Narrative of the Incas / Edition 1

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One of the earliest chronicles of the Inca empire was written in the 1550s by Juan de Betanzos. Although scholars have long known of this work, only eighteen chapters were actually available until the 1980s when the remaining sixty-four chapters were discovered in the collection of the Fundación Bartolomé March in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Narrative of the Incas presents the first complete English translation of the original manuscript of this key document. Although written by a Spaniard, it presents an authentic Inca worldview, drawn from the personal experiences and oral traditions told to Betanzos by his Inca wife, Doña Angelina, and other members of her aristocratic family who lived during the reigns of the last Inca rulers, Huayna Capac Huascar and Atahualpa. Betanzos wrote a history of the Inca empire that focuses on the major rulers and the contributions each one made to the growth of the empire and of Inca culture.

Filled with new insights into Inca politics, marriage, laws, the calendar, warfare, and other matters, Narrative of the Incas is essential reading for everyone interested in this ancient civilization.

"A chronicle that has been judged the 'single most authentic document of its kind.' Based on testimonies from descendants of Inca kings, who in the 1540s-50s still remembered the oral history and traditions of their ancestors. Beginning in 1551, Betanzos transcribed their memories and translated them from Quechua by order of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. Pt. I covers Inca history prior to the Spanish arrival and Pt. II deals with the conquest to 1557, mainly from the Inca point of view"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
De Betanzos, an interpreter who married the Inca princess Dona Angelina Yupanqui, was a little-known contemporary recorder of Peru's Incan heritage. His narrative of the Incas begins with Viracocha's peopling of the world and continues to the Spanish conquest. For over 400 years, de Betanzos's work was known only in an 18-chapter fragment, but recently the translators of this volume have discovered the complete manuscript. Their translation and compilation of several old variants provides the most accurate and intelligible version available of de Betanzos's narrative. As a literal translation of a 16th-century manuscript, and even with punctuation inserted to improve its readability, it retains a long-winded quality characteristic of Spanish from that era. This translation is a triumph of historical scholarship and a treasure for scholars, but it isn't likely to hold the interest of the average reader. Recommended for academic libraries only.Ken St. Andre, Phoenix P.L.
A distinguished historian, Greene (humanities, Johns Hopkins U.) is also a unique and articulate witness to the evolution of historical studies from a position of sheer event description to its more contemporary extension into the deeper critical studies of methodology and culture. These collected 23 essays chronicle this growth of historiography through Greene's academic research and observation over a 40 year period, attending to the "new" history and its underlying assumptions of inclusivity, the limitations of the national-state paradigm for the study of American colonial history, and the emerging conception of the Atlantic world which has succeeded in undermining the assumed definitions of power early modern studies. Paper edition (unseen), $28.50. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292755598
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 875,284
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Roland Hamilton is Professor of Spanish at San Jose State University.

Dana Buchanan is a professional translator.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures
Introduction: Juan de Betanzos and Inca Traditions
Note on the Translation
I. Contiti Viracocha, the Creator
II. The Creation of the People and the Departure of Contiti Viracocha
III. Cuzco and the Creation of the Noble Class
IV. Ayar Manco Settles in Cuzco
V. From Manco Inca to Viracocha Inca
VI. Viracocha Surrenders to Uscovilca
VII. Yupanque Decides to Resist
VIII Yupanque Defeats Uscovilca
IX. Yupanque Offers the Victory to His Father
X. Yupanque Divides the Spoils
XI. Yupanque Builds the Temple of the Sun
XII. Yupanque Consolidates the Empire
XIII. Division of Cuzco and the Marriage of the Single Men
XIV. The Creation of the Warrior Class
XV. Yupanque Creates the Calendar and the Feasts
XVI. Yupanque Rebuilds Cuzco
XVII. The Death of Viracocha Inca
XVIII Yupanque's Conquests
XIX. Yupanque Defeats the Soras
XX. Yupanque Conquers Collasuyo
XXI. Yupanque Creates Laws for Cuzco
XXII Yupanque Provisions His Realm
XXIII. Life of the Inca Yupanque
XXIV. Yupanque Sends His Sons to Conquer Chinchasuyo
XXV. Yamque Yupanque Returns from the Wars
XXVI. The Birth of Huayna Capac
XXVII. Topa Inca
XXVIII Topa Inca Conquers Andesuyo
XXIX. Yupanque Divides His Property
XXX. Yupanque Ordains Certain Ceremonies
XXXI. Yupanque Arranges His Funeral
XXXII The Death of Yupanque
XXXIII. Topa Inca Puts Down a Rebellion
XXXIV. Topa Inca Names the Governors of the Provinces
XXXV. Topa Inca Defeats His Enemies and Goes to Chile
XXXVI. Topa Inca Returns to Cuzco; the Death of Yamque Yupanque
XXXVII. Topa Inca Builds the Fortress of Cuzco
XXXVIII Topa Inca Builds Chinchero
XXXIX. The Death of Topa Inca
XL. Huayna Capac Sends Out Inspectors
XLI. Huayna Capac Reorganizes the Empire
XLII. Huayna Capac's Inspection of the Region around Cuzco
XLIII. Huayna Capac Builds Monuments
XLIV. Huayna Capac Learns of His Mother's Death
XLV. The Birth of Atahualpa and Huascar
XLVI. The Birth of Cuxi Yupanque
XLVII. The Birth of Doña Angelina
XLVIII. Huayna Capac Dies in Quito
I. Huascar Is Named Inca
II. Atahualpa Sends Gifts to Huascar
III. Huascar Sends Hango Against Atahualpa
IV. Hango's Defeat and Death
V. Atahualpa Punishes the Cañares
VI. Atahualpa Accepts the Royal Fringe
VII. Atabualpa's Victories over Huascar
VIII. Chalcochima and Quizquiz Achieve Victory
IX. The Inca Atahualpa Leaves Quito
X. Atahualpa Punishes the Yungas
XI. The Defeat of Huascar's Forces
XII. Huascar Raises an Army in Cuzco
XIII. Initial Victory for Huascar
XIV. Huascar's Capture
XV. Chalcochima Defeats Huascar's Army
XVI. Atahualpa Destroys the Guaca at Guamacbuco
XVII. Atahualpa Learns of Pizarro's Arrival
XVIII. Quizquiz and Chalcochima Enter Cuzco
XIX. Cuxi Yupanque Punishes Atahualpa's Enemies in Cuzco
XX. Pizarro Sends a Messenger to Atahualpa
XXI. Pizarro Arrives at Cajamarca
XXII Pizarro Awaits Atahualpa
XXIII. Atahualpa's Capture
XXIV. Huascar's Death
XXV. Pizarro Sends Three Spaniards to Cuzco
XXVI. Atahualpa's Death
XXVII. Pizarro Names Topa Gualpa As Inca
XXVIII. Pizarro Names Manco As Inca
XXIX. Manco Inca and Vilaoma Plot a Rebellion
XXX. Manco Inca Escapes from Hernando Pizarro
XXXI. Manco Inca Lays Siege to Cuzco
XXXII. Manco Inca's Death
XXXIII. Saire Topa Is Named Inca
XXXIV. Juan de Betanzos Meets with Viceroy Hurtado de Mendoza
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