The Inca Empire known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Its political and administrative structure is considered by most scholars to have been the most developed in the Americas before Columbus' arrival; the administrative and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century, its last stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572. From 1438 to 1533, the Incas incorporated a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean Mountains, using conquest and peaceful assimilation, among other methods. At its largest, the empire joined Peru, southwest Ecuador and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, northern Chile and a small part of southwest Colombia into a state comparable to the historical empires of Eurasia, its official language was Quechua. Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred Huacas, but the Inca leadership encouraged the sun worship of Inti – their sun god – and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama.
The Incas considered their king, the Sapa Inca, to be the "son of the sun."The Inca Empire was unique in that it lacked many features associated with civilization in the Old World. In the words of one scholar, The Incas lacked the use of wheeled vehicles, they lacked animals to ride and draft animals that could pull wagons and plows... lacked the knowledge of iron and steel... Above all, they lacked a system of writing... Despite these supposed handicaps, the Incas were still able to construct one of the greatest imperial states in human history. Notable features of the Inca Empire include its monumental architecture stonework, extensive road network reaching all corners of the empire, finely-woven textiles, use of knotted strings for record keeping and communication, agricultural innovations in a difficult environment, the organization and management fostered or imposed on its people and their labor; the Incan economy has been described in contradictory ways by scholars:... feudal, socialist The Inca empire functioned without money and without markets.
Instead, exchange of goods and services was based on reciprocity between individuals and among individuals and Inca rulers. "Taxes" consisted of a labour obligation of a person to the Empire. The Inca rulers reciprocated by granting access to land and goods and providing food and drink in celebratory feasts for their subjects; the Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, "the four suyu". In Quechua, tawa is four and -ntin is a suffix naming a group, so that a tawantin is a quartet, a group of four things taken together, in this case representing the four suyu whose corners met at the capital; the four suyu were: Chinchaysuyu, Antisuyu and Kuntisuyu. The name Tawantinsuyu was, therefore, a descriptive term indicating a union of provinces; the Spanish transliterated the name as Tahuatinsuyu. The term Inka means "ruler" or "lord" in Quechua and was used to refer to the ruling class or the ruling family; the Incas were a small percentage of the total population of the empire numbering only 15,000 to 40,000, but ruling a population of around 10 million people.
The Spanish adopted the term as an ethnic term referring to all subjects of the empire rather than the ruling class. As such, the name Imperio inca referred to the nation that they encountered and subsequently conquered; the Inca Empire was the last chapter of thousands of years of Andean civilizations. The Andean civilization was one of five civilizations in the world deemed by scholars to be "pristine", indigenous and not derivative from other civilizations; the Inca Empire was preceded by two large-scale empires in the Andes: the Tiwanaku, based around Lake Titicaca and the Wari or Huari centered near the city of Ayacucho. The Wari occupied the Cuzco area for about 400 years. Thus, many of the characteristics of the Inca Empire derived from earlier multi-ethnic and expansive Andean cultures. Carl Troll has argued that the development of the Inca state in the central Andes was aided by conditions that allows for the elaboration of the staple food chuño. Chuño, which can be stored for long periods, is made of potato dried at the freezing temperatures that are common at nighttime in the southern Peruvian highlands.
