Atahualpa

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Lifetime portrait of Atahuallpa, the last sovereign Inca emperor.
Atahualpa or Atawallpa (c. 1502July 26 1533 Cajamarca, Peru), was the last sovereign emperor of the Tahuantinsuyu, or Inca Empire. He became emperor upon defeating his younger half-brother Huáscar in a civil war sparked by the death of their father, Inca Huayna Capac, from an infectious disease thought to be malaria or smallpox. During the civil war, the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro crossed his path, captured Atahualpa, and used him to control the Inca empire. Eventually, the Spanish executed Atahualpa, ending the Inca Empire (although several successors claimed the title of Sapa Inca and led a resistance against the invading Spaniards). Atahualpa's mother was a Shyri (Quito Kingdom) princess named Pacha.

History

On the death of their father and their older brother, Ninan Cuyochi, who had been the designated heir, the empire was divided between the two surviving brothers, Huáscar and Atahualpa. Huascar got the major part of it, containing the capital Cusco, and Atahualpa the northern parts, including Quito (now the capital of Ecuador), his mother's family's ancestral home. For a couple of years, the two brothers reigned without problems. But Huascar, who considered himself to be the real Sapa Inca (emperor) because he was a legitimate son of Huayna Capac and his sister, demanded that Atahualpa swear an oath to him. Atahualpa refused, and the civil war began.

Huascar invaded the north with a great army and soon captured Atahualpa. Atahualpa fled from captivity with the help of a small girl, and united himself with the generals Chalicuchima and Quizquiz. He gathered an army and defeated Huascar in the battle of Chimborazo. Atahualpa pressed onward and began to capture the rest of the empire, including the town of Tumebamba, whose citizens he punished in gruesome ways for supporting Huascar in the beginning of the civil war.
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Emperor Atahuallpa during the Battle of Cajamarca
The final battle took place at Quipaipan, where Huascar was captured and his army disbanded. Atahualpa had stopped in the city of Cajamarca in the Andes with his army of 80,000 troops on his way to the south and Cusco to claim his throne.

The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro established the city of Piura, the first Spanish settlement in Peru in July 1532. After a march of two months, Pizarro arrived at Cajamarca with just 168 men under his command and sent Hernando de Soto, friar Vicente de Valverde and native interpreter Felipillo to speak with Atahualpa about the Spanish presence.

Through the interpreter, Valverde delivered the "Requirement", indicating that Atahualpa and his people must convert to Christianity, and if he refused he would be considered an enemy of the Church and of Spain. Atahualpa refused the Spanish presence in his land by saying he would "be no man's tributary".

"Be advised that I, being free, do not have to pay tribute to anyone, nor do I believe there is a king greater than I. However, I will have the pleasure to be the friend of your emperor, since he should be a great prince to send his armies throughout the world. But this Pope does not interest me; much less will I obey him, I being in the kingdom of my father and our religion being good and I and my subjects are happy. However, despite my being a son of Huayna Capac I cannot discuss anything so wise and old. The Christ that you speak of died, the Sun and Moon never die, besides how do you know your god created the world?"[1]


The Spanish envoys returned to Pizarro, who prepared a surprise attack against Atahualpa's army in what became the Battle of Cajamarca on November 16, 1532.

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The seizure of Atahualpa at Cajamarca.
According to Spanish law, Atahualpa’s refusal of the Requirement allowed the Spanish to officially declare war on the Inca people. When Atahualpa coldly asked the priest Valverde by what authority he and his people could say such things, Valverde offered him a Bible, saying that the authority derived from the words in it. He examined it and then asked why did it not speak to him. He then threw it to the ground. That gave the Spaniards the excuse they needed to wage war on the Incas. They opened fire, and over the course of two hours more than two thousand Inca soldiers were killed. The Spanish then imprisoned Atahualpa in the Temple of the Sun.

Atahualpa still could not believe the Spanish intended to take control of his kingdom. He thought that if he gave them the gold and silver they sought they would leave. In exchange for his release, he agreed to fill a large room with gold and promised the Spanish twice that amount in silver. Although he was stunned by the offer, Pizarro had no intention of releasing the Inca because he needed the ruler's influence over the native people to maintain order in the surrounding country or, more to the point, he meant to depose Atahualpa, placing the entire empire under the rule of Spain's King Charles I (Holy Roman Emperor Charles V), with himself as viceroy.
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Spaniards executing Tupac Amaru in 1572, drawing by Guaman Poma de Ayala
Still outnumbered and fearing an imminent attack from the Inca general Rumiñahui, after several months the Spanish saw Atahualpa as too much of a liability and chose to have him executed. Pizarro staged a mock trial and found Atahualpa guilty of revolting against the Spanish, practicing idolatry and murdering Huáscar, his own brother. Atahualpa was sentenced to execution by burning. He was horrified, since the Inca believed that the soul would not be able to go on to the afterlife if the body were burned. Friar Vicente de Valverde, who had earlier offered the Bible to Atahualpa, intervened again, telling Atahualpa that if he agreed to convert to Christianity he would convince the rest to commute the sentence. Atahualpa agreed to be baptized into the Christian faith. He was given the name Juan Santos Atahualpa and, in accordance with his request, was strangled with a garrote instead of being burned. Atahualpa was succeeded by his brother, the puppet Inca Tupac Huallpa, and later by another brother Manco Inca Yupanqui.

Legacy

Atahualpa's disastrous handling of the Spanish invasion notwithstanding, his actions previous to the actual invasion also contributed to the fall of the empire. One could see the parallel with Harold Godwinson's feud with his brother Tostig, which led to the civil war and the Battle of Stamford Bridge as well as the Battle of Hastings, as it severely weakened their positions in a time of crisis.

