The Inca or Inca Empire was the largest empire of Pre-Columbian America. Its territory, called Tahuantinsuyo, had one of the largest extensions covering a total of 2 million kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and the Amazon rainforest, from the vicinity of San Juan de Pasto in Colombia to the north to the Maule River in Chile.
This period, also known as Incanato and/or Incario, had its peak during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as a result of the great expansion that its rulers made. The end and/or fall of this great civilization occurs after the Spanish conquest in 1572.
Who were the top representatives of ancient Peru? The empire was divided into two dynasties: Hurin Cusco and Hanan Cusco. We will see who represented them, below:
Hurin dynasty Cusco
- Manco Capac: also known as «Ayar Manco» or «Rico Señor de Vasallos», he was the founder and first governor of the Incas between the period of 1150 – 1178, according to a legend colla Manco Cápac was a hero of a semi-divine nature, for being son of the Sun God also known as Inti.
- Sinchi Roca: His name means «magnificent warrior.» Sinchi Roca was the second Inca who ruled in Cusco between 1178 – 1190, he was the first sovereign who used the red mascaipacha or bangs that fell on his forehead as a command badge.
- Lloque Yupanqui: his name means «Memorable Lefty». He was the third Inca who ruled Cusco from 1197 to 1246, during his government there were constant struggles for permanence in the Cusco valley. These struggles did not allow the expansion of the territory of Tahuantinsuyo.
- Mayta Cápac: its name means «Melancholic». Mayta Cápac was the fourth Inca who ruled Cusco from 1246 to 1276. This had extraordinary qualities for the military government. He undertook several conquests to the south, managing to extend the domains. He is recognized for his great audacity and fighting spirit compared to his ancestors.
- Cápac Yupanqui: his name means «Supreme Accountant». Being the last Inca ruler of this dynasty, he ruled Cusco during 1276 – 1321. Like his predecessors, his fundamental concern was applied to maintaining possession of the Cusco valley. He was the first Inca who made conquests outside of Cusco, taking the towns of Cuyumarca and Ancasmarca, etc.
Hanan dynasty Cusco
- Inca Roca: his name referred to «Supreme Sovereign Courageous». Inca Roca was the sixth Inca to govern Cusco and considered the first of the Hanan dynasty. He ruled from 1321 to 1348. By attributing himself as Inca he marked a strong change in his authority by marking an alliance between his figure as a civil representative but also as a military chief.
- Inca Yahuar Huácac: his name meant «the one who cries blood». During his government, which was between 1348 and 1370, he repressed the rebellions of curacas of Muyna and Pinahua. Thus, he won the lands to the Condesuyos. He also joined his government with Pahuac Gualpa Mayta, a prince who died a short time later after the intrigues of the Inca woman who sought to see her son in the leadership. Yahuar Huácac died without choosing his successor.
- Pachacutec: This ruler was considered one of the true organizers of the Inca Empire. He administered it with very clear laws that helped forge the foundations of an even stronger empire. He was the youngest son of Huiracocha, also called as Titu Cusi Manco Cápac or Cusi Yupanqui. He showed his dissatisfaction with the decision of his father the Inca Huiracocha to leave Inca Urco as a successor, when his elderly father chose to withdraw from Cusco, his security being bitter for the belligerent Chancas, Prince Pachacutec assumed the direction of the defense and he became the leader of the resistance against the enemy Chanca.
- Amaru Inca Yupanqui: the meaning of his name was «Supreme Sovereign Saga». He ruled during the year 1478 and was recognized for giving priority to the Inca expansion in the first great stage.
Túpac Inca Yupanqui: his name referred to the «Resplendent and Memorable King». His government comprised from 1478 to 1488. During it is known that he had a great Inca imperial heyday that already comprised vast lands.
- Huayna Cápac: his name meant «Young Mighty One». During his reign, there was the greatest expansion of the Tahuantinsuyo. It managed to extend from the Ancashmayo River in Pasto – Colombia – by the North, to the Maule River – Chile – by the south, by the southeast to Tucumán – Argentina – and the entire plateau of Bolivia, and to the east the jungle region, and by the west all the coast of the coast.
Huáscar: he was the brother of Atahualpa. After the death of his father, he loses against his brother in a bloody civil war, in the battle of Cotabambas. Finally, he was captured, taken prisoner and drowned in the Andamarca River in 1532.
- Atahualpa: It was the last of the Incas of the Hanan Cusco dynasty. Son of Huayna Cápac, fought against his brother Huáscar in a bloody civil war to climb the «throne». He manages to defeat him and proclaims himself Inca in 1532. Finally, his destiny was to be captured by Francisco Pizarro on November 16, 1532, to be executed later. With his death, the end of the Empire of the Sun occurs.