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1532 – 26 July 1533



Atahualpa Atahualpa

Tupac Huallpa

Huascar Capac

Atahualpa wwwancientoriginsnetsitesdefaultfilesstyles

29 August 1533Cajamarca

July 25, 1533, Cajamarca, Peru

Huascar, Manco Inca Yupanqui, Tupac Huallpa

Huayna Capac, Paccha Duchicela

Topa Inca Yupanqui, Cacha Duchicela

Tupac Amaru, Titu Cusi, Sayri Tupac

Similar People
Francisco Pizarro, Huascar, Huayna Capac, Ruminawi, Manco Inca Yupanqui

Milonga triste blues from the pampas atahualpa yupanqui

Atahualpa, also Atahuallpa, Atabalipa (in Hispanicized spellings) or Atawallpa (Quechua) (c. 1502–26 July 1533) was the ruler of Quito for five years before conquering the Inca Empire from his brother Huascar, the 13th Inca Emperor. After defeating his brother, Atahualpa became very briefly the last Sapa Inca (sovereign emperor) of the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu) before the Spanish conquest. Atahualpa inherited the Kingdom of Quito from his father the Sapa Inca Huayna Capac in 1525. Before Huayna died, he made a verbal testament to the people in his empire that he intended to divide his empire into two parts. Atahualpa would become king in the Northern section of the Inca Empire and Atahualpa's older half brother Huáscar would receive the Southern section as Sapa Inca. Huayna died from an infectious disease (possibly smallpox ). Atahualpa ruled as King over the Northern section named Quito peacefully for 5 years, until his brother Huáscar, the 13th Sapa Inca, attempted to conquer the Kingdom of Quito by first annexing the Cañari region. Atahualpa became Inca emperor after he defeated and imprisoned Huáscar and massacred any pretenders to the throne at the close of the civil war. Later, while imprisoned by the Spaniards, Atahualpa gave orders to kill Huáscar in Jauja, thinking Huáscar would use the Spaniards as allies to regain his throne.


Atahualpa Atahualpa Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

During the Spanish conquest, the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro captured Atahualpa and used him to control the Inca Empire. Eventually, the Spanish executed Atahualpa, effectively ending the empire. A succession of emperors, who led the Inca resistance against the invading Spaniards, claimed the title of Sapa Inca as rulers of the Neo-Inca State, but the empire began to disintegrate after Atahualpa's death.

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Atahualpa 8 Facts about Atahualpa Fact File

Throughout the Inca Empire's history, each Sapa Inca worked to expand the territory of the empire. When Pachacuti, the 9th Sapa Inca ruled, he expanded the Empire to northern Peru. At this point, Pachacuti sent his son Tupac Inca Yupanqui to invade and conquer the territory of present-day Ecuador. News of the expansion of the Inca reached the different tribes and nations of Ecuador. As a defense against the Inca, the Andean chiefdoms formed alliances with each other. Historians of that region refer to these alliances as the Quito Confederation, with the Kingdom of Quito being the leader of this confederation.

Atahualpa Biografia de Atahualpa

Around 1460, Tupac Inca Yupanqui, with an army of 200,000 warriors that were sent by his father, easily gained control of the Palta nation in southern Ecuador and northern Peru in a matter of months. However, the Inca army met fierce resistance from the Cañaris, which left the Incas so impressed that after they were defeated the Cañaris were recruited into the Inca army. In northern Ecuador the Inca army met fiercer resistance from a people known as the Cara-Quitus, who prevented the Incas from taking over all of northern Ecuador for the next 17 years, being the lifetime of two Inca Emperors. The leader of the Caras-Quitus was known as the King of Quito and his title as King was Duchicela Shyris. This would be the equivalent of calling all the Kings of ancient Rome by the title of Caesar. The turning point came in the battle of Laguna de Yahuarcocha where there was such a massacre of the Quito army by the Inca Huayna Capac that the lake turned to blood in 1495. When the Cacha Duchicela Shyris XV, the King of Quito, died the people elected his daughter Paccha Duchicela Shyris XVI as Queen of Quito in order to continue the battle. However, the Inca Huayna Capac who grew tired of going to war decided to peacefully settle things. Breaking with Inca tradition Huayna Capac proposed to marry the Queen of Quito in order to peacefully incorporate the rest of northern Ecuador into the Inca Empire. Paccha Duchicela Shyris XVI accepted this proposal on condition that their son would be crowned King of Quito upon the death of Huayna Capac. Out of this marriage alliance the Atahualpa the future King of Quito was born. Thus the rest of Ecuador was temporarily incorporated into the Inca Empire.