Such link between the Inca state and chuño may be questioned as potatoes and other crops such as maize can be dried with only sunlight. Troll did argue that llamas, the Inca's pack animal, can be found in its largest numbers in this same region, it is worth considering the maximum extent of the Inca Empire coincided with the greatest distribution of llamas and alpacas in Pre-Hispanic America. The link between the Andean biomes of puna and páramo and the Inca state is a matter of research; as a third point Troll pointed out irrigation technology as advantageous to the Inca state-building. While Troll theorized environmental influences on the Inca Empire he opposed environmental determinism arguing that culture lay at the core of the Inca civilization; the Inca people were a pastoral tribe in the Cusco area around the 12th century. Incan oral history tells an origin story of three caves; the center cave at Tampu T'uqu was named Qhapaq T'uqu. The other
Battle of Ollantaytambo
The Battle of Ollantaytambo took place in January 1537, between the forces of Inca emperor Manco Inca and a Spanish expedition led by Hernando Pizarro during the Spanish conquest of Peru. A former ally of the Spaniards, Manco Inca rebelled in May 1536, besieged a Spanish garrison in the city of Cusco. To end the stand-off, the besieged mounted a raid against the emperor's headquarters in the town of Ollantaytambo; the expedition, commanded by Hernando Pizarro, included 100 Spaniards and some 30,000 Indian auxiliaries against an Inca army more than 30,000 strong. There is some controversy over the actual location of the battle. In any case, the Inca army managed to hold the Spanish forces from a set of high terraces and flood their position to hinder their cavalry. Pressed and unable to advance, the Spaniards withdrew by night to Cusco. Despite this victory, the arrival of Spanish reinforcements to Cusco forced Manco Inca to abandon Ollantaytambo and seek refuge in the forested region of Vilcabamba, where he established the small independent Neo-Inca State which survived until 1572.
In 1531, a group of Spaniards led by Francisco Pizarro landed on the shores of the Inca Empire, thus starting the Spanish conquest of Peru. At that time the empire was emerging from a civil war in which Atahualpa had defeated his brother Huascar to claim the title of Sapa Inca. Atahualpa underestimated the strength of the small force of Spaniards and was captured during an ambush at Cajamarca in November 1532. Pizarro ordered the execution of the emperor in July 1533, occupied the Inca capital of Cusco four months later. To replace Atahualpa, Pizarro installed his brother Túpac Huallpa as a puppet ruler, but he died shortly afterwards. Another brother, Manco Inca, was crowned in his place. During this stage, Atahualpa's generals were the only opposition to the Spanish advance as a sizable part of the empire's population had fought on Huascar's side during the civil war and joined Pizarro against their enemies. For a while, Manco Inca and the conquistadors maintained cordial relations, together they defeated Atahualpa's generals and reestablished Inca rule over most of the empire.
However, Manco came to realize that real authority rested in Spanish hands when his house was looted with impunity by a Spaniard mob in 1535. Following this episode, the Inca emperor was subject to constant harassment as the Spaniards demanded gold, took away his wives, imprisoned him. In response, he fled his capital to start an uprising. In May 1536, an Inca army besieged Cusco, garrisoned by a group of Spaniards and native allies; the conquistadors were hard pressed but they managed to resist and counterattack, storming the main Inca stronghold at Sacsayhuaman. Meanwhile, Manco's generals occupied the central highlands of Peru and annihilated several expeditions sent to reinforce Cusco but failed in their attempt to take the founded Spanish capital of Lima; as a result of these events, neither side was able to break the deadlock at Cusco for several months, so the Spaniard garrison decided to make a direct attack on Manco's headquarters at the town of Ollantaytambo, 70 kilometers northwest of the city.
Primary sources about the battle of Ollantaytambo were written by Spaniards. Pedro Pizarro, a cousin of Francisco Pizarro, was part of the expedition against Manco Inca's headquarters. Years he wrote down his recollections of these and other events in a chronicle called Relación del descubrimiento y conquista de los reinos del Perú, completed in 1571; the anonymous Relación del sitio del Cuzco y principio de las guerras civiles del Perú hasta la muerte de Diego de Almagro starts in January 1536 when Hernando Pizarro arrived in Cusco, ends with the execution of Diego de Almagro in July 1538. This chronicle, which includes an account of Manco Inca's rebellion and the attack on Ollantaytambo, was written in 1539 by Diego de Silva, a Spanish soldier, in Lima during the uprising. An account of the battle was included in the Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en las islas y tierra firme del Mar Oceano written by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas between 1610 and 1615. Herrera was the Cronista Mayor de las Indias of the Spanish Crown and despite writing in Madrid, had access to many documents and sources.