However, given that there were fewer than 200 Spaniards and 1000 Native allies, it is easy to understand why Atahualpa did not immediately sense the threat. Atahualpa quickly recognised them as human beings and intruders to be dealt with. For all their weapons and horses he knew he had more than enough soldiers to handle Pizarro. In fact, Atahualpa was planning to speak with them and then arrest them. He planned to put Pizarro and his officers to death and retain the needed specialists, such as the horsebreaker, blacksmith, and gunsmith to equip his army.

Preceded by
Huáscar
Sapa Inca
15321533
Succeeded by
none (Tupac Huallpa de facto)

See also

References

1. ^ Inca Atahualpa's answer to Fray Wicente Valverde, taken from Spanish documents of the Indian Archives in Seville. M.37.

Further reading

External links

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Cajamarca
Aerial view of Cajamarca, with Santa Appollonia hill in foreground

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Coordinates:
Country Peru
Region Cajamarca Region
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Anthem
Somos libres, seámoslo siempre   (Spanish)
"We are free, may we always be so"
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Inca Empire (or Inka Empire) was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cuzco. The Inca Empire arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in early 13th century.
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Inti Cusi Huallpa Huascar (Quechua: Waskhar, or "Sun of Joy"; 1503–1532) was Sapa Inca of the Inca empire from 1527 to 1532 AD, succeeding his father Huayna Capac and brother Ninan Cuyochi, both of whom died of smallpox while campaigning near Quito.
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Huayna Capac (Quechua Wayna Qhapaq "splendid youth") was the eleventh Sapa Inca (1493 - 1527) of the Inca Empire, and sixth of the Hanan dynasty. He was the successor to Tupac Inca Yupanqui.
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Malaria
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Plasmodium falciparum ring-forms and gametocytes in human blood.
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Smallpox
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A child infected with smallpox
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Francisco Pizarro González, marqués de los Atabillos (c. 1471 – June 26, 1541) was a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Inca Empire and founder of Lima, La Ciudad de los Reyes, capital of Peru. Pizarro was born in Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain.
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Ninan Cuyochi, born 149?, died 1527, the oldest son of Sapa Inca Huayna Capac and first in line to inherit the Inca Empire, but he however died of smallpox shortly before his father, bringing about a civil war.
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Cusco
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Panoramic View of Cusco from Sacsayhuaman

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Nickname: La Ciudad Imperial (The Imperial City)
Location in Peru
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San Francisco de Quito

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Nickname: Luz de América (Light of America)
Map of Ecuador showing location of Quito
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"Dios, patria y libertad"   (Spanish)
"Pro Deo, Patria et Libertas"   (Latin)
"God, homeland and liberty"
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Chalicuchima (alternatively spelled Challcuchima or Chalkuchimac) was, along with Quizquiz (Quisquis), one of Atahualpa's two leading generals. In April 1532 he (along with his companion) defeated and captured Huascar in the battle of Quipaipan and afterwards executed
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Quizquiz (or Quisquis, meaning "Little Bird") was, along with Chalicuchima, one of Atahualpa's two leading generals. In April 1532, along with his companion, Quizquiz defeated and captured Huascar and promptly killed his family.
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Battle of Chimborazo was among the first confrontations in the War of the two brothers, a struggle between Huascar and Atahualpa for power over the Inca Empire. Atahualpa won, having the more capable generals; he drove Huascar back onto the defensive.
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Tumebamba or Tomebamba, former city-state in the Inca federation, belonging etnically to the Canaris faction. Known as the "second Cusco" (the Inca capital), it was given to Atahualpa when the empire was divided in 1527.
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Atahualpa-Huascar conflict
Part of War of the two brothers

Huáscar, who was defeated and later executed

Date April 1532
Location Quipaipan, in present-day Peru, close to Cusco
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Cajamarca
Aerial view of Cajamarca, with Santa Appollonia hill in foreground

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Region Cajamarca Region
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Cusco
Qusqu

Panoramic View of Cusco from Sacsayhuaman

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Nickname: La Ciudad Imperial (The Imperial City)
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Conquistador (Spanish: [kon.kis.t̪a'ğ̞oɾ]) (English: Conqueror) was a Spanish soldier, explorer and adventurer who took part in the gradual invasion and conquering of much of the Americas and Asia
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Francisco Pizarro González, marqués de los Atabillos (c. 1471 – June 26, 1541) was a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Inca Empire and founder of Lima, La Ciudad de los Reyes, capital of Peru. Pizarro was born in Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain.
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Piura
Piura's Plaza de Armas

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Nickname: La Primera Ciudad
(The First City)

Location in Perú
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Country Peru
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Anthem
Somos libres, seámoslo siempre   (Spanish)
"We are free, may we always be so"
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Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497[1]–May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition to the territory of the modern-day United States, discovered the Mississippi River.
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For the surname, see Fryer (surname).


A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.

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There are two classes of orders known as friars, or mendicant orders: the four "great orders" (Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, Carmelites) and
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Vincente de Valverde was a Spanish bishop. He was born in Segovia, Spain about 1490 and most sources claim he died in Oropesa, Peru, in 1543. He was a Dominican friar, and went to Peru about 1530, although it is not certain whether he accompanied Francisco Pizarro from Spain or
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Felipillo (or Felipe) was a native Peruvian who accompanied Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro on their various expeditions to Peru. Born on the Island of Puná, Felipillo learned Quechua in Túmbez from natives who spoke it as a second language.
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