|Author||Charles River Editors|
|Publisher||Charles River Editors|
|Publication Date||November 27, 2012|
*Includes pictures of Pizarro and important people, places, and events in his life.
Includes pictures of Inca artifacts and ruins, including Macchu Picchu, Inca art, Inca clothing, and more.
*Describes the Inca Empire and Pizarro's conquest of it.
*Includes a Table of Contents.
“Friends and comrades! On that side [south] are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching storm, desertion, and death; on this side ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian. For my part, I go to the south.” – Francisco Pizarro
During the Age of Exploration, Native American tribes fell victim to European conquerors seeking legendary cities made of gold and other riches, attempts that were often being made in vain. And yet, of all the empires that were conquered across the continent, the one that continues to be most intimately associated with legends of gold and hidden riches is the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire, which flourished in modern day Peru and along the west coast of South America, was the largest Native American empire in pre-Columbian America until Pizarro and the Spanish conquistadors conquered them in the 16th century. What ultimately sealed their doom was the rumor that huge amounts of gold were available in regions south of the Andes Mountains.
If Columbus and Cortés were the pioneers of Spain’s new global empire, Pizarro's conquest of the Inca consolidated its immense power and riches, and his successes inspired a further generation to expand Spain’s dominions to unheard of dimensions. Furthermore, he participated in the forging of a new culture: like Cortés, he took an indigenous mistress with whom he had two mixed-race children, and yet the woman has none of the lasting fame of Cortés’s Doña Marina. With all of this in mind, it is again remarkable that Pizarro remains one of the less well-known and less written about of the explorers of his age.
On the other hand, there are certain factors that may account for the conqueror of Peru’s relative lack of lasting glory. For one, he was a latecomer in more than one sense. Cortés’s reputation was built on being the first to overthrow a great empire, so Pizarro’s similar feat, even if it bore even greater fruit in the long run, would always be overshadowed by his predecessor’s precedent. But Pizarro also lacked the youthful glamour of Cortés: already a wizened veteran in his 50s by the time he undertook his momentous expedition, he proceeded with the gritty determination of a hardened soldier rather than the audacity and cunning of a young courtier.
Though the Spanish physically conquered them in quick fashion, the culture and legacy of the Inca Empire has continued to endure throughout the centuries in both Europe and South America, due in no small part to the fact they were one of the most advanced and sophisticated cultures on the continent. Like the Aztecs, the Spanish burned much of the Inca’s extant writings, but it is estimated that as many as 35 million once fell under their banner, and the empire’s administrative skills were so sharp that they kept accurate census records. Their religion, organization, and laws were also effectively centralized and tied to the rulers of the empire, and their military mobilization would have made the ancient Spartans proud. After the Spanish conquest, several rebellions in the area attempted to reestablish the proud Inca Empire over the next two centuries, all while famous Europeans like Voltaire glorified the Inca Empire in optimistic artistic portrayals.
Francisco Pizarro & The Inca chronicles the life of Pizarro and the history and culture of the Inca Empire, while also examining the conquest of the Inca and the manner in which their culture has survived. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Pizarro and the Inca like you never have before.