THE FALL OF THE INCAS by Shirley -Ed. Glubok


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Like The Fall of the Astecs, this is documentary history indigenously illustrated, and it is probably more valuable for its implication than for its information. The first two sections--the rise and ascendancy of the Inca Empire--and the last--describing aspects of Inca life in some detail--come from the sixteenth century narrative of Garcilaso de la Vega, son of a Spanish conqueror and an Indian princess; the remaining section is the work of Pedro Pizarro, a cousin of the conquistador who was along on the expedition. Of Garcilaso's recital of rulers and their conquests, the reader will remember only Viracocha Inca who warned his father futilely of impending insurrection, quelled it when his father fled and consolidated the Empire; it is he who prophesied its eventual overthrow by powerful strangers. This prophecy, passed down secretly from ruler to ruler, is interesting because, as Garcilaso recounts it, it assumed that the conquerors would be superior not only in arms but also ""in all things,"" including laws. Whether this contributed (as well as civil war) to the Incas' quick overthrow can only be pondered--one of the benefits of first-hand history being that it offers something to think about. The rather primitive drawings, handsomely reproduced, are specifically illustrations of the text. Another useful supplement to conventional accounts.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1967
Publisher: Macmillan