A few historians have disputed the existence of the Kingdom of Quito, but more chroniclers document the Kingdom. In addition, Atahualpa was recorded as the King of Quito defeating the Inca Emperor Huáscar. After Huayna Capac died in 1525, Atahualpa ruled as King of Quito peacefully and uncontested for 5-years. He defeated the Inca invasion force and in the process conquered and ruled the Inca Empire as Sapa Inca. His rule lasted only a few months before he was captured by the army of Francisco Pizarro, who sided with the Cuzco supporters of the executed Inca Huascar. They executed Atahualpa in July 1553.

Atahualpa, the King of Quito, conquers the Inca Empire

The civil war started when the new leader of the Cañari, after his father's death, rebelled against Atahualpa's rule and asked the Inca Emperor Huáscar for protection. According to the chronicler Pedro Pizarro, Huáscar sent an army to the North that ambushed Atahualpa in Tumebamba and defeated him. Atahualpa was captured and imprisoned in a “tambo” (roadside shelters built for the Chasqui) but succeeded in escaping. During his time in captivity, he was cut and lost an ear. From then on, he wore a headpiece that fastened under his chin to hide the injury. But, the chronicler Miguel Cabello de Balboa said that this story of capture was improbable because if Atahualpa were captured by Huascar's forces, they would have executed him immediately.[[Atahualpa#cite note-FOOTNOTERostworowski1999{{{c}}}174-175-43|43]]

Atahualpa returned to Quito and amassed a great army. He subsequently attacked the Cañari of Tumebamba, defeating its defenses and leveling the city and the surrounding lands. He arrived in Tumbes, from which he planned an assault by rafts on the island Puná. During the naval operation, Atahualpa sustained a leg injury and returned to land. Taking advantage of his retreat, the “punaneños” (habitants of Puña) attacked Tumbes. They destroyed the city, leaving it in the ruined state recorded by the Spaniards in early 1532. [[Atahualpa#cite note-FOOTNOTERostworowski1999{{{c}}}175-176-46|46]]

From Cuzco the Huascarites attacked the armies of general Atoc and defeated Atahualpa in the battle of Chillopampa. However, the Atahualapite generals responded quickly. They gathered together their scattered troops, counter-attacked, and forcefully defeated Atoc in Mulliambato. They captured Atoc, and later tortured and killed him.

The Atahualapite forces continued to be victorious, as a result of the strategic abilities of Quisquis and Calcuchimac. Atahualpa began a slow advance on Cuzco. While based in Marcahuamachuco, he sent an emissary to consult the oracle of the Huaca (a god) Catequil, who prophesied that Atahualpa’s advance would end poorly. Furious at the prophecy, Atahualpa went to the sanctuary, killed the priest, and ordered the temple to be destroyed.[[Atahualpa#cite note-FOOTNOTERostworowski1999{{{c}}}179-180-48|48]] During this period, he first learned that Pizarro and his expedition had arrived in the empire.

