

Coriantumr is engaged in another back and forth battle, just as he was with Shared. In this case, Lib2 retreats toward the seashore. I hypothesize that this sea was the Gulf of Mexico, rather than the Pacific because of the historic dominance of the Olmec there. (The Pacific coast became important in the post-Olmec, or Epi-Olmec period.) With Lib’s back to the ocean, there was no retreat, and his army fought its way to a temporary victory, forcing Coriantumr and his army to fall back. Again, Coriantumr was wounded.

Culture: Coriantumr was twice wounded, once in the thigh (Ether 13:31) and once in the arm. Both wounds were inflicted by the leader of the opposing army. Because Coriantumr was able to continue fighting despite this second one, I hypothesize that it was in his shield arm, from which we can deduce that both men were either right-handed or left-handed (which is statistically less probable). When two men face each other with weapons in their right (or the same) hands, the shield-arm is directly in the way of typical blows. Since the Mesoamerican “sword” was made for slashing, not stabbing, the most vulnerable body part would have been the arm directly in front of the blow—or the shield-arm of a same-handed man.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 6