History Francisco Pizarro Meets the Incas Part 1 Traditional View

About the traditional view of explorer Francisco Pizarro's first encounter with the Incas.


The Coming of Pizarro As Seen by the Incas

The Traditional Version: In order to head off a war between Spain and Portugal over discoveries in the New World, Pope Alexander VI divided the territory with an imaginary "line of demarcation" in 1493. The land to the east of the line--which ran north to south several hundred miles west of the Azores and Cape Verdes--belonged to Portugal, while that to the west was given to Spain. Almost 40 years after this papal decree, soldier of fortune Francisco Pizarro set out for Peru to secure the pagan kingdom of the Incas for Charles V of Spain and the Catholic Church.

Accompanied by 168 soldiers, Pizarro disembarked confidently. As the conquistadores, wearing shining armor and mounted on horses, rode inland from the sea toward the Inca city of Cajamarca, they were greeted along the way by awestruck natives. In Cajamarca, Pizarro was to meet with Atahualpa, the tyrannical Inca ruler. However, once inside the city, the Spaniards saw that they were surrounded by thousands of Inca warriors, and they prepared to fight the heathen for the glory of God and Spain. Despite their lesser numbers, Pizarro's men had superior arms and easily routed the primitive Inca army. They took Atahualpa prisoner and later executed him because Pizarro feared the possibility of reprisal. Without their leader, the Incas readily accepted Christianity and Spanish rule.

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