On the Inca side, the only written account of the battle is included in the Relación de la conquista del Perú y hechos del Inca Manco II written in 1570 by Titu Cusi Yupanqui, son of Manco Inca. Manco Inca had gathered more than 30,000 troops at Ollantaytambo, among them, a large number of recruits from tribes of the Amazon Rainforest. Manco Inca's forces were a militia army made up of conscripted farmers with only rudimentary weapons training; this was the regular fare in the Inca Empire, where military service was a duty for all married men between 25 and 50 years old. In combat, these soldiers were organized according to their ethnic group and led into battle by their native leaders, called kurakas, they used melee weapons such as maces and spears as well as ranged weapons such as arrows and slings. Against the conquistadors, wooden clubs and maces with stone or bronze heads were able to penetrate Spanish armor. So, Inca soldiers were no match for the Spanish cavalry in open terrain so they re
Conquistador is a term used to refer to the knights and explorers of the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to the Americas, Oceania and Asia, conquering territory and opening trade routes, they colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 16th, 17th, 18th centuries. After Columbus's discovery of the West Indies in 1492, the Spanish conquistadors, who were poor nobles from the impoverished west and south of Spain, began building up an American empire in the Caribbean, using islands such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola as bases. Florida fell to Juan Ponce de León after 1513. From 1519 to 1521, Hernán Cortés waged a campaign against the Aztec Empire, ruled by Moctezuma II. From the territories of the Aztec Empire conquistadors expanded Spanish rule to northern Central America and parts of what is now southern and western United States. Other conquistadors took over the Inca Empire after crossing the Isthmus of Panama and sailing the Pacific to northern Peru.
As Francisco Pizarro subdued the empire in a manner similar to Cortés other conquistadores used Peru as base for conquering much of Ecuador and Chile. In Colombia and Argentina conquistadors from Peru linked up with other conquistadors arriving more directly from the Caribbean and Río de la Plata-Paraguay respectively. Conquistadors founded numerous cities many of them on locations with pre-existing pre-colonial settlements including the capitals of most Latin American countries. Besides conquests, Spanish conquistadors made significant explorations into the Amazon Jungle, the interior of North America, the Pacific Ocean. Portugal established a route to China in the early 16th century, sending ships via the southern coast of Africa and founding numerous coastal enclaves along the route. Following the discovery in 1492 by Spaniards of the New World with Christopher Columbus's first voyage there and the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano in 1521, expeditions led by conquistadors in the 16th century established trading routes linking Europe with all these areas.
Human infections gained worldwide transmission vectors for the first time: from Africa and Eurasia to the Americas and vice versa. The spread of old-world diseases, including smallpox and typhus, led to the deaths of many indigenous inhabitants of the New World. In the 16th century 240,000 Europeans entered American ports. By the late 16th century gold and silver imports from America provided one-fifth of Spain's total budget; the conquistadors were professional warriors, using European tactics and cavalry. Their units would specialize in forms of combat that required long periods of training that were too costly for informal groups, their armies were composed of Iberian and other European soldiers. Native allied troops were infantry equipped with armament and armour that varied geographically; some groups consisted of young men without military experience, Catholic clergy which helped with administrative duties, soldiers with military training. These native forces included African slaves and Native Americans.
They not only fought in the battlefield but served as interpreters, servants, teachers and scribes. India Catalina and Malintzin were Native American women slaves. Castilian law prohibited non-Catholics from settling in the New World. However, not all conquistadors were Castilian. Many foreigners Hispanicised their names and/or converted to Catholicism to serve the Castilian Crown. For example, Ioánnis Fokás was a Castilian of Greek origin who discovered the strait that bears his name between Vancouver Island and Washington State in 1592. German-born Nikolaus Federmann, Hispanicised as Nicolás de Federmán, was a conquistador in Venezuela and Colombia; the Venetian Sebastiano Caboto was Sebastián Caboto, Georg von Speyer Hispanicised as Jorge de la Espira, Eusebio Francesco Chini Hispanicised as Eusebio Kino, Wenceslaus Linck was Wenceslao Linck, Ferdinand Konščak, was Fernando Consag, Amerigo Vespucci was Américo Vespucio, the Portuguese Aleixo Garcia was known as Alejo García in the Castilian army.
