Pachacútec had his first son with his sister and appointed him heir to the throne. Later he had a son more, Túpac Inca Yupanqui, and then Pachacútec changed his mind and appointed him heir to the throne. In 1463, Túpac Inca Yupanqui was hailed as Pachacútecs comrade- in-arms – ie. his son waged war while Pachacútec was awaiting the victory messages.
In his first 25 years of government, Pachacútec had conquered the area between Titicaca and Junin Lake – the bee line is about 600 miles – and had established the first part of the Inca Empire with other tribes. In the following eight years, 1463-1471, Túpac Inca Yupanqui doubled as Pachacútecs general, the territory by conquering the land to the north through Quito, the current capital of Ecuador. This area measures about 1,000 miles in bee line.
When Pachacútec died in 1471, Túpac Inca Yupanqui was crowned as Sapa Inca, as the 10th, and until 1493 he expanded the empire into the long coastline to the north.
In 1493, Túpac Inca Yupanqui lay ill in Chinchero – the city where the Incas said the rainbow was born – a town he had founded as a place for his recreation. And there he died.
Poma claimed that this Sapa Inca was his maternal grandfather and described him as a handsome man who enjoyed peace and parties, that he loved to honor ladies of the lords and that he was a great warrior. The grandfather had every year spoken with the idols Huacas, and with the help of the devil, he knew all of Castile and Rome and Jerusalem and Turkey.
As the only of the early historians, Sarmiento wrote that Túpac Inca Yupanqui had built rafts for 20,000 men, that he had found the islands of Avachumbi and Ninachumbi and had returned with black people, gold, a bronze chair, and hides and bones of a horse which was preserved in Cusco until the Spaniards arrived.
And Sarmiento described him as frank, merciful in peace, cruel in war and punishments, a friend to the poor, a great man of indefatigable industry and a notable builder. [He was the greatest tyrant of all the Incas.]
The edged brackets are due to Markhams edition.
Sarmientos characteristic of Túpac Inca Yupanqui as the greatest tyrant of all the Incas must be due to Incas expansion of the empire, the consequence of his wars. The characteristic must have been the rage of victims descendants; Sarmiento must have quoted it with delight – and subsequently Markham isolated it in edged brackets.
Sarmiento also wrote that the death of Túpac Inca Yupanqui was to be kept secret until the powerful big ears were gathered in Cusco.
An upcoming Sapa Inca had to be appointed before the death message was published – to reduce the risk of coups and revolts in a power void.
When a Sapa Inca died without having appointed his successor, the court kept the death secret for at least a month, for in this moon period give shamans time to designate candidates who the powerful could choose among, whereupon the chosen received the royal red woolen fringes as sign that he now was the Son of the Sun.
However, it was told that one of Túpac Inca Yupanquis concubines had difficulties in keeping the death of the Inca secret:
KNOW THAT TÚPAC INCA YUPANQUI IS DEAD and that, when in health, he had named Cápac Huari for his successor, but at the end, being on the point of death, he said that Titu Cusi Hualpa, son of Mama Ocllo, should succeed him. You ought not to consent to this. Rather call together all your relations and friends, and raise Cápac Huari, your elder brother, son of Chuqui Ocllo, to be Inca.
Of course, this talkative concubine is supported by Cápac Huaris kin. The big ears in Cusco have no idea what to expect other than that Huayna Cápac, the Incas son with his sister-wife, is to be crowned. There can be no doubt!
But then the Incas relatives hear the gossip about the concubine and Cápac Huaris mother is being executed, accused of the murder of Túpac Inca Yupanqui. Cápac Huari is brought to Chinchero, the fathers favorite city, and gets a lifelong ban on returning to Cusco.
The story is also told in another version. Armed men are marching against the supporters of Cápac Huari, killing many including the perhaps future Sapa Inca Cápac Huari.
The various explanations may be due to conflicts between fractions.
Unlike Sarmientos description of Túpac Inca Yupanqui as the greatest tyrant of all the Incas, Garcilaso recalled all the good things about him – even when Sapa Inca waged war:
Soldiers were never allowed to rob or sack provinces or kingdoms that were reduced by force of arms to surrender: their natives who surrendered were quickly appointed to peaceful offices or entrusted with military commands, as if the latter had been long and trusted soldiers of the Inca and the former his most faithful servants.
(pp. 294-297 in volume 2, reproduced without notes and illustrations):
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AZTECS AND INCAS: MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU. Edited, translated, retold and commented by Mikael Witte. Volume 1 + Volume 2
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