The History of the Incas may be the best description of Inca life and mythology to survive Spanish colonization of Peru. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, a well-educated sea captain and cosmographer of the viceroyalty, wrote the document in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire, just forty years after the arrival of the first Spaniards. The royal sponsorship of the work guaranteed Sarmiento direct access to the highest Spanish officials in Cuzco. It allowed him to summon influential Incas, especially those who had witnessed the fall of the Empire. Sarmiento also traveled widely and interviewed numerous local lords (curacas), as well as surviving members of the royal Inca families. Once completed, in an unprecedented effort to establish the authenticity of the work, Sarmiento's manuscript was read, chapter by chapter, to forty-two indigenous authorities for commentary and correction.
The scholars behind this new edition (the first to be published in English since 1907) went to similarly great lengths in pursuit of accuracy. Translators Brian Bauer and Vania Smith used an early transcript and, in some instances, the original document to create the text. Bauer and Jean-Jacques Decoster's introduction lays bare the biases Sarmiento incorporated into his writing. It also theorizes what sources, in addition to his extensive interviews, Sarmiento relied upon to produce his history. Finally, more than sixty new illustrations enliven this historically invaluable document of life in the ancient Andes.
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This rare manuscript — written by a Spanish military officer and dedicated to King Philip II of Spain in 1572 — is considered one of the primary sources of information on the pre-Conquest history, traditions, and chronology of the Incas. One of the most authentic and reliable records of the period, it was based on carefully verified evidence provided by the Incas themselves.
Rich in details, this authentic study not only contains full accounts of ceremonies, festivals, and religious beliefs, it also includes detailed narratives of the origin of the Incas, ancient systems of land division, early settlements, biographical sketches of major rulers, the Incas’ law and administration, the coming of the Spanish conquistadores, the execution of Atahualpa — the last Inca emperor — and much more. Sarmiento’s fascinating history is followed by Captain Baltasar de Ocampo’s sensitively written account of events leading up to the 1571 execution of the ill-fated Tupac Amaru, a young heir of the Inca rulers, and Ocampo’s description of events in the province of Vilcapampa during the first decades of Spanish settlement.
Accompanied by a lexicon of Quechua words, a list of place names, and an extensive bibliography that includes important contemporary documents, this affordable reprint of History of the Incas will be of great interest to students of the ancient cultures of South America, and of the Incas in particular.
BRIAN S. BAUER is Professor of Anthropology at University of Illinois-Chicago.
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Descripción University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, 2007. Hard Cover. Estado de conservación: Very Good. No Jacket. First Hardback Edition. 235 x 160mm. pp. 266. English text. A modern hardback printing of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa's volume on the history of the Incas. Includes scholarly examinations of his writings. Black and white illustrations. Bound in original dark gray cloth. Boards and pages clean and tight showing just a little very light wear. Binding strong. No ownership inscription or underlining. Nº de ref. de la librería 028637
Descripción Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Good. More than minor wear but a good copy. Nº de ref. de la librería HBS-00230030-B