The origin of many people in mixed expeditions was not always distinguished. Various occupations, such as sailors, fishermen and nobles employed different languages, so that crew and settlers of Iberian empires recorded as Galicians from Spain were using Portuguese, Catalan and Languedoc languages, which were wrongly identified. Castilian law banned Spanish women from travelling to America unless they were married and accompanied by a husband. Women who travelled thus include María de Escobar, María Estrada, Marina Vélez de Ortega, Marina de la Caballería, Francisca de Valenzuela, Catalina de Salazar; some conquistadors had illegitimate children. European young men enlisted in the army. Catholic priests instructed the soldiers in mathematics, theology, Latin and history, wrote letters and official documents for them. King's army officers taught military arts. An uneducated young recruit could become a military leader, elected by their fellow professional soldiers based on merit. Others were born into hidalgo families, as such they were members of the Spanish nobility with some studies but without economic resources.
Some rich nobility families' members became soldiers or missionaries, but not the fi
Diego de Almagro
Diego de Almagro known as El Adelantado and El Viejo, was a Spanish conquistador known for his exploits in western South America. He participated with Francisco Pizarro in the Spanish conquest of Peru. From Peru Almagro led an expedition that made him the second European to set foot in central Chile. Back in Peru a longstanding conflict with Pizarro over the control of the former Inca capital of Cuzco erupted into a civil war between the two bands of conquistadores. In the battle of Las Salinas in 1538 Almagro was defeated by the Pizarro brothers and months he was executed; the origins of Diego de Almagro remain obscure. He was born in 1475 in the village of Almagro, 1 in Ciudad Real, where he took the surname for being the illegitimate son of Juan de Montenegro and Elvira Gutiérrez. In order to save the honor of the mother, her relatives took her infant and moved him to the nearby town of Bolaños de Calatrava, being raised in this town and in Aldea del Rey, run by Sancha López del Peral; when he turned 4 he returned to Almagro, being under the tutelage of an uncle named Hernán Gutiérrez until he was 15 years old, when due to his uncle's hardness he ran away from home.
He went to the home of his mother, now living with her new husband, to tell her what had happened and that she was going to travel the world, asking for some bread to help her live in her misery. His mother, gave him a piece of bread and some coins and said: "Take, do not give me more pressure, go, God help in your adventure." He went to Seville and after stealing to survive the boy becomes a "criado" or servant and raised by Don Luis de Polanco, one of the four mayors of the Catholic Kings and his counselor, and, mayor of that city. While performing his duties as a servant, Almagro stabbed another servant for certain differences, leaving him with injuries so serious that they motivated that a trial against him be promoted. Being wanted for justice, Don Luis de Polanco, making use of his influence, got Don Pedro Arias de Avila to allow him to embark in one of the ships that would go to the New World from the port of Sanlucar de Barrameda; the Casa de Contratacion demanded that the men who crossed the Indies carry their own weapons and farming tools, which Don Polanco provided to his servant.
Diego de Almagro arrived in the New World on June 30, 1514, under the expedition that Ferdinand II of Aragon had sent under the guidance of Pedrarias Dávila. The expedition had landed in the city of Santa María la Antigua del Darién, where many other future conquistadors had arrived, among them Francisco Pizarro. There are not many details of Almagro's activities during this period, but it is known that he accompanied various sailors who departed from the city of Darien between 1514 and 1515. De Almagro returned and settled in Darien, where he was granted an encomienda, he made a living from agriculture. De Almagro undertook his first conquest on November 1515, commanding 260 men as he founded Villa del Acla, named after the Indian place. Due to illness he had to leave behind this mission to the licenciate Gaspar de Espinosa. Espinosa decided to undertake a new expedition, which departed in December 1515 with 200 men, including De Almagro and Francisco Pizarro, who for the first time was designated as a captain.
