atahualpa.jpg
Atahualpa the 13th emperor of the Inca
Atahualpa




Atahualpa ruled Inca Empire from 1532 to July 26, 1533. Although Atahualpa only reigned for a year, he is the most well known of all the Inca emperors, because of the civil war between him and his brother Huascar, and the fact that he was the last reigning emperor before the Inca civilization fell to the Spanish. He also was a favorite son of Huayna Capac, the emperor of the Inca Empire.
Huayna Capac was the 11th emperor of the Inca. He was a great warrior and an Emperor. But just before he died he made a mistake. He split his empire between his two sons, Atahualpa and Huascar. Atahualpa received the kingdom of Quito while his half brother, the legitimate heir, Huascar, inherited the rest of the Inca Empire. Atahualpa was not pure royal blood. His mom Tocto Coca was not the princess of the Inca Empire. She was the princess of Quito, so he had to show respect to Huascar who was pure royal blood. Atahualpa was very upset about that, so he formed a secret army and started a civil war.
As Atahualpa started the civil war, Huascar sent General Atoc to persuade Atahualpa to stop the rebellion, but he refused. The first battle was at the Chillopampa. Atahualpa was captured after the battle but he escaped and gathered another army. At the battle of Chimborazo he defeated Huascar’s army. He took general Atoc as a prisoner and according to one source he made a cup out of Atoc’s skull and used the bottom skin of his foot to make drums. The last battle was at Quipaipan. This is where Huascar was captured and taken as a prisoner. Atahualpa killed Huascar’s family and supporters.
After Atahualpa took control of the Empire, in 1531, Spanish landed on the Northern Coast of Ecuador led by Francisco Pizarro and 180 men. Atahualpa didn’t think of Spanish as a threat, so he invited the Spanish to meet him. On November 16th 1532, Pizarro met Atahualpa at Cajamarca. After the meeting, the Spanish invited Inca for a meal and Atahualpa accepted. The Spanish secretly prepared an ambush to trap the Inca. When Atahualpa arrived unarmed, Pizarro first sent Vincente de Valverde, the priest with the interpreter, and he asked Atahualpa to convert to Christianity and accept the Spanish King as their leader. Atahualpa refused. After that Pizarro sent his army and captured him.
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Athualpa begging for his life

After Pizarro took Atahualpa as a prisoner he staged a mock trial (imitation trial) and charged Atahualpa with 12 different crimes. The most important of this were rebelling against the Spanish, practicing idolatry, and murdering Huascar, his own brother. Atahualpa’s was to be burnt to death as a punishment. However Inca believed that the soul will not reach the afterlife if the body was burned. So Atahualpa paid a ransom to the Spanish. He filled a whole room with gold and silver, and he also converted to Christianity. Pizarro accepted the ransom. Atahualpa was strangled rather than being burned. Atahualpa died on the 29th of August, 1533.






Sources




Pictures.
"Cortes and the Aztecs." __howstuffworks__. 22 Feb. 2009 <http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/
     conquistador-incan-empire-3.jpg>.
"Inca." __Heavengames__. 19 Feb. 2009 <http://ron.heavengames.com/cpix/gameinfo/nations/inca/
     atahualpa.jpg>.