Atahualpa's leading generals were Quizquiz, Chalkuchimac, and Rumiñawi. In April 1532, Quizquiz and his companions led the armies of Atahualpa to victory in the battles of Mullihambato, Chimborazo and Quipaipan. The Battle of Quipaipan was the final one between the warring brothers. Quizquiz and Chalkuchimac defeated Huáscar's army, captured him, killed his family, and seized the capital, Cuzco. Atahualpa had remained behind in the Andean city of Cajamarca, which is where he encountered the Spanish, led by Pizarro.

Spanish conquest

In January 1531, a Spanish expedition led by Francisco Pizarro, on a mission to conquer the Inca Empire, landed on Puná Island. Pizarro brought with him 169 men and 69 horses. The Spaniards headed south and occupied Tumbes, where they heard about the civil war that Huáscar and Atahualpa were waging against each other. About a year and a half later, in September 1532, after reinforcements arrived from Spain, Pizarro founded the city of San Miguel de Piura, and then marched towards the heart of the Inca Empire, with a force of 106 foot-soldiers and 62 horsemen. Atahualpa, in Cajamarca with his army of 80,000 troops, heard that this party of strangers was advancing into the empire, and sent an Inca noble to investigate. The noble stayed for two days in the Spanish camp, making an assessment of the Spaniards' weapons and horses. Atahualpa decided that the 168 Spaniards were not a threat to him and his 80,000 troops, so he sent word inviting them to visit Cajamarca and meet him, expecting to capture them. Pizarro and his men thus advanced unopposed through some very difficult terrain. They arrived at Cajamarca on 15 November 1532.

Atahualpa and his army had camped on a hill just outside Cajamarca. He was staying in a building close to the Konoj hot springs, while his soldiers were in tents set up around him. When Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, the town was mostly empty except for a few hundred acllas. The Spaniards were billeted in certain long buildings on the main plaza, and Pizarro sent an embassy to the Inca, led by Hernando de Soto. The group consisted of 15 horsemen and an interpreter; shortly thereafter de Soto sent 20 more horsemen as reinforcements in case of an Inca attack. These were led by his brother, Hernando Pizarro.

The Spaniards invited Atahualpa to visit Cajamarca to meet Pizarro, which he resolved to do the following day. Meanwhile, Pizarro was preparing an ambush to trap the Inca: while the Spanish cavalry and infantry were occupying three long buildings around the plaza, some musketeers and four pieces of artillery were located in a stone structure in the middle of the square. The plan was to persuade Atahualpa to submit to the authority of the Spaniards and, if this failed, there were two options: a surprise attack, if success seemed possible, or to keep up a friendly stance if the Inca forces appeared too powerful.

The following day, Atahualpa left his camp at midday, preceded by a large number of men in ceremonial attire; as the procession advanced slowly, Pizarro sent his brother Hernando to invite the Inca to enter Cajamarca before nightfall. Atahualpa entered the town late in the afternoon in a litter carried by eighty lords; with him were four other lords in litters and hammocks and 5–6,000 men carrying small battle axes, slings, and pouches of stones underneath their clothes. "He was very drunk from what he had imbibed in the [thermal] baths before leaving as well as what he had taken during the many stops on the road. In each of them he had drunk well. And even there on his litter he requested drink." The Inca found no Spaniards in the plaza, as they were all inside the buildings. The only man to emerge was the Dominican friar Vincente de Valverde with an interpreter.

Although there are different accounts as to what Valverde said, most agree that he invited the Inca to come inside to talk and dine with Pizarro. Atahualpa instead demanded the return of every thing the Spaniards had taken since they landed. According to eyewitness accounts, Valverde spoke about the Catholic religion but did not deliver the requerimiento, a speech requiring the listener to submit to the authority of the Spanish Crown and accept the Christian faith. At Atahualpa's request, Valverde gave him his breviary but, after a brief examination, the Inca threw it to the ground; Valverde hurried back toward Pizarro, calling on the Spaniards to attack. At that moment, Pizarro gave the signal; the Spanish infantry and cavalry came out of their hiding places and charged the unsuspecting Inca retinue, killing a great number while the rest fled in panic. Pizarro led the charge on Atahualpa, but captured him only after killing all those carrying him and turning over his litter. Not a single Spanish soldier was killed.

