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Atahualpa

Last Inca Emperor Atahualpa

Full Name: or Atawallpa (Quechua)
Profession: Last Inca Emperor

Nationality: Incan

Why Famous: Atahualpa was born son of the Emperor Huayana Capac and although not his legitimate heir was perhaps the favorite. The Emperor's death in about 1527 led to a civil war between Atahualpa and his half brother Huáscar. The war did much to weaken the wealthy, populous Inca state before Atahuapla and his generals prevailed in 1532, capturing Huáscar and the capital of Curzo.

Atahualpa was then unexpectedly captured by Francisco Pizarro and a small group of his men. Atahualpa thought he was attending a feast in his honor but walked straight into a trap and his men were slaughtered by then unknown canons and guns.

Atahualpa offered to fill a room full of gold for his ransom and gold flowed in across the kingdom to be melted down. The conquistadors didn't keep their word and the last Inca Emperor, deemed too dangerous to let live, was executed several months later. His late conversion to Catholicism allowed him to escape being burnt in a pyre, horrific to the Inca who believed their soul could not ascend to the afterlife through flames.

Died: July 26, 1533
Cause of Death: Executed by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Atahualpa chose to be strangled with a garrote.

Events in the Life of Atahualpa

  • 1532-11-16 Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro captures Inca Emperor Atahualpa after a surprise ambush at Cajamarca in the Peruvian Andes
  • 1533-07-26 Francisco Pizarro orders the death of the last Sapa Inca Emperor, Atahualpa
  • 1533-08-29 Atahualpa, last Sapa Inca Emperor is suspected to have been buried in Northern Peru or in Ecuador

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