During this expedition, which lasted 14 months, De Almagro and Hernando de Luque became close friends. During this time De Almagro established a friendship with Vasco Núñez de Balboa, in charge of Acla. De Almagro wanted to have a ship built with the remaining materials of the Espinosa expedition, to be finished on the coast of the "Great South Sea", as the Pacific Ocean was first called by the Spanish. Current historians do not believe that De Almagro was expected to participate in Balboa's expedition and returned to Darien. De Almagro took part in the various expeditions that took place in the Gulf of Panama, taking part again in Espinosa's parties. Espinosa was supported by using Balboa's ships. De Almagro was recorded as a witness on the lists of natives. De Almagro remained as an early settler in the newly founded city of Panama. For four years he stayed there, working at those of Pizarro, he took an indigenous woman, as a common-law wife. In this period, his first son, el "Mozo", was born to them.
By 1524 an association of conquest regarding South America was formalized among Almagro and Luque. By the beginning of August 1524, they had received the requisite permission to discover and conquer lands further south. De Almagro would remain in Panama to recruit men and gather supplies for the expeditions led by Pizarro. After several expeditions to South America, Pizarro secured his stay in Peru with the Capitulation on 6 July 1529. During Pizarro's continued exploration of Incan territory, he and his men succeeded in defeating the Inca army under Emperor Atahualpa during the Battle of Cajamarca in 1532. De Almagro joined Pizarro soon afterward, bringing arms. After Peru fell to the Spanish, both Pizarro and De Almagro worked together in the founding of new cities to consolidate their dominions; as such, Pizarro dispatched De Almagro to pursue Quizquiz, fleeing to the Inca Empire's northern city of Quito. Their fellow conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar, who had gone forth without Pizarro's approval, had reached Quito and witnessed the destruction of the city by Inca general Rumiñawi.
The Inca warrior had ordered the city to be burned and its gold to be buried at an undisclosed location where the Spanish could never find it. The arrival of Pedro de Alvarad
Juan Pizarro (conquistador)
Juan Pizarro y Alonso was a Spanish conquistador who accompanied his brothers Francisco and Hernando Pizarro for the conquest of Peru in 1532. Juan Pizarro was the illegitimate son of Captain Gonzalo Pizarro y Rodríguez de Aguilar and María Alonso, from Trujillo, his father was a colonel of infantry who had served with distinction in the Italian campaigns under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, in Navarre. Juan Pizarro was the half brother of Francisco and Hernando Pizarro, full brother to Gonzalo Pizarro. Juan and his brothers, led by Francisco and friend Diego de Almagro, conquered the mighty Inca Empire in 1533. Juan, Gonzalo Pizarro, were appointed regidores on 24 March 1534, garrisoned the city of Cuzco with ninety men, while Francisco Pizarro departed for Jauja. In early Feb. 1536, two hundred thousand Incan warriors laid siege to the two hundred Spaniards in Cuzco. Hernando and Juan led the defense with counterattacks on the fortress overlooking the city. Juan led the attack to recover the citadel.
Unable to wear a helmet, Juan died a fortnight later. Wilson, J. G.. "Pizarro, Francisco". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton
Francisco Pizarro González was a Spanish conquistador who led the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. He captured and killed Incan emperor Atahualpa, claimed the lands for Spain. Francisco Pizarro was born in Cáceres, Spain in modern-day Extremadura, Spain, he was the illegitimate son of infantry colonel Gonzalo Pizarro and Francisca González, a woman of poor means. His date of birth is uncertain, but it is believed to be sometime in the 1470s 1474. Little attention was paid to his education and he grew up illiterate, his father was a colonel of infantry who served in Navarre and in the Italian campaigns under Córdoba. His mother married late in life and had a son Francisco Martín de Alcántara, at the conquest of Peru with his half-brother from its inception. Through his father, Francisco was a second cousin, once removed, of Hernán Cortés. On 10 November 1509, Pizarro sailed from Spain to the New World with Alonso de Ojeda on an expedition to Gulf of Urabá in Tierra Firme. Pizarro became a participant in Ojeda's failed colony, commanding the remnants until he abandoned it with the survivors.