Prison and execution

On 17 November the Spaniards sacked the Inca army camp, in which they found great treasures of gold, silver, and emeralds. Noticing their lust for precious metals, Atahualpa offered to fill a large room about 22 feet (6.7 m) long and 17 feet (5.2 m) wide up to a height of 8 feet (2.4 m) once with gold and twice with silver within two months. It is commonly believed that Atahualpa offered this ransom to regain his freedom. But Hemming says that he did so to save his life. None of the early chroniclers mention any commitment by the Spaniards to free Atahualpa once the metals were delivered.

After several months in fear of an imminent attack from general Rumiñahui, the outnumbered Spanish considered Atahualpa to be too much of a liability and decided to execute him. Pizarro staged a mock trial and found Atahualpa guilty of revolting against the Spanish, practicing idolatry, and murdering Huáscar, his 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 Vincente de Valverde, who had earlier offered his breviary to Atahualpa, intervened, telling Atahualpa that, if he agreed to convert to Catholicism, the friar could convince Pizarro to commute the sentence. Atahualpa agreed to be baptized into the Catholic faith. He was given the name Francisco Atahualpa in honor of Francisco Pizarro. In accordance with his request, he was executed by strangling with a garrote on 26 July 1533.

At 1:30 a.m. on 26 July 1533, Atahualpa was interrogated before his death by his Spanish Captors about his birthplace. Atahualpa verbally declared that his birthplace is in what the Incas called the Kingdom of Quito, in a place called Caranqui (today located 2 km southeast of Ibarra, Ecuador). Most chroniclers suggest that Atahualpa was born in what the Incas used to call the Kingdom of Quito, though other stories suggest various other birthplaces.

When questioned about his age Atahualpa answers "We do not use this western way of calculating time; but I can tell you that my life has seen 31 harvests since I was born, thanks to my mother's help in telling me of my beginnings." Following his execution, his clothes and some of his skin were burned, and his remains were given a Christian burial. Atahualpa was succeeded by his brother, Túpac Huallpa, and later by another brother Manco Inca.


It was after the death of Pizarro, Inés Yupanqui, the favorite sister of Atahualpa, who had been given to Pizarro in marriage by her brother, married a Spanish cavalier named Ampuero and left for Spain. They took her daughter by Pizarro with them, and she was later legitimized by imperial decree. Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui married her uncle Hernándo Pizarro in Spain, on 10 October 1537—they had a son, Francisco Pizarro y Pizarro. The Pizarro line survived Hernando's death, although it is extinct in the male line. Pizarro's third son, by a relative of Atahualpa renamed Angelina, who was never legitimized, died shortly after reaching Spain. Another relative, Catalina Capa-Yupanqui, who died in 1580, married a Portuguese nobleman named António Ramos, son of António Colaço. Their daughter was Francisca de Lima who married Álvaro de Abreu de Lima, who was also a Portuguese nobleman.


The burial site of Atahualpa is currently unknown but historian Tamara Estupiñán argues it lies somewhere in modern-day Ecuador. She argues he was buried in Ecuador for safekeeping. The location is named Malqui-Machay, which in Quechua translates to "mummy". Stone walls and trapezoidal underground water canals were found in this location. However, more serious archaeological excavation needs to be done to confirm Estupiñán's beliefs.

Atahualpa Inca's conflict with Pizarro was dramatized by Peter Shaffer in his play The Royal Hunt of the Sun, which originally was staged by the National Theatre in 1964 at the Chichester Festival then in London at the Old Vic. The role of Atahualpa was played by Robert Stephens and by David Carradine (who received a Tony Award nomination) in the 1965 Broadway production. Christopher Plummer was Atahualpa in the 1969 movie version of the play.


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