Viracocha (in hispanicized spelling) or Wiraqucha (Quechua, the name of a god) (c. 1410 – 1438) was the eighth Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco (beginning around 1410) and the third of the Hanan dynasty.

Sapa Inca of the Kingdom of Cusco
Reignc. 1410 – 1438
PredecessorYawar Waqaq
Bornc. 1380
Cusco, Inca Empire, modern-day Peru
Died1438 (aged 58)
ConsortMama Runtu
Hatun Tupaq or Ripaq
DynastyHanan Qusqu

Biography edit

He was not the son of Yawar Waqaq; however, it was presented as such because he belonged to the same dynasty as his predecessor: the Hanan.[1][2] His wife's name was Mama Runtu, and their sons included Inca Roca, Tupac Yupanqui, Pachacuti and Capac Yupanqui. His original name was Hatun Tupaq Inca, but he was named after creator deity Viracocha after seeing visions of the god in Urcos. With Curi chulpa, he had two additional sons, Inca Urco and Inca Socso.[3]: 54–57 

Events in Viracocha's life have been recorded by several Spanish writers. The source closest to the original indigenous accounts comes from Juan de Betanzos, a Spanish commoner who rose to prominence by marrying an Inca princess and becoming the foremost translator for the colonial government of Cusco. Traditional oral histories of the Inca have been recorded by the Spanish Jesuit Bernabe Cobo. According to these accounts, including a widely recognized sixteenth century chronology written by Miguel Cabello Balboa, Viracocha was a "warlike" and "valiant" prince. As a young man, Viracocha declared that after he took the throne "he would conquer half the world".

However, in 1438 when, according to Cobo, the Chanka offensive took place, Viracocha was advised to leave Cusco before the Chanka attack. He left for Caquia Xaquixahuana, taking his illegitimate sons, Inca Urco and Inca Socso. However, his third son, Cusi Inca Yupanqui (later famous as the Emperor Pachacuti) refused to abandon Cusco and the House of the Sun. He remained with his brother Inca Rocca and six other chiefs, including the generals Apu Mayta and Vicaquirau, who together defeated the Chankas. The spoils were offered to Inca Viracocha to tread on, but he refused, stating Inca Urco should do so, as his successor. Inca Rocca later killed his brother Urco, and Inca Viracocha died of grief in Caquia Xaquixahuana.[3]: 58–59, 61–61, 71 

One chronicler, Sarmiento de Gamboa, states that Viracocha was the first Incan to rule the territories he conquered, while his predecessors merely raided and looted them. His captains, Apu Mayta and Vicaquirau, subdued the area within 8 leagues of Cusco.[3]: 54, 56–57 

References edit

  1. ^ Cieza de León, Pedro. El Señorio de los Incas.
  2. ^ Rostworowski Tovar de Diez Canseco, María (2008). Le Grand Inca Pachacútec Inca Yupanqui. Paris: Tallandier. ISBN 978-2-84734-462-2.
  3. ^ a b c de Gamboa, P.S., 2015, History of the Incas, Lexington, ISBN 9781463688653

Bibliography edit

Regnal titles
Preceded by Sapa Inca
c. 1410 – 1438
Succeeded by