He sailed to Cartagena and joined the fleet of Martín Fernández de Enciso in 1513. On 10 November 1509, Pizarro sailed from Spain to the New World with Alonso de Ojeda on an expedition to Urabá, he sailed to Cartagena and joined the fleet of Martín Fernández de Enciso and, in 1513, accompanied Balboa in his crossing of the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific.. The following year, Pedro Arias Dávila became the newly appointed governor of Castilla de Oro and succeeded Balboa. During the next five years, Pizarro became a close associate of Dávila and the governor assigned him a repartimiento of natives and cattle; when Dávila decided to get rid of Balboa out of distrust, he instructed Pizarro to arrest him and bring him to stand trial. Balboa was beheaded in January 1519. For his loyalty to Dávila, Pizarro was rewarded with the positions of mayor and magistrate of the recently founded Panama City from 1519 to 1523. Reports of Peru's riches and Cortés's success in Mexico tantalized Pizarro, he undertook two expeditions to conquer the Incan Empire in 1524 and in 1526.
Both failed as a result of bad weather and lack of provisions. Pedro de los Ríos, the Governor of Panama, made an effort to recall Pizarro, but the conquistador resisted and remained in the south. In April 1528, he found the natives rich with precious metals; this discovery gave Pizarro the motivation to plan a third expedition to conquer the area. He returned to Panama to make arrangements, but the Governor refused to grant permission for the project. Pizarro returned to Spain to appeal directly to King Charles I, his plea was successful and he received not only a license for the proposed expedition, but authority over any lands conquered during the venture. He was joined by family and friends and the expedition left Panama in 1530; when hostile natives along the coast threatened the expedition, Pizarro moved inland and founded the first Spanish settlement in Peru, San Miguel de Piura. Atahualpa refused to tolerate a Spanish presence in his lands, but was captured by Pizarro during the Battle of Cajamarca on 16 November 1532.
A ransom for the emperor's release was demanded and Atahualpa filled a room with gold, but Pizarro charged him with various crimes and executed him on 26 July 1533, overriding his associates who thought he was overstepping his authority. The same year, Pizarro completed his conquest of Peru. In January 1535, Pizarro founded the city of a project he considered his greatest achievement. Quarrels between Pizarro and his longtime comrade-in-arms Diego Almagro culminated in the Battle of Las Salinas. Almagro was captured and executed and, on 26 June 1541, his embittered son, Diego de Almagro "el mozo", assassinated Pizarro in Lima; the conquistador of Peru was laid to rest in the Lima Cathedral. The first attempt to explore western South America was undertaken in 1522 by Pascual de Andagoya; the native South Americans he encountered told him about a gold-rich territory called Virú, on a river called Pirú. These reports were relayed by the Spanish-Inca mestizo writer Garcilaso de la Vega in Comentarios Reales de los Incas.
Andagoya established contact with several Native American curacas, some of whom he claimed were sorcerers and witches. Having reached as far as the San Juan River Andagoya fell ill and returned to Panama, he spread the news and stories about "Pirú" – a great land to the south rich with gold. These revelations, along with the accounts for Cortés' success in Mexico, caught the attention of Pizarro, prompting a series of expeditions to the south. In 1524, while still in Panama, Pizarro formed a partnership with a priest, Hernando de Luque and a soldier, Diego de Almagro, to explore and conquer the South. Pizarro and Luque explicitly renewed their compact, agreeing to conquer and divide among themselves the empire they hoped to vanquish. While their accord was oral, they dubbed their enterprise the Empresa del Levante and determined that Pizarro would command the expedition, Almagro would provide military and food supplies and Luque would be in charge of finances and additional provisions. In November 1524, the first of three expeditions left Panama for the conquest of Peru with about 80 men and 40 horses.
Juan de Salcedo was the standard bearer, Nicolás de Ribera was the treasurer and Juan Carvallo was the inspector. Diego de Almagro was left behind because he was to recruit men
Siege of Cusco
The Siege of Cusco was the siege of the city of Cusco by the army of Sapa Inca Manco Inca Yupanqui against a garrison of Spanish conquistadors and Indian auxiliaries led by Hernando Pizarro in the hope to restore the Inca Empire. The siege lasted ten months and was unsuccessful. A Spanish expedition led by Francisco Pizarro had captured the Inca capital of Cusco on November 15, 1533 after defeating an Inca army headed by general Quisquis; the following month, the conquistadors supported the coronation of Manco Inca as Inca emperor to facilitate their control over the empire. Real power rested with the Spaniards who humiliated Manco Inca and imprisoned him after an attempted escape in November 1535. After his release in January 1536, Manco Inca left Cusco on April 18 promising the Spanish commander, Hernando Pizarro, to bring back a large gold statue when in fact he was preparing a rebellion. Having realized their mistake, Hernando Pizarro led an expedition against Manco Inca's troops, which had gathered in the nearby Yucay Valley.
The Inca emperor did not attack Cusco at once, instead he waited to assemble his full army estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000 men strong around the city. The siege started on May 1536 with a full-scale attack towards the main square of the city; the conquistadors fended off Inca attacks from these constructions and mounted frequent raids against their besiegers. To relieve their position, the Spaniards decided to assault the walled complex of Saksaywaman which served as the main base of operations for the Inca army. Fifty horsemen, led by Juan Pizarro, accompanied by Indian auxiliaries broke through the Inca army files, turned around and attacked Sacsayhuamán from outside the city. During the frontal assault against the building's large walls, a stone struck Juan Pizarro in the head; the following day, the Spaniards resisted several Inca counterattacks and mounted a renewed assault at night using scaling ladders. In this way, they captured the terrace walls of Sacsayhuamán while the Inca army held on to the two tall towers of the complex.
The Inca commanders, Paucar Huaman and the high priest or Willaq Umu, decided to leave the confinement of the towers and fight their way towards Calca, the site of Manco Inca's headquarters, to bring back reinforcements. The attempt was successful and the towers were left under the command of Titu Cusi Gualpa, an Inca nobleman. Despite Titu's fierce resistance, the Spaniards and their auxiliaries stormed the towers so that when the Inca commanders returned, Saksaywaman was under their control; the capture of Saksaywaman eased the pressure on the Spanish garrison at Cusco. During this period, the Spaniards implemented terror tactics to demoralize the Inca army, which included an order to kill any woman caught and cutting off the hands of captured men. Encouraged by their successes, Hernando Pizarro led an attack against Manco Inca's headquarters which were now at Ollantaytambo, further away from Cusco. Manco Inca defeated the Spanish expedition at the Battle of Ollantaytambo by taking advantage of the fortifications and the difficult terrain around the site.
The Spanish garrison had more success with several raids to gather food from regions near Cusco. Meanwhile, Manco Inca tried to capitalize on his success at Ollantaytambo with a renewed assault on Cusco, but a Spanish cavalry party had a chance encounter with the Inca army thus ruining any hope of surprise; that same night the Spaniards mounted a full-scale attack which achieved complete surprise and inflicted severe casualties on Manco Inca's troops. After 10 months of vicious fighting in Cusco, with low morale playing a factor, Manco Inca decided to raise the siege at Cusco and withdraw to Ollantaytambo and Vilcabamba, where he established the small Neo-Inca State, it is suggested by some that by this action he threw away his only real chance to rebuff the Spaniards from the lands of the Inca Empire, but it was the only realistic choice he had considering the arrival of Spanish reinforcements from Chile led by Diego de Almagro. Upon facing victory and the availability of expanding his own reign into Peru, Almagro seized the city once having achieved victory for Spain and had Hernando and Gonzalo imprisoned.
Gonzalo escaped, to face Almagro in a personal triumph at the Battle of Las Salinas. Hemming, John; the conquest of the Incas. London: Macmillan, 1993. ISBN 0-333-10683-0